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The Soviet Union and Russia, 1939-2015

A History in Documents

Karen Petrone and Kenneth Slepyan

Publication Date - October 2016

ISBN: 9780195338034

296 pages
8 x 10 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $74.99

A documentary history that explores the history of the Soviet Union from the eve of World War II through its collapse and the years of transition from socialism to capitalism


This volume in the Pages from History series explores the history of the Soviet Union from the eve of World War II through its collapse and the years of transition from socialism to capitalism. The Soviet Union and Russia, 1939-2015: A History in Documents not only details the political chronology of changes in Soviet leadership, but also devotes significant attention to the social, economic, and cultural dimensions of everyday Soviet life. It highlights actions and decisions of the Soviet leadership while addressing popular initiatives and responses that shaped the environment in which the leadership operated. The sources--ranging from official documents and pronouncements, to clandestine opposition to the government, to artifacts of everyday life and popular culture--capture Soviet and post-Soviet life in all of its variety and complexity, challenging the stereotype of a monolithic Soviet society. Headnotes, extended captions, sidebars, introductory essays, and a robust photo program provide an essential context that frames the documents.

About the Author(s)

Karen Petrone is Professor of History at the University of Kentucky. She is the author of The Great War in Russian Memory (2011) and Life Has Become More Joyous, Comrades: Celebrations in the Time of Stalin (2000), and the coeditor of several volumes, including Everyday Life in Russia Past and Present (2015).

Kenneth Slepyan is Professor of History at Transylvania University. He is the author of Stalin's Guerrillas: Soviet Partisans in World War II (2006) and has written several articles and book chapters on the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany in the Second World War.

Table of Contents

    What Is a Document?
    How to Read a Document

    Note on Sources and Interpretation
    A Note on Terminology

    1. The Great Patriotic War, 1939-1945
    Prelude to War
    Operation Barbarossa and the Government's Call to Arms
    Total War: Combat
    Popular Responses to the War
    Deportation of Nationalities
    Victory! The Origins of The Cold War and The Validation of Stalinism

    2. Post-War Stalinism, 1945-1953
    Postwar Reconstruction
    Cultural Censorship and Propaganda
    Idealism and Conformity in The Late Stalin Period
    The Cold War and Eastern Europe
    The Death of Stalin

    3. The Thaw, 1953-1964
    The Desire for Reform and The Rise of Khrushchev
    The Secret Speech and its Consequences
    Khrushchev's Economic Reforms
    Society and Culture
    The Cold War

    4. Stability or Stagnation, 1964-1985
    The Stalled Train to Communism
    Securing Legitimacy
    National Tensions in the Brezhnev Era
    Cultural and Social Tensions
    The Dissident Movement
    Détente and the Intervention in Afghanistan

    5. Restructuring and Openness, 1985-1991
    The Advent of Reform
    The Chernobyl Accident
    A New Civil Society
    Opposition to Gorbachev
    The Soviet Union and the World

    6. The Crocodile Smiles: Soviet Satirical Cartoons and Social Reform
    The Family
    Gender and Gender Roles
    Social Issues

    7. Democratization or Oligarchy? 1991-2000
    The Rise of Yeltsin and The Dismantling of The Soviet System
    The Economic Reforms
    Constitutional Crisis and Political Turmoil
    Nationalism, Conflict, and Identity
    The End of the Yeltsin Era

    8. Vladimir Putin and the New Russia 2000-2015
    The Foundations of Putin's Governing System
    National Security and the Near Abroad
    Opposition to Putin

    Further Reading
    Text Credits
    Picture Credits
    About the Authors

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