The Collapse of Communism in the Soviet UnionBook - 1998
Designed for student research, this one-stop resource contains a wealth of information, reference material, and analysis of the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union. Combining narrative description, analytical essays, lengthy biographical profiles, and the text of key primary documents, Watson examines the reasons for the decline and fall of the Soviet Union and its ruling Communist party in 1991. Five essays provide a historical overview of the rise and fall of the Soviet brand of communism; the evolution of Gorbachev's perestroika reform policies; the costly Soviet imperial legacy and the ten-year Afghan war; nationalism and the dissolution of Soviet unity; and post-Soviet Russia under the leadership of Boris Yeltsin. Ready-reference features include: a timeline of key events; biographical profiles of 15 leaders involved in the decline and fall of Soviet communism; the text of 22 documents including writings by Gorbachev, Yeltsin and other key figures; a glossary of terms; and an annotated bibliography of print and video materials. Photos and maps complement the text.
Five essays examine how costly internal and external imperial policies, a poorly functioning economy, and rising nationalism among subject populations contributed to the demise of the Soviet empire. Watson shows that Gorbachev's perestroika reforms, intended to reform the party and the nation, ironically hastened the end, and that the August 1991 coup attempt sealed the fate of Soviet communism. The documents illustrate the reform attempt by Gorbachev and his trail-blazing economic advisors; party opposition to his reforms; the August 1991 coup attempt; the subsequent collapse of the party and the Soviet Union; and the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States. The biographies explain the careers of individuals involved in the decline and fall of Soviet communism, including the last four Soviet leaders, whose policies inadvertently led to the demise of the system; the principal opponents of the reform; the leaders of the August 1991 coup attempt; the first post-Soviet leader of Russia, Boris Yeltsin; and the first post-Soviet Communist party leader in Russia, Gennady Zyuganov. This comprehensive resource is ideal for student research.