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A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End
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A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  152 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
An examination of political, social and cultural developments in the Soviet Union. The book identifies the social tensions and political inconsistencies that spurred radical change in the government of Russia, from the turn of the century to the revolution of 1917. Kenez envisions that revolution as a crisis of authority that posed the question, 'Who shall govern Russia?' ...more
Paperback, 342 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by Cambridge University Press (first published March 13th 1999)
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Paul Bryant
Feb 27, 2010 Paul Bryant rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone wanting the know the facts, just the plain facts
Yeah, but it wasn't all bad! Here's a guy with the worst ever toupee singing his bizarro Russian heart out on some Soviet tv show - this is a gift to all my goodreads friends. Note - he doesn't appear immediately, you have to wait 17 seconds. He's worth the wait.
Alyssa Alekseeva
Feb 03, 2013 Alyssa Alekseeva rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
I was looking for a certain USSR ebook and couldn't find it. Instead, this caught my eye, so I downloaded it and started (rather slowly) reading.

Since there is an abundance of information on pre-October Russia, the Lenin era, and the Stalinist era, one would assume there to be a wide-ranging abundance on the following eras, the eras of Khrushchev and the "era of stagnation" under Brezhnev. Sadly, it seems like most of the historical perspectives on those two eras are rather muddled and harder t
Mark Singer
Feb 12, 2011 Mark Singer rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in Russia and the Soviet Union
Recommended to Mark by: Required reading
A surprisingly thorough and comprehensive history of the Soviet Union! This was a required reading in a course I took in the Spring of 2009 at Temple University called "Revolutionary Europe: From the French Revolution to the Collapse of the Soviet Union".
Jul 21, 2015 Steve rated it really liked it
This is a very detailed, in-depth analysis of the Soviet Union from a political and economic perspective. It is a bit dense at times, and assumes some prior knowledge on the origins of the Bolsheviks to fully comprehend the early sections. After that, however, it is a very descriptive, elucidating, and relatively balanced view on what happened under the various leaders of the USSR, why those things happened, and what the effects were on the common people, the leadership, and the world.

Overall, a
Apr 30, 2016 Nicholas rated it really liked it
Kenez gives a thorough rendering of the domestic history of the Soviet Union from 1917 to 1991. Though he uses charged language at times, he remains relatively unbiased compared to Malia and co.
Jul 10, 2010 Bubba rated it really liked it
Shelves: russia-ussr
I was assigned to read this for a course in grad school, but had to drop the class, so I never began it. I didn't think much of it, b/c, at first glance, it seems like the 10,000 other surveys of Soviet history with similar titles. A few weeks ago I saw it in a used bookstore for $1. I figured for a buck it might be worth reading.

Once I actually got into it I was very surprised by the depth of the author's research and analysis. He makes so many insightful points. For it's slim size, it is one o
Eric Huynh
A good account on the history of the soviet union from its premises in the last Tsartist years until its fall and even beyond, to the first election of Vladimir Putin. Economical, political, social aspects, international relations and even cultural life are evoked. However, it's somehow a pity, that the Afghan War is so briefly approached, though it was one of the main elements (among many others) that lead to the final collapse of the USSR.
Apr 18, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
As far as genre go's, I'd consider this the perfect mix between popular and academic history. Kenez presents the Soviet Union in a completely accessible way and with a touch of humour which is often missing from even the best historical discourse. A comparatively easy but complete and informative read that I'd recommend to anyone interested in the foundation, collapse and all over affairs of the former Soviet Union.
Mar 08, 2011 Kathy rated it liked it
Shelves: will-not-finish
Very interesting. I was led to this after reading about Nikolai Vavilov. I wanted to know more about Stalin. I read the first half of the book through Stalin and learned a lot. I am sure that the rest of the book is good too but chose not to read it at this time. So many books. So little time!
John Dembowski
Jan 22, 2011 John Dembowski rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
A concise history of the Soviet Union, putting over 80 decades of history into a coherent story.
A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End by Peter Kenez (1999)
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