A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from by Vladislav M. Zubok

By Vladislav M. Zubok

Western interpretations of the chilly War--both realist and neoconservative--have erred by way of exaggerating both the Kremlin's pragmatism or its aggressiveness, argues Vladislav Zubok. Explaining the pursuits, aspirations, illusions, fears, and misperceptions of the Kremlin leaders and Soviet elites, Zubok bargains a Soviet standpoint at the maximum standoff of the 20th century.

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Additional resources for A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev (The New Cold War History)

Example text

So the ship jerks around in all directions, losing crew members, damaging its mechanisms, and, it seems, sinking a little bit. 77 They usually showed little initiative: ‘They can do good, or bad, but can also do nothing at all’, Kravchuk complained.

The transition from Soviet to elites of the newly independent states of the former USSR were largely identical to those which occurred elsewhere in earlier periods of history. Although much of Western literature on the subject has focused upon Ukraine’s national communists and Party of Power all of the elements which existed and are taking place in Ukraine in varying degrees occurred, and still are occurring, in the other former Soviet states. Elites in Ukraine Imperial to national communists Where there was greatest popular mobilisation (in the case of the former U SS R this was in the Baltic republics and the TransCaucasus) the greatest detachment of the elites from the Soviet centre occurred.

The Scottish-English union of 1707 had maintained much of Scotland’s separate distinctiveness—unlike the Ukraine-Muscovy Treaty of Periaslav signed fifty-three years earlier. Nevertheless, the UK also used homogenising policies through the English language and the Protestant religion to unify the UK into a single entity under a London-based parliament. 44 The Scots, like the Ukrainians, helped in the building of the British and Russian/Soviet empires as the ‘younger brothers’ of the English and Russians respectively.

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