Now thoroughly revised in its second edition, The Soviet Experiment examines the complex themes of Soviet history, ranging from the last tsar of the Russian empire to the first president of the Russian republic. Author Ronald Grigor Suny, one of the most eminent Soviet historians of our time, examines the legacies left by former Soviet leaders and explores successor states and the challenges they now face. He captures familiar as well as little-known eventsthe crowds on the streets during the February Revolution, Stalin's collapse into a near-catatonic state after Hitler's invasion, and Yeltsin's political maneuvering and public grandstandingcombining gripping detail with insightful analysis.
New to this Edition
* Offers expanded coverage of imperial Russia and non-Russian Soviet republics
* New scholarship on Stalin and the post-Stalin decades to the final years of the Soviet Union
* A new concluding chapter brings the story up to the Putin-Medvedev years
Suny (political science, Univ. of Chicago; Looking Toward Ararat, Indiana Univ., 1993) is a highly regarded scholar of the late Soviet Union. His present work, a textbook survey of that country's "turbulent tale," charts the "traumatic and painful transformations" of Russia from decrepit tsarist autocracy to post-Soviet chaos, corruption, and uncertainty. Suny's tone is judicious, and his judgment that the Soviet experiment's great achievement of "rough modernization of a backward, agrarian society," which produced nonetheless an incompletely modernized society for the 1980s and 1990s, is well supported. He is particularly good on World War II, its cost, and its impact. Each chapter has suggestions for further readings, with a chronology of dates at the end. This is and should remain a valuable reference text.Robert H. Johnston, McMaster Univ., Hamilton, Ontario