Russia in Transition: And Other Essays

Russia in Transition: And Other Essays

Russia in Transition: And Other Essays

Russia in Transition: And Other Essays

Excerpt

The essays collected in this volume describe and analyze the development and the background of Soviet society. The opening section of the book deals with the post-Stalin era and with recent developments such as Krushchev's exposure of Stalin, the Polish and Hungarian upheavals and their impact on the U.S.S.R., the "ferment of ideas" among the Soviet intelligentsia, the economic facts of the situation, and so on. Three further papers scrutinize the "close of the Stalin era" and trace back to that period, and to their latent state, nearly all the critical issues which have come to light since Stalin's death. In the "Historical Essays" I have attempted, inter alia, to correlate the experience of the Russian revolution with that of the great French revolution and to place the events of our day in deeper perspective. Finally, the closing section includes controversial writings, in which I have opposed a sociological and historical view of Soviet society and of its "inner contradictions" and conflicts, and movement to that static and "demonological" vision of it which has been so characteristic for many ex-Communist writers and which until recently enjoyed so great a vogue on both sides of the Atlantic.

Readers will find here developed even further the views I have expressed in my Stalin, A Political Biography (1949) and more particularly in my Russia: What Next? (1953). This last book appeared shortly after Stalin's death and forecast explicitly and emphatically the whole chain of events, with all its twists and turns, which is now commonly described as de-Stalinization. These forecasts were at the time . . .

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