Russia - History - 1917 to 1991
American Girls in Red Russia: Chasing the Soviet Dream
American Girls in Red Russia
Chasing the Soviet Dream
Hardcover      ISBN: 022625612x

If you were an independent, adventurous, liberated American woman in the 1920s or 1930s where might you have sought escape from the constraints and compromises of bourgeois living? Paris and the Left Bank quickly come to mind. But would you have ever thought of Russia and the wilds of Siberia? This choice was not as unusual as it seems now. As Julia L. Mickenberg uncovers in American Girls in Red Russia, there is a forgotten counterpoint to the story of the Lost Generation: beginning in the late nineteenth century, Russian revolutionary ideology attracted many women, including suffragists, reformers, educators, journalists, and artists, as well as curious travelers. Some were famous, like Isadora Duncan or Lillian Hellman; some were committed radicals, though more were just intrigued by the "Soviet experiment." But all came to Russia in search of social arrangements that would be more equitable, just, and satisfying. And most in the end were disillusioned, some by the mundane realities, others by horrifying truths.

Mickenberg reveals the complex motives that drew American women to Russia as they sought models for a revolutionary new era in which women would be not merely independent of men, but also equal builders of a new society. Soviet women, after all, earned the right to vote in 1917, and they also had abortion rights, property rights, the right to divorce, maternity benefits, and state-supported childcare. Even women from Soviet national minorities--many recently unveiled--became public figures, as African American and Jewish women noted. Yet as Mickenberg's collective biography shows, Russia turned out to be as much a grim commune as a utopia of freedom, replete with economic, social, and sexual inequities.

American Girls in Red Russia recounts the experiences of women who saved starving children from the Russian famine, worked on rural communes in Siberia, wrote for Moscow or New York newspapers, or performed on Soviet stages. Mickenberg finally tells these forgotten stories, full of hope and grave disappointments.
The American YMCA and Russian Culture: The Preservation and Expansion of Orthodox Christianity, 1900-1940
The American YMCA and Russian Culture
The Preservation and Expansion of Orthodox Christianity, 1900-1940
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 0739177567

In The American YMCA and Russian Culture, Matthew Lee Miller explores the impact of the philanthropic activities of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) on Russians during the late imperial and early Soviet periods. The YMCA, the largest American service organization, initiated its intense engagement with Russians in 1900. During the First World War, the Association organized assistance for prisoners of war, and after the emigration of many Russians to central and western Europe, founded the YMCA Press and supported the St. Sergius Theological Academy in Paris. Miller demonstrates that the YMCA contributed to the preservation, expansion, and enrichment of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. It therefore played a major role in preserving an important part of pre-revolutionary Russian culture in Western Europe during the Soviet period until the repatriation of this culture following the collapse of the USSR. The research is based on the YMCA's archival records, Moscow and Paris archives, and memoirs of both Russian and American participants. This is the first comprehensive discussion of an extraordinary period of interaction between American and Russian cultures. It also presents a rare example of fruitful interconfessional cooperation by Protestant and Orthodox Christians.

American-Soviet Cultural Diplomacy: The Bolshoi Ballet's American Premiere
American-Soviet Cultural Diplomacy
The Bolshoi Ballet's American Premiere
Hardcover      ISBN: 0739199307

American-Soviet Cultural Diplomacy: The Bolshoi Ballet's American Premiere is the first full-length examination of a Soviet cultural diplomatic effort. Following the signing of an American-Soviet cultural exchange agreement in the late 1950s, Soviet officials resolved to utilize the Bolshoi Ballet's planned 1959 American tour to awe audiences with Soviet choreographers' great accomplishments and Soviet performers' superb abilities. Relying on extensive research, Cadra Peterson McDaniel examines whether the objectives behind Soviet cultural exchange and the specific aims of the Bolshoi Ballet's 1959 American tour provided evidence of a thaw in American-Soviet relations. Interwoven throughout this study is an examination of the Soviets' competing efforts to create ballets encapsulating Communist ideas while simultaneously reinterpreting pre-revolutionary ballets so that these works were ideologically acceptable. McDaniel investigates the rationale behind the creation of the Bolshoi's repertoire and the Soviet leadership's objectives and interpretation of the tour's success as well as American response to the tour. The repertoire included the four ballets, Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, Giselle, and The Stone Flower, and two Highlights Programs, which included excerpts from various pre- and post-revolutionary ballets, operas, and dance suites. How the Americans and the Soviets understood the Bolshoi's success provides insight into how each side conceptualized the role of the arts in society and in political transformation. American-Soviet Cultural Diplomacy: The Bolshoi Ballet's American Premiere demonstrates the ballet's role in Soviet foreign policy, a shift to "artful warfare," and thus emphasizes the significance of studying cultural exchange as a key aspect of Soviet foreign policy and analyzes the continued importance of the arts in twenty-first century Russian politics.

