The Structure of Soviet History is a unique collection of primary documents and important scholarly articles that tell the fascinating and tragic story of Russia's twentieth century. Ronald Grigor Suny, an eminent historian and political scientist, has compiled pieces that illustrate the revolutionary changes as well as the broad continuities in Soviet History. Not only does he tell the story of Russian people but also of the other Soviet peoples, the nationalities that also made up the tsarist and Soviet empires and formed independent states in the early 1990s. Students can use this volume to delve beyond the usual stories of Russian and Soviet history to look at the building blocks of history - archival documents, memoirs, and interpretive essays by the leading experts in the field. Readers will learn about the fall of the tsarist empire, the hopes, and aspirations of the revolutionary years, the brutalities of the Stalin years, the attempts to reform the country in the last decades of Soviet power, and finally the collapse of the USSR and the emergence of fifteen fragile republics.
Rather than imposing a single view on the reader, this book allows students to use a variety of materials to come up with their own, fresh interpretation of a controversial and often misunderstood experience. The selections will cover political, social, and cultural history from a variety of viewpoints: official pronouncements, dissident manifestos, memoirs, letters and literature. Organized chronologically, these documents and essays will cover all the major events and principal interpretations of Soviet history. An introductory essay will provide the broad outlines of Soviet history and the book's framework, while the chapter introductions will summarize the main features of each period . Each document will be prefaced by headnotes that identify the author and place the work in context. Explanatory notes will also be included, wherever necessary, to define words and events that may not be familiar to readers.