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Book cover of Post-Soviet Russia: A Journey Through the Yeltsin Era

Post-Soviet Russia: A Journey Through the Yeltsin Era

by Roy Medvedev, George Shriver

Publisher: Columbia University Press
Pages: 394
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780231106061






Available to Buy

Overview of Post-Soviet Russia: A Journey Through the Yeltsin Era

Roy Medvedev, one of the world's best-known Russian scholars and a former consultant to both Gorbachev and Yeltsin analyzes the main events that have transpired in the Russian federation since late August 1991. He looks at the plans that were meant to restructure a society in crisis but -- for reasons both complex and obvious -- were destined to fail. From the drastic liberalization of prices and "shock therapy" to the privatization of state owned property and Yeltsin's resignation and replacement by Vladimir Putin, this is an intricately fascinating saga of good intentions, philosophical warfare, and catastrophic miscalculations.

Among the many compelling facts detailed here are Yeltsin's utter surprise -- and lack of preparation -- at the failed coup against Gorbachev in 1991, when power fell virtually into his lap; his failure to heed the warnings of learned advisers like Yuri Yaremenko, who knew that Western economics could not be applied to Russia; and Yeltsin's dramatic (and unprecedented) decree in 1992 allowing anyone to sell or buy anything they wished.

In a sweeping conclusion covering the critical events of 1998 and 1999 as well as a detailed analysis of the 1995 and 1996 elections, Medvedev lays forth an exhaustive survey of recent political shifts, attitudes, statistics, and trends. From birth and death rates on the farm and in the city through a number of highly charged campaigns and elections to the new goal of the Communist Youth League (to become millionaires), this is a breathtakingly detailed survey of an unforgettable chapter in Russia's history.

Columbia University Press

Synopsis of Post-Soviet Russia: A Journey Through the Yeltsin Era

One of the world's best-known Russian scholars and a former consultant to both Gorbachev and Yeltsin analyzes the events that have transpired in the Russian federation since late August 1991, from the drastic liberalization of prices and "shock therapy" to the privatization of state owned property and Yeltsin's resignation and replacement by Vladimir Putin.

M. Bornstein

Shriver has assembled, and translated from the Russian, published and unpublished material by Medvedev, a Russian historian and political activist, describing and interpreting the interaction of political and economic forces in Russia from 1992 to 1999.

About the Author, Roy Medvedev

Roy Medvedev, a historian and political activist, was a member of the Soviet parliament from 1989 to 1991. He is the author of numerous books, including Khrushchev: The Years in Power; On Soviet Dissent; The October Revolution; and Let History Judge: The Origins and Consequences of Stalinism.

George Shriver has translated and edited several books, including Let History Judge, The October Revolution, and Gorbachev: On My Country and the World (Columbia).

Reviews of Post-Soviet Russia: A Journey Through the Yeltsin Era

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Editorials

Times Literary Supplement

Medvedev recognizes that state socialism was not an appropriate economic model for Russia, and that radical economic reforms were necessary for Russia's economic development... He argues that the approach should have been gradual, taking into account the special characteristics of Russia's social and economic infrastructure.

— Amy Knight

Booklist

Russia's best known contemporary historian comes to grips with his country in the aftermath of communism.

Choice

Shriver has assembled, and translated from the Russian, published and unpublished material by Medvedev, a Russian historian and political activist, describing and interpreting the interaction of political and economic forces in Russia from 1992 to 1999.

— M. Bornstein

History

A valuable contribution to our continuing effort to understand the beginnings of the new Russia.

H-Net

Medvedev's book is a first-rate political chronicle that will undoubtedly figure as one of the best accounts of the events described.

— Carlos Eduardo de Mendonca

Times Literary Supplement

Medvedev recognizes that state socialism was not an appropriate economic model for Russia, and that radical economic reforms were necessary for Russia's economic development... He argues that the approach should have been gradual, taking into account the special characteristics of Russia's social and economic infrastructure.

Choice

Shriver has assembled, and translated from the Russian, published and unpublished material by Medvedev, a Russian historian and political activist, describing and interpreting the interaction of political and economic forces in Russia from 1992 to 1999.

History

Unlike the many superficial and tendentious compositions on the Russian book market devoted to chronicling the social and political life of the past few years, Medvedev's book stands out as an attempt to present an objective picture of Russia's turbulent 1990s... providing a much-needed and richly informed historical perspective on Russia's development.

H-Net

Medvedev's book is a first-rate political chronicle that will undoubtedly figure as one of the best accounts of the events described.

Amy Knight

Medvedev recognizes that state socialism was not an appropriate economic model for Russia, and that radical economic reforms were necessary for Russia's economic development . . . He argues that the approach should have been gradual, taking into account the special characteristics of Russia's social and economic infrastructure.

M. Bornstein

Shriver has assembled, and translated from the Russian, published and unpublished material by Medvedev, a Russian historian and political activist, describing and interpreting the interaction of political and economic forces in Russia from 1992 to 1999.

Library Journal

Medvedev has long been a critic of the Soviet Union (see, e.g., Let History Judge, LJ 6/1/89. rev. ed.) because that system did not live up to the ideals of equality that it professed. In this new work, he is equally critical of the form of capitalism that has emerged in Russia since the end of the Soviet era because it does not live up to the Socialist ideals in which he believes. Although he served briefly in the Council of People's Deputies (1989-91), the author has largely remained outside of the government. He is especially critical of the vouchers and privatization schemes that sold state-owned assets at exceptionally low prices, enabling a few well-connected individuals to earn quick fortunes while impoverishing the great majority of the population. The bulk of this book was written in 1995-96 and includes an in-depth discussion of the 1996 Duma election. Later chapters covering the 1998 bank crisis and the frequent cabinet shuffles of the later Yeltsin years that brought Vladimir Putin to office are much briefer. The portraits of leading figures in the country add an element of human interest to an otherwise plodding presentation. Specialized collections should consider.--Marcia L. Sprules, Council on Foreign Relations Lib., New York Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Booknews

Well known historian and political activist Medvedev was a member of the Soviet parliament from 1989 and 1991, has been an advisor to both Gorbachev and Yeltsin, and has written extensively about Soviet history. Here he analyzes the main events that have transpired in the Russian federation since late August 1991. Among them are the plans to restructure society that failed, the drastic deregulation of prices and the privatization of state owned property, and Yeltsin's resignation and replacement by Vladimir Putin. He does not provide bibliographic references. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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