American-Soviet Cultural Diplomacy: The Bolshoi Ballet's American Premiere
American-Soviet Cultural Diplomacy
The Bolshoi Ballet's American Premiere
Paperback      ISBN: 0739199323

American-Soviet Cultural Diplomacy: The Bolshoi Ballet's American Premiere is the first full-length examination of a Soviet cultural diplomatic effort. Following the signing of an American-Soviet cultural exchange agreement in the late 1950s, Soviet officials resolved to utilize the Bolshoi Ballet's planned 1959 American tour to awe audiences with Soviet choreographers' great accomplishments and Soviet performers' superb abilities. Relying on extensive research, Cadra Peterson McDaniel examines whether the objectives behind Soviet cultural exchange and the specific aims of the Bolshoi Ballet's 1959 American tour provided evidence of a thaw in American-Soviet relations. Interwoven throughout this study is an examination of the Soviets' competing efforts to create ballets encapsulating Communist ideas while simultaneously reinterpreting pre-revolutionary ballets so that these works were ideologically acceptable. McDaniel investigates the rationale behind the creation of the Bolshoi's repertoire and the Soviet leadership's objectives and interpretation of the tour's success as well as American response to the tour. The repertoire included the four ballets, Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, Giselle, and The Stone Flower, and two Highlights Programs, which included excerpts from various pre- and post-revolutionary ballets, operas, and dance suites. How the Americans and the Soviets understood the Bolshoi's success provides insight into how each side conceptualized the role of the arts in society and in political transformation. American-Soviet Cultural Diplomacy: The Bolshoi Ballet's American Premiere demonstrates the ballet's role in Soviet foreign policy, a shift to "artful warfare," and thus emphasizes the significance of studying cultural exchange as a key aspect of Soviet foreign policy and analyzes the continued importance of the arts in twenty-first century Russian politics.

The Angel of Grozny: Orphans of a Forgotten War
The Angel of Grozny
Orphans of a Forgotten War
Paperback      ISBN: 0465019498

In the early hours of New Year's 1994, Russian troops invaded the Republic of Chechnya, plunging the country into a prolonged and bloody conflict that continues to this day. A foreign correspondent in Moscow at the time, ?ne Seierstad traveled regularly to Chechnya to report on the war, describing its affects on those trying to live their daily lives amidst violence.

In the following decade, Seierstad became an internationally renowned reporter and author, traveling to the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, and other war-torn regions. But she never lost sight of this conflict that had initially inspired her career. Over the course of a decade, she watched as Russia ruthlessly suppressed an Islamic rebellion in two bloody wars and as Chechnya evolved into one of the flashpoints in a world now focused on the threat of international terrorism.

In 2006, Seierstad finally returned to Chechnya, traveling in secret and under the constant threat of danger. In a broken and devastated society she lived with orphans, the wounded, the lost. And she lived with the children of Grozny, those who will shape the country's future. She asks the question: What happens to a child who grows up surrounded by war and accustomed to violence?

A compelling, intimate, and often heartbreaking portrait of Chechnya today, The Angel of Grozny is a vivid account of a land's violent history and its ongoing battle for freedom.
Armageddon Averted: The Soviet Collapse, 1970-2000
Armageddon Averted
The Soviet Collapse, 1970-2000
2nd Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 0195368630

Featuring extensive revisions to the text as well as a new introduction and epilogue--bringing the book completely up to date on the tumultuous politics of the previous decade and the long-term implications of the Soviet collapse--this compact, original, and engaging book offers the definitive account of one of the great historical events of the last fifty years.

Combining historical and geopolitical analysis with an absorbing narrative, Kotkin draws upon extensive research, including memoirs by dozens of insiders and senior figures, to illuminate the factors that led to the demise of Communism and the USSR. The new edition puts the collapse in the context of the global economic and political changes from the 1970s to the present day. Kotkin creates a compelling profile of post Soviet Russia and he reminds us, with chilling immediacy, of what could not have been predicted--that the world's largest police state, with several million troops, a doomsday arsenal, and an appalling record of violence, would liquidate itself with barely a whimper. Throughout the book, Kotkin also paints vivid portraits of key personalities. Using recently released archive materials, for example, he offers a fascinating picture of Gorbachev, describing this virtuoso tactician and resolutely committed reformer as "flabbergasted by the fact that his socialist renewal was leading to the system's liquidation"--and more or less going along with it.

At once authoritative and provocative, Armageddon Averted illuminates the collapse of the Soviet Union, revealing how "principled restraint and scheming self-interest brought a deadly system to meek dissolution."

Acclaim for the First Edition:

"The clearest picture we have to date of the post-Soviet landscape."
--The New Yorker

"A triumph of the art of contemporary history. In fewer than 200 pagesKotkin elucidates the implosion of the Soviet empire--the most important and startling series of international events of the past fifty years--and clearly spells out why, thanks almost entirely to the 'principal restraint' of the Soviet leadership, that collapse didn't result in a cataclysmic war, as all experts had long forecasted."
-The Atlantic Monthly

"Concise and persuasive The mystery, for Kotkin, is not so much why the Soviet Union collapsed as why it did so with so little collateral damage."
--The New York Review of Books

Armageddon in Stalingrad: September-November 1942?the Stalingrad Trilogy, Volume 2
Armageddon in Stalingrad
September-November 1942?the Stalingrad Trilogy, Volume 2
Hardcover      ISBN: 0700616640

The German offensive on Stalingrad was originally intended to secure the Wehrmacht's flanks, but it stalled dramatically in the face of Stalin's order: Not a Step Back The Soviets' resulting tenacious defense of the city led to urban warfare for which the Germans were totally unprepared, depriving them of their accustomed maneuverability, overwhelming artillery fire, and air support--and setting the stage for debacle.

