The Soviet Military Experience is the first general work to place the Soviet army into its true social, political and international contexts.
It focuses on the Bolshevik Party's intention to create an army of a new type, whose aim was both to defend the people and propagate Marxist ideals to the rest of the world. It includes discussion of the:
* origins of the Workers and Peasant's Red Army
* effects of the Civil War
* Bolshevik regime's use of the military as a school of socialism
* effects of collectivization and rapid industrialisation of the 1920s and 1930s
* Second World War and its profound repercussions
* ethnic tensions within the army
* effect of Gorbachev's policies of Glasnost and Perestroika
After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, which began with dissatisfied tsarist troops, Lenin tried to create a new type of army with volunteers and loyal party apparatchiks--an experiment that ended with perestroika and the troops much as they had been under the tsars. Reese (history, Texas A&M; Stalin's Reluctant Soldiers: A Social History of the Red Army, 1925-1941) traces the origins of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army in its battles with the White Armies and its alliances with outlaw guerrilla bands. He chronicles the regime's use of the military as a school of socialism, with unfortunate consequences both for society and for the army's morale and fighting capability; the army's coming of age during World War II; and the long road to stagnation culminating in the 1991 coup against Gorbachev. This book is a marvelous supplement to academic texts on Soviet life; no other author in recent years has tackled the same information in one historical sweep. Recommended for academic libraries.--Harry V. Willems, Southeast Kansas Lib. Syst., Iola Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.