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The Rise and Fall of Communism in Russia$
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Robert V. Daniels

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780300106497

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300106497.001.0001

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Past and Present

Past and Present

Chapter:
(p.400) Chapter 35 Past and Present
Source:
The Rise and Fall of Communism in Russia
Author(s):

Robert Daniels

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300106497.003.0036

The collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union in 1991 and the disintegration of the Russian Empire have forced a reconsideration of Russian history. There are different interpretations of the now defined history of the Soviet system. Nevertheless, all writers on Russian history must address the problem of Russia's national identity, the so-called “Russian idea.” A leading proponent of the simplest, straight-line view of the Soviet experience is Dmitri Volkogonov, a military intellectual in the Soviet Army who became a colonel-general and chief of the military commissar system in the 1980s. In 1990, Volkogonov published his four-volume biography of Joseph Stalin, followed by biographies of Leon Trotsky and Vladimir Lenin and his posthumously published history of the Soviet system in which he provides sketches of its seven leaders: Lenin, Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov, Konstantin Chernenko, and Mikhail Gorbachev.

Keywords:   Communism, Soviet Union, national identity, Russian idea, Dmitri Volkogonov, Joseph Stalin, Leon Trotsky, Vladimir Lenin, Mikhail Gorbachev

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