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The purpose of this book is to provide an introduction to contemporary Russia by examining its past. This second edition includes new material and expands sections dealing with the late imperial and Soviet periods. Coverage emphasizes historical developments which cast most light on the present situation, and concentrates on the following themes: how the writ of the Tsar and then the Communist Party came to run over one-sixth of the earth's surface; the complex way in which the country's international setting has interacted with its socio-political development; why Europe's most radical socialist revolution took place here; the impact of this on political, economic, social and cultural developments; and the process by which, in the Soviet period, the state came to mediate such a broad range of human activity. The book argues that this "statization" has conditioned the development of post-Soviet Russia above any other factor. The relationship between state and society, between the power - coercive, administrative, legal, cultural and economic - at the disposal of the tsar, politburo or president and the social body at large, thus forms the central thread of the analysis.
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Table of Contents

1. The origins of the Russian empire 2. The genesis of Russian absolutism 3. The prime of the empire 4. The great reforms and the development of the revolutionary intelligentsia 5. Industrialisation and revolution 6. The end of the Russian empire 7. 1917 8. Civil War and the consolidation of Bolshevik power 9. Stalin's revolution from above 10. World war and cold war 11. Stabilisation under Khrushchev and Brezhnev 12. Stagnation and decline 13. Perestroika and the fall of the Soviet Union.14. Epilogue


' excellent book, which is a first rate guide to anyone embarking on a study of the history of the Soviet Union."'" "Journal of Russian Studies"

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