This unique collection of primary documents and important scholarly articles tells the fascinating and tragic story of Russia's twentieth century. Edited by Ronald Grigor Suny, an eminent historian and political scientist, The Structure of Soviet History illustrates both the revolutionary changes and the broad continuities in Soviet history. It discusses the history, not only of the Russian people, but of other Soviet peoples as well--the nationalities that made up the tsarist and Soviet empires and formed independent states in the early 1990s. This volume enables students to delve beyond traditional narratives to look at the building blocks of history--archival documents, memoirs, and interpretive essays by the leading experts in the field. Students will learn about the fall of the tsarist empire, the hopes and aspirations of the revolutionary years, the brutalities of the Stalin years, the attempts to reform the country in the last decades of Soviet power, and finally, the collapse of the USSR and the emergence of fifteen fragile republics. Rather than imposing a single view on students, The Structure of Soviet History allows them to come up with their own, fresh interpretations of a controversial and often misunderstood experience.
Organized chronologically and covering political, social, and cultural history from a variety of viewpoints, the readings examine all of the major events and principal interpretations of Soviet history. Selections include official pronouncements and dissident manifestos, public speeches and private letters, and previously untranslated documents. Suny's introductory essay provides the broad outlines of Soviet history, while the chapter introductions summarize the main features and historical debates of each period. Each document is prefaced by a brief headnote that identifies the author and places the work in context; explanatory notes are also included to define words and events that may not be familiar to students. A truly unique text, The Structure of Soviet History is ideal for use in undergraduate courses on the history of the Soviet Union as well as introductory courses on Soviet politics.