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Rather decent albeit brief summary of the life of the USSR Only criticism I have is that it didn t adequately discuss the USSR losing money by propping up their European puppet governments E Germany, Poland, etc. A well thought out critique of Soviet Socialism from the early beginnings and origins to the, some say inevitable, downfall. @DOWNLOAD BOOK ⚤ Soviet Tragedy: A History of Socialism in Russia õ The Soviet Tragedy is an essential coda to the literature of Soviet studiesInsofar as he returns the power of ideology to its central place in Soviet history, Malia has made an enormous contribution He has written the history of a utopian illusion and the tragic consequences it had for the people of the Soviet Union and the world David Remnick, The New York Review of Books In Martin Malia, the Soviet Union had one of its most acute observers With this book, it may well have found the cornerstone of its history Francois Furet, author of Interpreting the French Revolution The Soviet Tragedy offers the most thorough scholarly analysis of the Communist phenomenon that we are likely to get for a long while to comeMalia states that his narrative is intended to substantiate the basic argument, and this is certainly an argumentative book, which drives its thesis home with hammer blows On this breathtaking journey, Malia is a witty and often brilliantly penetrating guide He has much wisdom to impart The Times Literary Supplement This is history at the high level, well deployed factually, but particularly worthwhile in the philosophical and political context at once a view and an overview The Washington Post This was a lotthan I wanted Plus I did not always agree with the authors opinions but it was well organized Refreshed my memory about the pre WWI period I think I am well read up on Russia now to keep me for a few years This was a long read. An undertaking, to be sure, but if you can get through this mountain of the political life of the Soviet Union, you may find yourself with a new outlook, thanks to Malia s convincing attempt to undermine the idea that popular revolution lead to the establishment of Communism in Russia He contends that the coup to establish democratic Socialism lost out to oligarchy and that Stalin s successors spent their careers scrambling to reform, yet also preserve the legacy of Stalin and his era of charis An undertaking, to be sure, but if you can get through this mountain of the political life of the Soviet Union, you may find yourself with a new outlook, thanks to Malia s convincing attempt to undermine the idea that popular revolution lead to the establishment of Communism in Russia He contends that the coup to establish democratic Socialism lost out to oligarchy and that Stalin s successors spent their careers scrambling to reform, yet also preserve the legacy of Stalin and his era of charisma Read it over a year ago, on the heels of Pipes Russian Revolution Considered to be Malia s magnum opus it fully lives up to its reputation I was taking copious notes at the time, and today they aptly demonstrate that unless you systematize the notes shortly after, they morph into a fine gallery of memory lapses Still, some neural circuits were vaguely triggered and the illusion of time not wasted was kept afloat To that effect a few takeaways are worth penning down The only practical Ma Read it over a year ago, on the heels of Pipes Russian Revolution Considered to be Malia s magnum opus it fully lives up to its reputation I was taking copious notes at the time, and today they aptly demonstrate that unless you systematize the notes shortly after, they morph into a fine gallery of memory lapses Still, some neural circuits were vaguely triggered and the illusion of time not wasted was kept afloat To that effect a few takeaways are worth penning down The only practical Marxism is Leninism, and Lenin s socialist objective can only be realized by Stalin s methods Soviet regime turned to totalitarianism because it was socialist, not despite it Theme historical development of Socialism in Russia as hard soft oscillation Theme absolutely monstrous crimes against individual in pursuit of common good Per Malia communism s legacy is a broad acceptance of the idea that market is required for econ growth, and that injection of broad state supported safety net into capitalism is required for immunity Written in 1994 Malia dies in 2004 , he also predicts that socialist equality tendencies will inevitably resurge after the next global economic crisis More disturbingly he vividly describes a future transmigration of Marxist paradigm into identity politics with a heavy dose of oppressor oppressed rhetoric Rest are notes to self on Stalin only Lenin, Khrushchev, Breznnev, Andropov, Chernenko , Gorbachev Yeltsin are covered in my other reviews 29 35 collectivization, 5Y plans, industrialization 5Y plan concrete manifestation of Condorcet Comte Saint Simon ideas Stalin s problem proletariat required for Socialism didn t exist in Russia Solution eliminate kulak as a class and create proletariat.Stalin kicks Lenin s embryonic kulak elimination program into high gear Gulag.Holodomor 32 33 6 11MCollectivization is a total disaster for agriculture, nightmare of lives lost, and leaves a permanent scar on the psyche of the countryPer Malia collectivization, horrific as it is, does lead to Stalin s only historical achievement Industrialization In his very recent work Stephen Kotkin argues that collectivization retarded the rate of industrialization