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The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 13. Mai 2014
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Especially provocative given current affairs, this book doesn't dismiss U.S. Cold War policy's contributions but contends the USSR fell mainly because of its imperial nature, ethnic mix and political structure, with the inability of Russia and Ukraine, the biggest Soviet republics, to agree on continuing unity as the straw that broke the Soviet camel's back.”
A meticulously documented chronicle of the evil empire's demise.... [Plokhy]is the voice Ukrainians have been yearning for."
Library Journal, Starred Review
Plokhy's cleanly written narrative presents a clear view of the complex events and numerous parties involved in the Soviet Union's demise as well as the reasons that the Soviet government could not ultimately rein in Ukrainian and Russian national movements. VERDICT: Plokhy's fine scholarship should be set alongside such great works as David Remnick's Lenin's Tomb and Vladislav M. Zubok's A Failed Empire. An excellent text for historians, students of current events, and anyone fascinated with political intrigue.”
One of a rare breed: a well-balanced, unbiased book written on the fall of Soviet Union that emphasizes expert research and analysis.”
Winner of the 2015 Pushkin House Russian Book Prize
Wall Street Journal
A stirring account of an extraordinary moment what elevates The Last Empire from solid history to the must-read shelf is its relevance to the current crisis.”
Using recently released docu¬ments, Plokhy traces in fascinating detail the complex events that led to the Soviet Union's implosion ”
A fine-grained, closely reported, highly readable account of the upheavals of 1991.”
Serhii Plokhy's extraordinarily well-timed new book makes a convincing case that contrary to the triumphalist American narrative of Cold War victory, or the more recent paranoid Russian narrative of Cold War defeat, the U.S. never anticipated the breakup of the Soviet Unionin fact, the U.S. tried to use what little influence it had over the situation to prevent it Plokhy makes a convincing case that the misplaced triumphalism of the senior Bush's administration led to the disastrous hubris of his son's.”
A fascinating and readable deep dive into the final half-year of the Soviet Union.”
[A] superb work of scholarship, vividly written, that challenges tired old assumptions with fresh material from East and West, as well as revealing interviews with many major players.”
Sunday Times, UK
[An] incisive account of the five months leading up to the Union's dissolution His vibrant, fast-paced narrative style captures the story superbly.”
Mail on Sunday, UK
Our memories of the upheavals of 1989-91 blur into one picture, with the Soviet collapse indistinguishable from the fall of the Berlin Wall, the death of communism and the end of the Cold War. Now along comes Serhii Plohky to bring part of that historical blur into focus in a day-by-day account of the Soviet empire's final five months Plohky's account of the coup is a riveting thriller ”
Literary Review, UK
Almost a day-by-day, blow-by-blow account of the actions and reactions of the main figures Very relevant to today's Ukrainian crisis...The dramatic events of the second half of 1991 are very well recounted.”
Times of London, UK
Serhii Plokhy's great achievement in this wonderfully well-written account is to show that much of the triumphalist transatlantic view of the Soviet collapse is historiographical manure.”
A Prize-winning historian presents a vivid revisionist account of the Soviet Union's collapse over the final five months of 1991.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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Plokhy takes you right into private meetings all over the world during a six-month period in 1991. From the unbelievably tense meetings between Yeltsin and Gorbachev, to meetings by leaders of former Soviet states (namely Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus) about the nature of the role they will play in this new world, there is no shortage of intrigue in "The Last Empire".
This book is not only for those who are interested in the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union. The timing, with what is currently happening in that part of the world this book, is perfect. The author is an expert on Ukranian affairs (he is director of the Ukranian Research Institute at Harvard University) and spends a lot of time discussing Ukraine's (significant) role in the breakup of the Soviet Union. He even spends time on Crimea, which makes this book as relevant today as it was 25 years ago, if not more so. After reading "The Last Empire," I feel like I have a much better understanding of what (Putin's) Russia is trying to do (which doesn't make it any less disturbing). Whether you are interested in 1991 Russia, 2014 Russia, or both, "The Last Empire" absolutely must be added to your library. You won't be sorry.
1. It is not written by an American - making the books perspective and content more interesting. I.e. too many books on this subject written by Americans claim the US won the cold war by vanquising the evil empire. It was far more complicated....
2. The subject is remarkable - relative to other states/empires, the end of the USSR was "remarkably" peaceful. I was fascianted by how the "soviet" system. politically, functioned in this very difficult time with less violence occurring compared to other staes and empires when they collasped. (Chechans and other small regional conflicts would argue otherwise but consider the potential for more widespread violence).
3. This book has excellant coverage on how Ukaine was created - including a Russian majority Crimea and eastern Ukraine - and why this was not a major issue in 1992-1994 when the USSR came apart - the coverage for this subject alone makes this book highly recommended.
4. The discussion of the time frame covered in this book as a collapse of an empire - and the motivations of the different ethnic groups and leadership within the former soviet union.
Overall a great book, despite sections were tedious to read.