The Gorbachev Phenomenon : An Historical Interpretation

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9780520062573: The Gorbachev Phenomenon : An Historical Interpretation
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The "Gorbachev phenomenon" is seen as the product of complex developments during the last seventy years--developments that changed the Soviet Union from a primarily agrarian society into an urban, industrial one. Here, for the first time, a noted authority on Soviet society identifies the crucial historical events and social forces that explain Glasnost and political and economic life in the Soviet Union today.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Glasnost under Gorbachev has its roots in Khrushchev's de-Stalinization and Kosygin's attempted economic reforms, notes Lewin, professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania. He contrasts the agrarian despotism that Lenin and Stalin presided over with today's highly industrialized society in which well-educated urban citizens are dominant. Soviet mass media cannot brainwash the individual, Lewin asserts, because a maze of interpersonal relations and informal groups serve as a shield against indoctrination. Themes like personal autonomy and individuality have filtered into public discourse. In an instructive and highly readable analysis, Lewin pinpoints Gorbachev's main strength as his awareness that all parts of the systemsociety, party, state, economymust be reformed simultaneously.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

A major interpreter of Soviet history, Lewin briefly examines evolving Soviet social patterns from their 1917 origins to the present in an effort to place the current glasnost and reformism into sharper perspective. His rather dry sociological approach will not appeal to the generalist, while the brevity of treatment may not satisfy the specialist. Nevertheless, his book provides useful evidence that the Soviet Union is not some monstrous monolith but, rather, a heterogeneous, socially dynamic entity whose rapid transformation from underdeveloped provincialism to urban superpower status is unprecedented. Mark R. Yerburgh, Trinity Coll. Lib., Burlington
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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