The Soviet System: From Crisis to Collapse

By Alexander Dallin; Gail W. Lapidus | Go to book overview

22:00. By this time—as B. N. Yeltsin reports the next day—the conspirators' criminal activities have ceased altogether. [Rg]

23:00. Gorbachev has arrived? [Kp]


51 Anatomy of a Failed Coup

JOHN B. DUNLOP

...

In light of the immense political resonance of the coup, it behooves the historian to sift through the testimonies of eyewitnesses and journalists carefully in an attempt to determine what actually occurred, and why. This task is especially important in light of the tendency of many both in Russia and in the West not to take the plotters and their designs seriously. For not a few commentators, the coup perpetrators represented ineffective eccentrics, latter-day Don Quixotes....

Questions have been raised as to whether a coup was even attempted. "I know how coups are planned," the influential proto-fascist editor and publicist Aleksandr Prokhanov has commented. "What happened here was a circus. The spetsnaz rested, and on the streets they brought out armor which served to agitate everyone greatly, as if a bear had crept into a beehive. But the people who, at first, were afraid learned that the vehicles contained no shells, and they then climbed up and sat upon those vehicles, placing flowers in their empty muzzles and feeding the soldiers from spoons." 4 For Prokhanov, the August coup represented a derisory "quasi-plot" or "pseudo-plot."

Similarly, for "democrat" Leonid Radzikhovskii, writing in the weekly Ogonek, the coup was merely a timid "imitation coup" launched by irresolute Gorbachevites fearful of shedding blood. Did the plotters, he asked, seek "to restore a totalitarian system?" "No," he answered. "Their maximum aim was to roll back the video-tape three to four years. ..." 5 They did not arrest Russian president Boris Yeltsin, Radzikhovskii contended, "because there was no reason to."

Such benign or contemptuous views of the coup have been sharply contested by other commentators. Gorbachev himself has stated flatly that "only killers could propose to introduce, reintroduce a totalitarian regime in our country." 6 And historian A. Kiva has observed: "People say that this coup was not serious, that it was almost contemptible. This is an absolute and extremely serious error!

-595-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Soviet System: From Crisis to Collapse
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 725

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.