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Covering the major contours of any Russian politics course, and comprehensive enough to serve as a core text, this new reader includes sections from the Soviet political system and its collapse, to the debate about post-Communist transition and efforts toward political and economic reform. Ostrow's choice of readings is guided by a central insight: To understand contemporary Russia, and to bring the study of Russian politics to life, students need to know that there are strongly competing interpretations of Russian politics past and present-and these interpretations are best represented by watershed examples of the voices in the debate. A former journalist who worked in Russia, Ostrow's substantial headnotes blend needed background with insights from his experience, to create a nuanced treatment of Russian politics.