This concise yet comprehensive textbook examines political, social, and cultural developments in the Soviet Union and the post-Soviet period.
It begins by identifying the social tensions and political inconsistencies that spurred radical change in Russia's government, from the turn of the century to the revolution of 1917.
Peter Kenez presents this revolution as a crisis of authority that the creation of the Soviet Union resolved.
The text traces the progress of the Soviet Union through the 1920s, the years of the New Economic Policies, and into the Stalinist order.
It illustrates how post-Stalin Soviet leaders struggled to find ways to rule the country without using Stalin's methods - but also without openly repudiating the past - and to negotiate a peaceful but antipathetic coexistence with the capitalist West.
This updated third edition includes substantial new material, discussing the challenges Russia currently faces in the era of Putin.