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Dmitri Trenin

ISBN: 978-1-509-52766-3 September 2019 Polity 200 Pages



Over the past century alone, Russia has lived through great achievements and deepest misery; mass heroism and mass crime; over-blown ambition and near-hopeless despair – always emerging with its sovereignty and its fiercely independent spirit intact.

In this book, leading Russia scholar Dmitri Trenin accompanies readers on Russia’s rollercoaster journey from revolution to post-war devastation, perestroika to Putin’s stabilization of post-Communist Russia.  Explaining the causes and the meaning of the numerous twists and turns in contemporary Russian history, he offers a vivid insider’s view of a country through one of its most trying and often tragic periods.  Today, he cautions, Russia stands at a turning point – politically, economically and socially – its situation strikingly reminiscent of the Russian Empire in its final years. For the Russian Federation to avoid a similar demise, it must learn the lessons of its own history.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Russia’s Many Russias

Chapter One: Revolutionary Upheaval (1900-1920)

Chapter Two: The Rise of the Soviet State (1921-1938)

Chapter Three: The War and its Aftermath (1939-1952)

Chapter Four: Mature Socialism and its Stagnation (1953-1984)

Chapter Five: Democratic Upheaval (1985-1999)

Chapter Six: From Stability to Uncertainty (2000-2018)

Conclusion: Forever Russia

Further Reading

"Trenin's succinct, balanced, and thoughtful book is a valuable guide to modern Russian history as seen from the other side."
Sir Rodric Braithwaite, former British ambassador in Moscow and author of Armageddon & Paranoia: The Nuclear Confrontation

"A brilliant, concise interpretation of 120 years of Russian history, plus an insightful look at the future. Essential reading for all concerned about the dangerous – and unnecessary – revival of Cold War tensions."
Jack Matlock, former US ambassador and author of Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended