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Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the by Stephen F. Cohen

By Stephen F. Cohen

With conflicts back dividing Russia and the us, the necessity for balanced, available scholarship that advantages from new fabrics and significant views is significant. In seven lucid, groundbreaking essays, Stephen F. Cohen questions many traditional assumptions concerning the process Soviet background, the autumn of communism, and the impact of Russia's rules at domestic and abroad.

Written for experts and basic readers, Cohen's essays are framed by way of a chronological narrative that makes a speciality of key turning issues and misplaced possible choices. starting with Stalin's preeminent challenger and sufferer, Nikolai Bukharin, and the unforeseen go back of hundreds of thousands of survivors of Stalin's terror lower than Nikita Khrushchev, Cohen exhibits how their tragic fates formed the latter-day Soviet Union. Turning to more moderen occasions, he examines the political fates of the Soviet system's maximum reformer, Mikhail Gorbachev, and his best conservative rival, Yegor Ligachev. via those figures, Cohen increases much more provocative matters, together with his argument that the Soviet Union was once in a position to reform and that its breakup used to be now not inevitable. so much urgently, in concluding chapters Cohen argues that Washington was once the 1st to squander the chance for a essentially new U.S.-Russian dating after the chilly struggle, and he provides a appreciably new process for reaching an important partnership with today's Russia.

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Additional info for Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War

Example text

11 The proletarian revolution had indeed been premature, the Mensheviks crowed; and within the Bolshevik party harsh words were exchanged about the vanishing of the proletariat. )12 But in a sense the debacle was even worse: in addition to leading a premature revolution, the Bolsheviks apparently had achieved a prematurely “classless” society in which the absence of classes had nothing to do with socialism. Class principles For the Bolsheviks, it was imperative that Russian society be “reclassed” forthwith.

10 For example, Sheila Fitzpatrick, Stalin’s Peasants (New York, 1994); Lynne Viola, Peasant Rebels under Stalin (New York, 1996); Gabor Rittersporn, “Enjoying Carnival, Breaking Step: Soviet Unorthodox Folklore in the 1930s,” paper presented at conference on “The Stalin Period: New Ideas, New Conversations,” held at Riverside, California, March 12–15, 1998. Scott most often cited in this scholarship are Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance (New Haven, 1985) and Domination and the Arts of Resistance (New Haven, 1990).

Golfo Alexopoulos’s 1996 dissertation explored the world of the disenfranchised (persons deprived of civil rights because of their “alien” class origins), showing by a close study of their petitions how they attempted to rid themselves of stigma and gain reinstatement as full Soviet citizens. 7 Sheila Fitzpatrick’s article in this volume, “Ascribing Class,” one of a series of essays on the subject of class dating back to the end of the 1980s, exemplifies the new approach to class and social identity.

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