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Revolutionary Russia, 1891-1991. A Pelican Introduction

Revolutionary Russia, 1891-1991. A Pelican Introduction

Автор: Figes Orlando, 473 стр., издатель: "Penguin Group", ISBN: 978-0-14-104367-8

The problem of Russia dominated the 20th century. Well before the 1917 revolutions Russia obsessed its imperial rivals and Russians themselves argued violently both about how Russia should be run and about its role in the world. Other, terrible regimes came and went, but from the 19th century to the final collapse of the USSR in 1991, it was Russia's that drew everything into its orbit. In his remarkable new book Orlando Figes describes and takes apart this story, in the shortest space possible. Starting with the horrific famines of 1891, Figes charts a vast experiment in state-building. The manipulation of many millions of people, first by Tsarist ministers and then by the Communists - on a scale and with a ferocity that their predecessors could not dream of - aimed to totally transform Russian society. Through war and peace Russia's rulers battled to subdue and control their vast state, fighting off a mass of real and imagined enemies until exhaustion, corruption and intellectual bankruptcy brought the whole terrible experiment to an end. As the Soviet Union becomes ever more distant in our memory, Revolutionary Russia is an invaluable reminder of why this one, hideously violent and callous state became for so long the great focus of the hopes and fears of much of humankind.
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