By turns radical, uncertain, ambitious, and autocratic, Mikhail Gorbachev in his bid to reform the Soviet Union has shaped the contemporary world. In 1985, he set out to modernize the Soviet state and revive his Communist Party. Instead, by the end of 1991, the USSR had fragmented and the Party was banned. Institutions which had survived for 70 years, notwithstanding Stalin's murderous purges and the Nazi war machine, proved unable to survive his well-meant reforms. This is a concise and lively introduction to the man and his times, setting them in the context of a decaying and ramshackle empire and an ideology long since betrayed by its professed followers. Simply and clearly, it follows Gorbachev's increasingly desperate attempts to control the forces he unleashed and hold together a state whose days were over. Ultimately, Gorbachev failed yet, as this study concludes, from his revolution arose an historic opportunity to redefine Russia's place in the world and break with a centuries-long autocratic tradition.
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
The First World War unleashed a powerful, transforming, destructive storm across the European continent. Its consequences were felt as harshly in Russia as anywhere else in the world. A spiral of chaos and violence erupted, continuing to reign throughout years of revolution and civil war. Leading expert Christopher Read presents a cutting-edge, highly readable introduction to Russia's crisis years. Read synthesises a wealth of newly available material and treats the period 1914-22 as a whole in order to contextualise and better understand the events of 1917 and their impact. As he examines the multiple revolutions, Read asks how and why the Bolsheviks were able to survive the storm, eventually taking over the world's largest country.
This collection explores the most important transformations & upheavals of post-1945 Europe in the light of recent scholarship. It examines the post-war economic boom & the political realignment of eastern European states in the 1990s, amongst other topics.
The Routledge Companion to Modern European History since 1763 is a compact and highly accessible work of reference covering the broad sweep of events from the last days of the ancient regime to the ending of the Cold War, and from the reshaping of Eastern Europe to the radical expansion of the European Union in 2004. Within the broad coverage of this outstanding volume, particular attention is given to subjects such as: the era of the Enlightened Despots the Revolutionary and Napoleonic era in France, and the revolutions of 1848 nationalism and imperialism, and the retreat from Empire the First World War, the rise of the European dictators, the coming of the Second World War, the Holocaust, and the post-war development of Europe the Cold War, the Soviet Union and its break up the protest and upheavals of the 1960s, as well as social issues such as the rise of the welfare state, and the changing place of women in society throughout the period. With a fully comprehensive glossary, a biographical section, a thorough bibliography and informative maps, this volume is the indispensable companion for all those who study modern European history.
This important book reassesses a defining historical, political and ideological moment in contemporary history: the 1989 revolutions in central and eastern Europe. Adopting a multi-disciplinary approach, the authors reconsider such crucial themes as the broader historical significance of the 1989 events, the complex interaction between external and internal factors in the origins and outcomes of the revolutions, the impact of the 'Gorbachev phenomenon', the West and the end of the Cold War, the political and socio-economic determinants of the revolutionary processes in Poland, Hungary, the German Democratic Republic, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Bulgaria, and the competing academic, cultural and ideological perceptions of the year 1989 as communism gave way to post-communist pluralism in the 1990s and beyond. Concluding that the contentious term 'revolution' is indeed apt for the momentous developments in eastern Europe in 1989, this book will be essential reading for undergraduates, postgraduates and specialists alike.
This edited volume is the first detailed exploration of the last phase of the Cold War, taking a critical look at the crisis of détente in Europe in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The transition from détente to a new phase of harsh confrontation and severe crises is an interesting, indeed crucial, phase of the evolution of the international system. This book makes use of previously unreleased archival materials, moving beyond existing interpretations of this period by challenging the traditional bipolar paradigm that focuses mostly on the role of the superpowers in the transformation of the international system. The essays here emphasize the combination and the interplay of a large number of variables- political, ideological, economic and military - and explore the topic from a truly international perspective. Issues covered include human rights, the Euromissiles, the CSCE (Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe), the Revolution in Military Affairs, economic growth and its consequences.
Philosophy, Society and the Cunning of History in Eastern Europe charts the intellectual landscape of twentieth century East-Central Europe under the unifying theme of 'precariousness' as a mode of historical existence. Caught between empires, often marked by catastrophic historic events and grand political failures, the countries of East-Central Europe have for a long time developed a certain intellectual self-representation, a culture that not only helps them make some sense of such misfortunes, but also protects them somehow from a collapse into nihilism. An interdisciplinary study of this sophisticated culture of survival and endurance has been long overdue. Not only is it charming and worth studying in its own right, but with the re-integration of the 'new Europe' into the 'old' one and the emergence on the 'Western' European intellectual scene of many authors from the 'East,' such a culture will also shape the European mind of the 21st century. This volume decodes and explores this culture of 'precariousness' from the complementary angles of philosophy, political theory, intellectual history and literary studies. Expert contributors look at a wide range of topics, from philosophical martyrdom to collective suffering to geographical fatalism, and explore the works of key authors in the field including Cioran, Kołakowski, Kertész, Bauman and Žižek. This book was originally published as a special issue of Angelaki: The Journal of the Theoretical Humanities.
Political Science by Frans Alphons Maria Alting Von Geusau
The collapse of the totalitarian system and the disintegration of the Soviet Union took the West by complete surprise. For many years Western co-operation and West European integration proceeded on the assumption that the division of Europe and Germany would be there to stay.