Rebirth: A Political History of Europe since World War II

By Cyril E. Black; Robert D. English et al. | Go to book overview

ios foresaw a period of prolonged difficulty in which Russia might have no choice but to retreat to a semiprotectionist economic posture and rely on state-led measures to revive domestic production. This approach would require skillful leadership to succeed while maintaining supportive economic and political ties to the West, something that Prime Minister Primakov might indeed be capable of achieving. But with Yeltsin's health worsening, leadership was the biggest near-term question mark. Should early presidential elections be held, the winner might well be the national ist-authoritarian-leaning General Lebed, governor of Krasnoyarsk province. A list of other contenders included Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov and Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov.

Under any of these candidates -- or for that matter, under an increasingly crippled Yeltsin presidency -- the potential for much worse than near-term muddling through remained great. Any further clumsy economic measures, such as those seen so often since the breakup of the USSR, could prompt a much more serious collapse. Any foreign crisis affecting the Russian economy as seriously as had Asian economic woes and falling commodity prices could similarly cause even more widespread disruption. And any of these scenarios could increase popular pressures for more radical populist or antimarket measures, such as increased printing of money or broad renationalization of industry, that would lead to a spiral of hoarding and shortages, inflation and capital flight, and international economic isolation. In this outlook, increased frictions with the West would be difficult to avoid, as would tension with the Baltics and perhaps Ukraine. Indeed, NATO air strikes intended to force an end to Serb "cleansing" of ethnic Albanians from the Yugoslav province of Kosovo stirred great popular resentment in Russia. Thus the possibility hovered that the "soft" redivision of Europe already emerging, instead of continuing to become more malleable, might grow more firm.


Notes
1
Cited in M. Scammell, "To the Finland Station", New Republic, November 19, 1990, p. 20.

Suggested Readings

Aslund, A., Gorbachev's Struggle for Economic Reform ( 1989). Bialer, S., Stalin's Successors: Leadership, Stability, and Change in the Soviet Union ( 1980).

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Rebirth: A Political History of Europe since World War II
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Maps xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Preface to the Second Edition xvii
  • PART ONE - Historical Background 1
  • Chapter One - Europe Triumphant: 1300-1900 3
  • Contents 3
  • Notes 25
  • Suggested Readings 25
  • Chapter Two - Europe in Crisis: 1900-1945 28
  • Contents 28
  • Notes 53
  • Suggested Readings 53
  • PART TWO - The International Scene 55
  • Chapter Three - Europe Divided: 1945-1955 57
  • Contents 57
  • Notes 103
  • Suggested Readings 103
  • Chapter Four - East-West Equilibrium: 1955-1975 105
  • Contents 105
  • Notes 142
  • Suggested Readings 142
  • Chapter Five - A New Europe Emerges 144
  • Contents 144
  • Suggested Readings 197
  • PART THREE - The Nation-States 199
  • Chapter Six - Germany: West and East 201
  • Contents 201
  • Notes 250
  • Suggested Readings 250
  • Chapter Seven - The Soviet Union 252
  • Contents 252
  • Notes 300
  • Suggested Readings 300
  • Chapter Eight - Eastern Europe 303
  • Contents 303
  • Suggested Readings 352
  • Chapter Nine - The United Kingdom 356
  • Contents 356
  • Notes 409
  • Suggested Readings 409
  • Chapter Ten - France 411
  • Contents 411
  • Notes 467
  • Suggested Readings 468
  • Chapter Eleven - Italy and the Vatican 470
  • Contents 470
  • Notes 512
  • Suggested Readings 513
  • Chapter Twelve - The Small States of Western and Northern Europe 514
  • Contents 514
  • Notes 565
  • Suggested Readings 565
  • Chapter Thirteen - The Iberian and Aegean States 569
  • Contents 569
  • Notes 610
  • Suggested Readings 610
  • PART FOUR - Conclusion 613
  • Chapter Fourteen - A New Europe 615
  • Contents 615
  • Suggested Readings 643
  • Chronotogy 647
  • Index 685
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