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Age of Delirium: The Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  69 ratings  ·  9 reviews
The first state in history to be based explicitly on atheism, the Soviet Union endowed itself with the attributes of God. In this book, David Satter shows through individual stories what it meant to construct an entire state on the basis of a false idea, how people were forced to act out this fictitious reality, and the tragic human cost of the Soviet attempt to remake rea ...more
Paperback, 444 pages
Published February 8th 2001 by Yale University Press (first published 1996)
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Iryna Kogut
Книжка буде цікавою для тих, хто цікавиться історією радянської доби. Її перевага - це спроба описати цю історію, атмосферу пізнього СРСР через індивідуальний досвід людей (простих і не дуже), їхні історії.
Однак була два недоліки, які дуже напружувати впродовж читання. Перший - це трохи дивна структура (чи її брак). Автор чітко (і прямо у вступі) декларує свою основну тезу, про шизофренічний, абсурдний характер життя у СРСР, і впродовж тексту розкриває та ілюструє цю тезу історіями з різних кут
...more
Phillip Kriegel
Jan 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book could probably be half the length; the parts that explain historical events sequentially are particularly weak, since they sort of ramble and jump from place to place making them hard to follow. I would skim those in favor of a Wikipedia article.

Rather the strength of this book is in the personal stories of people who lived in the USSR and the analysis provided by the author. Their ability to maintain multiple belief systems & their experience with cognitive dissonance is examined clos
...more
Chris
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
A vivid and compelling history of how the Soviet Union declined and ultimately failed. It's a bit of a slog as the author makes a significant portion of the book read like stereo instructions but an appellant read for history buffs and those wanting some source material on the failure of Socialism/Communism and tyranny. Read this book to understand a significantly important historical event in World History. ...more
Yaroslava Tymoshchuk
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2020
Я народилася у 1990-му, але на уроках історії нам казали, що причиною Голодомору є посуха. У Болгарії влітку бачила великий ріжок совецького пломбіру, який мав заманювати з вітрини до російських магазинів. У сувенірні магазини боялася й заходити, щоб знову не натрапити на якийсь магнітик зі Сталіном. Працювала на роботі, де до людей, які мали відмінну думку, застосували методи тиску та маніпуляції, сформовані в радянському союзі. Страшно, наскільки глибоко це все проростає і живе. ця книжка дуже ...more
Trent Wallin
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What an incredible book. Resonated with me so much, considering the significant time I’ve spent in Russia myself. Such wonderful people who lived under such an oppressive, reprehensible regime for decades!
Анатолій Бабинський
Глибокий аналіз радянської суті.
Frank Roberts
May 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
It took me a long time to read this book. I could only take it in small portions at a time.

What was life like for the average Soviet citizen living under that regime? What did they go through when Glasnost and Perestroika brought a new honesty to their history, their politics, and their culture? This is an amazing book that movingly and thoroughly addresses these questions.

As I said, this book was not one I read quickly. Each chapter had impact on me, as I read of the crushing tyranny of the so
...more
University of Chicago Magazine
David Satter, AB’68
Author

The first state in history to be based explicitly on atheism, the Soviet Union endowed itself with the attributes of God. In this book, David Satter shows through individual stories what it meant to construct an entire state on the basis of a false idea, how people were forced to act out this fictitious reality, and the tragic human cost of the Soviet attempt to remake reality by force.
Barry
A collection of interviews and the author's view that the fatal flaw of the Soviet Union was its official atheism. ...more
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David Satter is senior fellow, Hudson Institute, and fellow, Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He was Moscow correspondent for the Financial Times from 1976 to 1982, then a special correspondent on Soviet affairs for the Wall Street Journal.

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