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Russia's Bitter Path to Modernity


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About the Author

Alexander Chubarov is Senior Lecturer in Russian Studies at the School of International Studies and Law, Coventry University.


"This book has many outstanding virtues. It is a model of clarity, explaining complex issues in an accessible way while not losing a sense of the complexity of the problems. It provides a wealth of information and analysis focusing on Russia's ambivalent modernisation. Its judgments are balanced and provide thoughtful analysis of Russia's troubled twentieth century. Questions are helpfully placed in historical and comparative context. This book should be on the shelf of every student of contemporary politics and history."
Professor Richard Sakwa, Department of Politics and International Relations, Rutherford Collge, The University of Kent at Canterbury, author of Russian Politics and Society, Gorbachev and His Reforms, Soviet Politics: An Introduction, and Soviet Communists in Power.
"This book is in some ways a sequel to the author's A Fragile Empire: A History of Imperial Russia. In the present work, Alexander Chubarov (s Senior Lecturer at Coventry University) is primarily concerned with modernization and goes so far as to say that "the true essence of the Soviet period of Russian history was modernization in the broad sense of the word, including industrialization, urbanization, and secularization of popular mentality" (9). The book is divided into three parts, titled "The Background," "The Socialist Experiment" (from 1917 to 1985), and "From Reform Socialism to Deformed Capitalism" (1985 to mid 2001). The last part makes up more than one third of the book and is especially valuable....This work is a broadly conceived scholarly work. It is a history of policies and institutions, coupled with an extended analysis, rather than a history of the Russian people. It is well organized, clearly written, and at times insightful....Along the way, Chubarov devotes major attention to political and economic issues, including among his twenty-one chapters ones on political culture, Soviet ideology, the Soviet political system, and Soviet nationalities. Besidse endnotes and a useful index, there are twenty-five pages of bibliographic entries, both in English and Russian, and Chubarov seems equally familiar with valuable works in both languages....In summary, Chubarov has offered a valuable analysis of certain aspects of twentieth century Russian history, attempting to view it within a modernizing and, at times, comparative perspective. Disagreements about some of his judgements are inevitable, but his presentation of an original perspective is a gain for scholarly discourse."
Canadian Slavonic Papers, March-June 2002
"well-organized, clearly written....Chubarov has offered a valuable analysis of certain aspects of twentieth-century Russian history, attempting to view it within a modernizing and, at times, comparative perspective....his presentation of an original perspective is a gain for scholarly discourse."
Walter Moss, Canadian Slavonic Papers, March-June 2002

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