From Stalinism to the New Cold War
In this wide-ranging and acclaimed book, Stephen F. Cohen challenges conventional wisdom about the course of Soviet and post-Soviet history. Reexamining leaders from Nikolai Bukharin, Stalin's preeminent opponent, and Nikita Khrushchev to Mikhail Gorbachev and his rival Yegor Ligachev, Cohen shows that their defeated policies were viable alternatives and that their tragic personal fates shaped the Soviet Union and Russia today. Cohen's ramifying arguments include that Stalinism was not the predetermined outcome of the Communist Revolution; that the Soviet Union was reformable and its breakup avoidable; and that the opportunity for a real post-Cold War relationship with Russia was squandered in Washington, not in Moscow. This is revisionist history at its best, compelling readers to rethink fateful events of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries and the possibilities ahead.
In his new epilogue, Cohen expands his analysis of U.S. policy toward post-Soviet Russia, tracing its development in the Clinton and Obama administrations and pointing to its initiation of a "new Cold War" that, he implies, has led to a fateful confrontation over Ukraine.
Cohen offers us a lesson, and a solution that is at once simple and of priceless value.
David A. Andelman
[George] Kennan's understanding of the Russian state... has proved to have enormous currency over time. Cohen's views should be given similar credence.
William W. Finan Jr.
Provocative and insightful.
Well written and vigorously argued.
Cohen... brings his study of Soviet and Russian political developments to the doorstep of the White House, to powerful effect.
An extraordinarily rich book... an absolutely vital beginning point for anyone interested in a serious study of political and foreign policy developments involving Russia.
Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives finds its stride in Cohen's ability to challenge conventional wisdom on the causes and consequences of major turning points in Soviet and post-Soviet history.
this is one of the first books I would put into the hands of someone who wanted to get a good sense of what the Soviet Union was all about.
Lars T. Lih
Cohen's book is a superbly informed, astute and thought-provoking analysis of late Soviet politics and history.
Among the many strengths of Soviet Fates is not just Stephen Cohen's longtimedepth of expertise but his unrivalled storytelling ability and, perhaps above all, hisrazor-sharp insider observations based on personal exchanges, interviews, and experienceswith key actors...
Introduction: Alternatives and Fates
1. Bukharin's Fate
2. The Victims Return: Gulag Survivors Since Stalin
3. The Tragedy of Soviet Conservatism
4. Was the Soviet System Reformable?
5. The Fate of the Soviet Union: Why Did It End?
6. Gorbachev's Lost Legacies
7. Who Lost the Post-Soviet Peace?
About the Notes