It Was a Long Time Ago, and It Never Happened Anyway : Russia and the Communist Past

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2011-12-13
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
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Russia today is haunted by deeds that have not been examined and words that have been left unsaid. A serious attempt to understand the meaning of the Communist experience has not been undertaken, and millions of victims of Soviet Communism are all but forgotten. In this book David Satter, a former Moscow correspondent and longtime writer on Russia and the Soviet Union, presents a striking new interpretation of Russia's great historical tragedy, locating its source in Russia's failure fully to appreciate the value of the individual in comparison with the objectives of the state. Satter explores the moral and spiritual crisis of Russian society. He shows how it is possible for a government to deny the inherent value of its citizens and for the population to agree, and why so many Russians actually mourn the passing of the Soviet regime that denied them fundamental rights. Through a wide-ranging consideration of attitudes toward the living and the dead, the past and the present, the state and the individual, Satter arrives at a distinctive and important new way of understanding the Russian experience.

Author Biography

David Satter is senior fellow, Hudson Institute, and fellow, Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He was Moscow correspondent for the Financial Times from 1976 to 1982, then a special correspondent on Soviet affairs for the Wall Street Journal. His previous books Age of Delirium: The Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union and Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State are both available from Yale University Press. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
List of Abbreviations and Administrative Delineationsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
The Statue of Dzerzhinskyp. 11
Efforts to Rememberp. 29
Butovo and Kommunarkap. 49
St. Petersburgp. 75
The Appeal of Communismp. 95
The Responsibility of the Statep. 112
The Trial of the Communist Partyp. 128
Moral Choice under Totalitarianismp. 142
The Roots of the Communist Ideap. 167
Symbols of the Pastp. 88
Historyp. 207
The Shadow of Katynp. 229
Vorkutap. 256
The Odyssey of Andrei Poleshchukp. 279
Conclusionp. 300
Notesp. 307
Bibliographyp. 357
Indexp. 365
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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