The Soviet Union: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780199238484

Stephen Lovell
168 Pages
112 x 174 mm
Pub date
Jul 2009
Very Short Introductions


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  • Takes a refreshing thematic approach to the history of the Soviet Union - exploring its social, historical, political, and cultural impact
  • Characterises the workings of Soviet society and its political system through from 1917-1991
  • Emphasies the contradictions and paradoxes of this large and complex state
  • Provides an up-to-date consideration of the Soviet Unions's impact and what we have learnt since its end

Almost twenty years after the Soviet Unions' end, what are we to make of its existence? Was it a heroic experiment, an unmitigated disaster, or a viable if flawed response to the modern world?
Taking a fresh approach to the study of the Soviet Union, this Very Short Introductionblends political history with an investigation into the society and culture at the time. Stephen Lovell examines aspects of patriotism, political violence, poverty, and ideology; and provides answers to some of the big questions about the Soviet experience. 


1: Future and past
2: Coercion and participation
3: Poverty and wealth
4: Elite and masses
5: Patriotism and multinationalism
6: West and East

About the author: 

Stephen Lovell is a Reader in Modern European History at King's College London. He is the author of the prize-winning Summerfolk: A History of the Dacha, 1710-2000, and has written widely on Russian social and cultural history.

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