Last of the Empires

Last of the Empires : A history of the Soviet Union, 1945-1991

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Described as `one of the most tragic human experiences in human history', the Soviet Union as an empire holds much intrigue and fascination for the Western world. It held unquestionable status as an empire, with its coverage of over 100 nationalities. Its status as the `Last of the Empires' depends on what the future may hold, but any future `empires' will undoubtedly be based on intellectual and institutional foundations far different from those developed during the Soviet era. Here John Keep presents the narrative history of the USSR, from the last years of Stalin, to the chequered fate of Gorbachev's reform policies, and the ultimate collapse of the empire under manifold centrifugal pressures. Focusing upon political, economic, social, and cultural developments, the book is divided into four parts; the last years of Stalin; Nikita Krushchev's abortive attempts to reform Communist rule; the years 1964-1985, covered largely by Breshnev's long tenure of power; and lastly Gorbachev's abortive attempts to promote a reformed, `democratic', communism. This book is intended for students (A-level upwards) of modern Soviet history; students and general readers interested in dictatorship and the growth and fall of the Soviet more

Product details

  • Paperback | 490 pages
  • 127 x 190.5 x 27.94mm | 340.19g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • maps, tables, bibliography
  • 0192892371
  • 9780192892379

Review quote

"Written in a clear, scholarly but penetrable style, it provides an abundance of information in a form that is accessible to anybody who wants or needs to remind himself of the chronology and content of those tumultuous years in the Soviet Union."--Economist"Lucid, engaging, and thoughtful, this inquiry is directed at a general readership."--Choice"In this work the distinguished historian John Keep...presents what is by a wide margin the best survey so far of the second half of the Soviet period....With his mastery of sources and subtle, peretrating intelligence, Professor Keep provides a steady, reassuring hand as we grope our way forward."--The Virginia Quarterly Reviewshow more

About John L.H. Keep

John Keep is a retired Professor of Modern Soviet History. His publications include Debate on Power (OUP, 1979) and Soldiers of the Czar: Army and Sociey in Russia, 1462-1874 (OUP, 1985).show more

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