He is also salutary in emphasizing the limitations of centralization in a country as disorganized as Russia and the growing ineffectiveness of terror in dealing with an increasingly complex society. He paints a fascinating picture of a people in metamorphosis. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 7, 2016, Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 15, 2015, Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 18, 2014, Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 23, 2013, This item arrived quickly and efficiently. Reviewed in the United States on September 14, 2016, excellent book.....full of insight...very well written, Reviewed in the United States on October 23, 2012. I overall really enjoyed the structure of the book, and it made it easy to get into. He is a prolific writer, penning eight books on modern Russian history, including biographies of Vladimir Lenin , Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin . As the first Communist society, the USSR was both an admired model and an object of fear and hatred to the rest of the world. In discovering the origins of the USSR, he casts light on the nature of the state and society which Lenin left behind and which have not entirely disappeared after the collapse of the Soviet regime in 1991. Instead of getting lost in the forest of revolutionary events, Service connects the revolution to the New Economic Policy of 1922-28, the five-year plans, and the Great Terror of 1937-38. What a history that country had in the twentieth century and what repercussions it had on the entire world! I purchased this book to "fill in the gaps" since my college survey course over 35 years ago! Robert John Service FBA is a British historian, academic, and author who has written extensively on the history of the Soviet Union, particularly the era from the October … Robert Service has written a calmly authoritative biography on this seemingly unknowable figure. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. Until its denouement, no Western or Soviet politician foresaw that the standoff between the two superpowers -- after decades of struggle over every aspect of security, politics, economics, and ideas -- would end within the lifetime of the current generation. Topics. A riveting account of the last eighteen months of Tsar Nicholas II's life and reign from one of the finest Russian historians writing today. . Educated at Cambridge and Essex Universities, Service held a professorship at Oxford until 2013. These years of civil war in Russia were years when the West strove to understand the new communist regime while also seeking to undermine it. Hardcover Such was the concentration of power that the Politburo routinely discussed whether writers should be given exit visas or special medical facilitiesit was, he notes, as if the postwar British Cabinet had debated ``whether George Orwell could visit France or Evelyn Waugh have a gall-bladder operation.'' Overthrowing the conventional image of Stalin as an uneducated political administrator inexplicably transformed into a pathological killer, Robert Service reveals a more complex and fascinating story behind this notorious twentieth-century figure. He is a fellow of St Antony's College and an associate fellow of the Hoover Institution. History books. This is no easy task considering the complexity and the romantic view that many people still maintain of the last Russian Tsar. His approach is fundamentally different from that of other contemporary authors such as Mark D. Steinberg and Vladimir Khustalev (The Fall of the Romanovs, LJ 10/15/95) and Valentin Berezhkov (At Stalin's Side, LJ 9/1/94). --Jeremy Storey. Free delivery worldwide on over 20 million titles. He cites welfare reforms, education, and significant economic progress as a unifying force that brought a share of betterment into Russian society. The Times --, In his fresh and lively survey of recent Russian history, Robert Service spans the whole era from the rise of communism in the first decade of this century to the aftermath of its collapse in 1991. Students of Russian history will find this book informative and surprisingly powerful, in particular, Service's narrative on the causes of the Soviet collapse, which he believes Gorbachev's radical social reforms brought about by inadvertently opening the door for dramatic change to take place. Yet, just six years earlier, when Mikhail Gorbachev became general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and chose Eduard Shevardnadze as his foreign minister, the Cold War seemed like a permanent fixture in world politics. In consequence, his assessment of certain eventsfor example, whether Stalin was prostrated by the German invasiondoes not incorporate the newest evidence that he was. Sold by: Simon & Schuster Digital Sales Inc. Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, original audio series, and Kindle books. What is often overlooked is the fact that throughout it's existence it had the support of a large percentage of the population. All this occurred against a background of dictatorship, civil war, forcible industrialization, terror, world war, and the postwar arms race. His other books include biographies of Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky, a textbook on the Russian Revolution and Russia: Experiment with a People, from 1991 to the Present. Politics and political leaders are the main characters of this detailed, balanced trip through Russia's tumultuous century because, as Service says in his introduction, "[t]he economic, social and cultural order in Russia in the twentieth century is quite incomprehensive without sustained attention to political developments." That said, it is an entertaining and educational read. 38 In wide-ranging discussions on topics from Kremlin politics to rock music and macroeconomics to contemporary poetry, Service takes us inside to witness the changes from both … Members of the British Academy and of St Antony ’ s book supplies chapter and verse on the presidency! Dominated Russian politics since Boris Yeltsin relinquished the presidency in his favour in May 2000 offer a lot of gossip... 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