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Jyrdis
Auburn Fan
Member since Aug 2015
6488 posts

Soviet Union History
What are some absolute must reads on the history of the Soviet Union?


ridlejs
Member since Aug 2011
78 posts

re: Soviet Union History
I’m reading the first volume of Stalin right now by Kotkin. Not an easy read by any means but is supposed to be the premier biography on Stalin. He only uses actual source materials from the Soviet archives.

I think his Magnetic Mountain may be more of an overview of The Soviet Union.

Either way, Kotkin is very interesting. He is the leading historian on the Soviet Union and is a professor at Princeton. But rather than being an apologist for Marxism and Communism, he blasts it. He also looks and sounds just like Joe Pesci. It’s really funny to listen to someone so brilliant talk the way he does.


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Htowntiger90
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Dec 2018
154 posts

re: Soviet Union History
That's a tough one with so much shrouded behind the Iron Curtain for years and the unreliability of writers depending on their viewpoints.
I read a bio on Stalin: Triumph & Tragedy by Dimitry Volkogonov years back. It was a good read. Volkogonov was head of the Soviet military's psychological warfare dept. Lots of background on the roots of Soviet communism and collectivism.
I also have copies of Kruschev's memoirs (Kruschev Remembers, two volumes) that I bought cheap used and never read. Will I ever? Life may be too short for those (and the Kissinger memoirs I have). And how reliable of a narrator is Kruschev?

This post was edited on 7/12 at 8:26 am


Loubacca
LSU Fan
sittin on the dock of the bay
Member since Feb 2005
3842 posts

re: Soviet Union History
I enjoyed Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire by Dave Remnick

I found this book assumes you have a decent background in the subject when presenting some of the information.


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Ace Midnight
LSU Fan
Between sanity and madness
Member since Dec 2006
68030 posts

re: Soviet Union History
A People's Tragedy by Orlando Figes (Warning: Almost 1000 pages and only covers 1891 to 1924)

The Russian Revolution by Sheila Fitzpatrick (A more concise volume often used as University textbook on the subject, basically runs from right at the Revolution through the rise of Hitler)

Martin McCauley's Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union is a good summary of the entire period under 1 cover.



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LuckyTiger
Minnesota Fan
Someone's Alter
Member since Dec 2008
11955 posts
 Online 

re: Soviet Union History
quote:

And how reliable of a narrator is Kruschev?

I find these experiences interesting as they offer a direct insight into the person’s point of view.


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