- Series: Global History of the Present
Russia Since 1989
The enormously complex changes triggered by the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe were nowhere more ambiguous than in the heartland of the Soviet bloc, Russia itself. Here the population was divided on all the most fundamental questions of post-communist transition: economic reforms, the Communist Party, the borders of the state, even the definition of the Russian “nation” itself. Russians also faced plummeting living standards and chronic uncertainty. In a matter of months, Russia was apparently demoted from “evil empire” to despondent poor relation of the prosperous West. Yet the country also seemed alarmingly open to all manner of political outcomes. This book stands back from the turbulent post-Soviet era and inquires into the nature of the “Second Russian Revolution”. It argues that Russia deserves our attention now as much as ever, because it raises so many of the big questions about how societies operate in the modern world.
Eastern Europe Since 1989
From Estonia to Macedonia, this book is a history of fifteen countries as they negotiate their transition from communism. For some, the story ends happily, with triumphant entry into the European Union in 2004. Others are caught in limbo, destroyed by nationalist politics, war and genocide, or crippled by corrupt political practices. The Burdens of Freedom considers the effects of revolutionary change, the resurgence of nationalism and the painful examination of the past. It looks at the process of building stable democratic states and their integration with international structures. Most of the countries have been active participants in the occupation of Iraq. Domestically, each has seen a divide emerge between winners and losers. All are moving forward simultaneously to democracy, unity and prosperity, and national division, corruption and economic disparity.