Armageddon Averted: The Soviet Collapse, 1970-2000

Paperback | December 15, 2008

byStephen Kotkin

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Featuring extensive revisions to the text as well as a new introduction and epilogue - bringing the book completely up to date on the tumultuous politics of the previous decade and the long-term implications of the Soviet collapse - this compact, original, and engaging book offers thedefinitive account of one of the great historical events of the last fifty years. Combining historical and geopolitical analysis with an absorbing narrative, Kotkin draws upon extensive research, including memoirs by dozens of insiders and senior figures, to illuminate the factors that led to the demise of Communism and the USSR. The new edition puts the collapse in the contextof the global economic and political changes from the 1970s to the present day. Kotkin creates a compelling profile of post Soviet Russia and he reminds us, with chilling immediacy, of what could not have been predicted--that the world's largest police state, with several million troops, a doomsdayarsenal, and an appalling record of violence, would liquidate itself with barely a whimper. Throughout the book, Kotkin also paints vivid portraits of key personalities. Using recently released archive materials, for example, he offers a fascinating picture of Gorbachev, describing this virtuosotactician and resolutely committed reformer as "flabbergasted by the fact that his socialist renewal was leading to the system's liquidation"--and more or less going along with it.At once authoritative and provocative, Armageddon Averted illuminates the collapse of the Soviet Union, revealing how "principled restraint and scheming self interest brought a deadly system to meek dissolution."

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Featuring extensive revisions to the text as well as a new introduction and epilogue - bringing the book completely up to date on the tumultuous politics of the previous decade and the long-term implications of the Soviet collapse - this compact, original, and engaging book offers thedefinitive account of one of the great historical ev...

Stephen Kotkin is Professor of European and Asian History at Princeton University, where he also directs the Russian-Eurasian Studies Program. He is the author of nine books, including an acclaimed two-volume study of the rise and fall of Soviet socialism: Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as a Civilization and Steeltown, USSR: Soviet Soc...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 5.39 × 7.4 × 0.79 inPublished:December 15, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195368630

ISBN - 13:9780195368635

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Table of Contents

Preface to the second paperback editionNote on the textList of platesList of mapsIntroduction1. History's cruel tricks2. Reviving the dream3. The drama of reform4. Waiting for the end of the world5. Survival and cannibalism in the rust belt6. Democracy without liberalism?7. Idealism and treasonEpilogueNotesFurther readingIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Concise and persuasive The mystery, for Kotkin, is not so much why the Soviet Union collapsed as why it did so with so little collateral damage." --The New York Review of Books