Armageddon in Stalingrad continues David Glantz and Jonathan House's bold new look at this most iconic military campaign of the Eastern Front and Hitler's first great strategic defeat. While the first volume in their trilogy described battles that took the German army to the gates of Stalingrad, this next one focuses on the inferno of combat that decimated the city itself.

Previous accounts of the battle are far less accurate, having relied on Soviet military memoirs plagued by error and cloaked in secrecy. Glantz and House have plumbed previously unexploited sources--including the archives of the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs (NKVD) and the records of the Soviet 62nd and German Sixth Armies--to provide unprecedented detail and fresh interpretations of this apocalyptic campaign. They allow the authors to reconstruct the fighting hour by hour, street by street, and even building by building and reveal how Soviet defenders established killing zones throughout the city and repeatedly ambushed German spearheads.

The authors set these accounts of action within the contexts of decisions made by Hitler and Stalin, their high commands, and generals on the ground and of the larger war on the Eastern Front. They show the Germans weaker than has been supposed, losing what had become a war of attrition that forced them to employ fewer and greener troops to make up for earlier losses and to conduct war on an ever-lengthening logistics line.

Written with the narrative force of a great war novel, this new volume supersedes all previous accounts and forms the centerpiece of the Stalingrad Trilogy, with the upcoming final volume focusing on the Red Army's counteroffensive.



Autopsy for an Empire: The Seven Leaders Who Built the Soviet Regime
Autopsy for an Empire
The Seven Leaders Who Built the Soviet Regime
Paperback      ISBN: 0684871122

A complete history of the seven men who led the Soviet Union from 1917 to 1991 is based on unprecedented access to Soviet archives and reveals exactly what occurred behind the scenes during every major event in Soviet history. 20,000 first printing.

The Baba and the Comrade: Gender and Politics in Revolutionary Russia
The Baba and the Comrade
Gender and Politics in Revolutionary Russia
Paperback      ISBN: 0253214300

"Meticulously researched, impressively documented, and engrossingly written, . . . it] contributes to a long-overdue reconception of the New Economic Policy (NEP). . . ." --Choice

" . . . a well-organized, sophisticated analysis of the difficulties involved in attempting to reconcile ideology with political, economic, and cultural realities.: --The Russian Review

" . . . a highly persuasive, revealing, and well-documented account of early Bolshevik policy, practice, and language pertaining to the 'baba problem' and the unexpected ways female and male comrades responded to the party-state's tutelary role toward women." --Slavic Review

"This is a rich and densely argued study that embeds the story of the zhenotdel in the context of the political struggles and institutional structures of this formative period of the Russian Revolution. Wood demonstrates clearly the dilemma of whether women party activists should serve the party or their constituents." --American Historical Review

"Wood's convincing work is a welcome addition to the growing literature on the gender-role traditionalism the Communists reinstitutionalized with their revolution." --The Women's Review of Books

How could the baba--traditionally, the "backward" Russian woman--be mobilized as a "comrade" in the construction of a new state and society? Drawing on recently opened archives, Elizabeth A. Wood explains why the Bolsheviks proved unable and ultimately unwilling to realize their ideological notions of a gender-neutral society. Focusing on the creation and activities of the zhenotdel, a special women's section within the Russian Communist Party, Wood reconstructs the ways in which notions of gender sameness and difference both facilitated and complicated Bolshevik efforts at state building during the Civil War and the New Economic Policy.

The Baltic Revolution: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Path to Independence
The Baltic Revolution
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Path to Independence
4th Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 0300060785

World attention has focused on the newly independent Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania, as they struggle to become politically and economically viable. In this timely book, Anatol Lieven presents an intimate and engaging portrait of the history and culture of the Baltic states from their ancient origins to their contemporary status. He explores the culture and personality of the Baltic peoples, their religious and racial differences, their relations with Russia and with the West, and their prospects for the future.

Lieven begins by describing the ancient Baltic peoples, their conquest by the Christians, the evolution of the Lithuanian empire and their union with Poland, and the experience of the Baltic provinces under the Russian Empire. He then looks at the countries' first struggle for independence in 1918, the failure of democracy and the establishment of authoritarian regimes, and the Soviet annexation of the Baltic in 1940. Lieven discusses the class structure of the Baltics and the ethnic tensions that have existed between the Germans, Jews, Poles, and Russians who live there. Drawing on a wide range of sources including interviews, newspaper accounts, and his own observations, he describes and analyzes the rise of national movements in each of the three countries after Glastnost. He concludes by discussing the new constitutions and the elections of 1992, the current forces of order, the demolition of the Soviet economies, and the possibilities for democracy and Europeanization or for ethnic conflict and nationalist dictatorship.