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First Socialist Society : A History of the Soviet Union from Within Geoffrey Hosking

by
Edition:
2nd
ISBN13:

9780674304437

ISBN10:
0674304438
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
3/15/1993
Publisher(s):
Harvard Univ Pr

Summary

The First Socialist Society is the compelling and often tragic history of what Soviet citizens have lived through from 1917 to the present, told with great sympathy and perception. It ranges over the changing lives of peasants, urban workers, and professionals; the interaction of Soviet autocrats with the people; the character and role of religion, law, education, and literature within Soviet society; and the significance and fate of various national groups. As the story unfolds, we come to understand how the ideas of Marxism have been changed, taking on almost unrecognizable forms by unique political and economic circumstances. Hosking's analysis of this vast and complex country begins by asking how it was that the first socialist revolution took place in backward, autocratic Russia. Why were the Bolsheviks able to seize power and hold on to it? The core of the book lies in the years of Stalin's rule: how did he exercise such unlimited power, and how did the various strata of society survive and come to terms with his tyranny? The later chapters recount Khrushchev's efforts to reform the worst features of Stalinism, and the unpredictable effects of his attempts within the East European satellite countries, bringing out elements of socialism that had been obscured or overlaid in the Soviet Union itself. And in the aftermath of the long Brezhnev years of stagnation and corruption, the question is posed: can Soviet society find a way to modify the rigidities inherited from the Stalinist past?

Table of Contents

Prefaces to the Enlarged Editions 10(1)
Preface to the First Edition 11(4)
Introduction
15(20)
The October Revolution
35(22)
War Communism
57(36)
The Making of the Soviet Union
93(26)
The New Economic Policy and Its Political Dilemmas
119(30)
Revolution from Above
149(34)
Stalin's Terror
183(22)
Stalinist Society
205(22)
Religion and Nationality under the Soviet State
227(34)
The Great Fatherland War
261(35)
The Last Years of Stalin
296(30)
Khrushchev and De-Stalinization
326(37)
Soviet Society under `Developed Socialism'
363(39)
Religion, Nationality and Dissent
402(44)
The Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union
446(57)
Chronology 503(15)
Statistical Tables 518(8)
Bibliography 526(25)
Index 551


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