An American academic describes the breakup of the Soviet Union and the formation of an independent Latvia from the vantage point of Riga, where he was acting as an advisor to the Latvian Parliament and was a visiting faculty member at the time of the events. This description is unusual for several reasons--the author was based in Riga rather than Moscow or Leningrad, where most reporters lived, the work was written by someone who had access to the government, and the author was able to understand the local press and people. Background material on the Baltic countries and their relationship to the USSR is discussed. By 1991, the Soviet system was floundering, with people spending an inordinate amount of time standing in lines to cope with shortages. The final breakdown of the Soviet empire began in the Baltic Republics, where Baltic nationalism and Russian nationalism clashed. By the end of 1991, the Baltic countries and most of the former Soviet republics had declared independence. The Soviet Union has bequeathed to the successor states an infrastructure and ethos that makes the transition to democracy and a free market extremely difficult. The work will interest those who want to learn what really happened during the breakdown of the USSR and those who need to deal with the changes that continue to occur in the successor states.
The author of this volume was present during the final decade of the Soviet empire, first for Reuters, then for the "Washington Post". While Dobbs watched, playwrights and elctricians were transformed into presidents, while Communist Party leaders became jailbirds or newly-minted tycoons. He identifies the seeds of destruction, and shows how Mikhail Gorbachev, in particular, was the unwitting inspiration for the upheaval of the empire, while he thought he could save the Communist Party by reforming it.;Dobbs' conclusion is that though Big Brother may be dead, his dark legacy is still alive in the turbulence in Russia, Romania, Bosnia and other countries that once made up the most brutal empire of the 20th century.
Documents the collapse of the Soviet Union's European empire (East Germany, Poland, Czechoslvakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria) and the transition of each to independent states, drawing on interviews and newly uncovered archival material to offer insight into 1989's rapid changes and the USSR's minimal resistance.
Following his great trilogy of biographies of the giants who dominated the history of the Soviet Union - Stalin (1991), Lenin (1994) and Trotsky (1996) - Dmitri Volkogonov delves deeper into the Soviet archives to produce new character evaluations and political assessments of the seven leaders who ruled the Soviet Union from 1917 to 1991. A former general in the Soviet Army's propaganda department, Director of the Institute for Military History, and Defence Adviser to President Yeltsin from 1991 to his death from cancer in December 1995, Dmitri Volkogonov had unrivalled access to Soviet military archives, Communist Party documents and secret presidential files. Basing his new book on these inside sources, he has continued his pioneering work of revealing the truth behind the activities of the world's most secretive political leaders. He throws new light on: Lenin's paranoia about foreigners in Russia; his creation of a privileged system for top Party members; Stalin's repression of the nationalities and his singular conduct of foreign policy; the origins and conduct of the Korean War; Khrushchev's relationship with the odious secret service chief Beria; Brezhnev's vanity and stupidity; the Afghan War; Poland and Solidarity; Soviet bureaucracy; Gorbachev's Leninism and role in history.
The Lithuanian Rebellion and the Breakup of the Soviet Empire
Author: Richard J. Krickus
Publisher: Potomac Books Incorporated
Recounts the history of Lithuania and its struggle for freedom from the Soviet Union, and argues that Lithuania's declaration of independence in 1991 was the turning point that led to the Soviet collapse
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize One of the Best Books of the Year: The New York Times From the editor of The New Yorker: a riveting account of the collapse of the Soviet Union, which has become the standard book on the subject. Lenin’s Tomb combines the global vision of the best historical scholarship with the immediacy of eyewitness journalism. Remnick takes us through the tumultuous 75-year period of Communist rule leading up to the collapse and gives us the voices of those who lived through it, from democratic activists to Party members, from anti-Semites to Holocaust survivors, from Gorbachev to Yeltsin to Sakharov. An extraordinary history of an empire undone, Lenin’s Tomb stands as essential reading for our times.
Describes some of the major events in Soviet history, such as the rise of communism in Russia, the terror and expansionist policies of Joseph Stalin, the election of Mikhail Gorbachev, the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, and much more.
On December 25, 1991, Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union, resigned as president of the Communist empire, turning power over to the new commonwealth that replaced it. This event marked the official end of the Cold War which had imperiled the world for over four decades. AP was there to provide a unique look at the story through the eyes of Associated Press reporters and photographers.