By 34 35 Soviet Union and US are the only two completely self sufficient powers Industrialization found its purpose in military complex to fight perceived, and then real, enemies 35 39 Purges, Great Terror, party consolidation Stalin s rationale for the purges erase memories of collectivization and consolidate control His position and party itself is shaky Rightists , Leftists Needs to clean up the ranks, erase the memories of mistakes insubordination, and stabilize Additional outside pressures international situation, rise of fascism, militarization Alliance of left w commies in opposition to fascism dangerous for Stalin Stalin abandons any hope of world revolution , but goes for full consolidation of power at home 36 show trials and public purges of Stalin s rivals 37 39 private in depth purges of loyalists Party men managerial cadres, officer corps, NKVD, professionals This Stalin s Second Revolution creates social mobility to fill the empty ranks with fresh men unburdened by historical memories of Party s mistakes Seeds of Stalin built Brezhev s generation Brezhnev, Gromyko, Andropov, Kchruchev, Chernenko Gulag Essential for the system, required for 5Y year plan industrialization4 major waves early 30s collectivization, mid late 30s purges, 39 40 western territory annexation, WW2 traitors , minorities, post war collaborators Price Overall demographic shortfall 15M for 26 39, plus 55M 39 50 half deaths, half shortfall in birth Actual deaths in camps 20M deaths from political causes, even per official today s numbers Many regimes relied on terror, Stalin s had some unique features Public show trials plus totally private confessions that were never made public Lack of resistance within the Party in any of its branches 45 53 post war rebuilding, cold war, stability of the party Restoration what was lost during the war politics, economy, culture Slightly softer style.Growth of party, professionals nomenklaturaNew directions missiles, nuclear, space.Fundamental incompatibility with the West Cold war and Iron Curtain 49 53 emphasis on stability of the Party, signs of dementia, preparation for another purge, death An insightful analysis of the logic of Soviet history Malia not only examines both internal Russian and external international circumstances that led first to the creation of Soviet state and its further development and fall, he also traces how the Communist ideology determined the actions of Soviet leaders in said circumstances His view is that the trajectory of Soviet development was defined primarily by this ideology. A very fixed anti Soviet buyist Well explained, but I doubt it s the whole truth Especially interesting from Stalin s death onwards, because until that point I feel I learnt no new information The description of the times posterior to that, as well as the moments leading up to the collapse of the URSS were farinformative and interesting. T ko ci, zda existuje ucelen j anal za a synt za o socialismu Osobn mohu ci snad jen to, e jsem nic ucelen j ho na toto t ma ne etl Kniha je rozhodn studijn m a v deck m materi lem, nikoliv n jak m elov zabarven m politick m testamentem, z v r, ke kter mu lze lacin sklouznout p i etb jak koliv knihy z oboru spole ensk ch v d Uk zka zaj mav ho analytick ho post ehu je ne prosn logika periodick ho st d n obdob maximalistick ho socialismu, to, co je naz v no naz v no v le n T ko ci, zda existuje ucelen j anal za a synt za o socialismu Osobn mohu ci snad jen to, e jsem nic ucelen j ho na toto t ma ne etl Kniha je rozhodn studijn m a v deck m materi lem, nikoliv n jak m elov zabarven m politick m testamentem, z v r, ke kter mu lze lacin sklouznout p i etb jak koliv knihy z oboru spole ensk ch v d Uk zka zaj mav ho analytick ho post ehu je ne prosn logika periodick ho st d n obdob maximalistick ho socialismu, to, co je naz v no naz v no v le n m komunismem i, a uvoln n j pragmatickou politikou, to co komunist naz vali NEP Nov Ekonomick Politika , perestrojka i obecn ji reformn komunismus Jestli e se v kapitalistick ekonomice st daj obdob recese a konjunktury, tak komunist ve sv m centr ln zen m syst mu vlastn dosp li k t mu Od Marxe se tak m eme zhoupnout a k Hayekovi, kter periodick st d n recese a konjunktury v tr n ekonomice teoreticky vysv tlil a a koliv nemaj brut ln metody komunistick ho socialismu v tr n ekonomice obdobu, v ra v technokratick zen spole nosti vede vlastn k t mu.Zaj mav je popis Chru ovovy, Bre n vovy a Gorba ovovy ry, kter nen v tomto kontextu zdokumentov na tak, jako klasick dikt torsk ra Lenina a Stalina Popis mechanismu kolektivizace za Stalina u dnes tolik nep ekvap , ale t eba to, e se Chru ov sna il demokratizovat vzd l vac syst m zru en m koln ho na univerzit ch, zaveden pr v Stalinem, i vyhl sit povinnou desetiletou doch zku, nebo e a v roce 1956 byly zavedeny starobn d chody a to pouze pro d ln ky, pro roln ky a o 10 let pozd ji, m e na v dobytky socialismu , m tu ide lu rovnosti, a role socialismu jako syst mu, kter popoh n l kapitalistick ekonomiky v zav d n soci ln ch jistot, vn et pon kud jin sv tlo Kniha je takov mito informacemi protk na, co zpest uje jinak ne v dy snadn ten.Zaj mav je p esah z v re n kapitoly do dne n ch dn , jak si vahy na t ma k emu to cel bylo a kam n s to t eba jednou dovede Znamen to, e je maximalistick poku en jednou pro v dy za ehn no T m s jistotou nikoliv Zrovna tak lze o ek vat poku en znovu vzk sit ideu superst tu pokud by se objevil siln z jem o dajn spole n blaho.Mocn m kandid tem na roli katalyz toru je rovn u lechtil ekologick hnut , kter podle sv ch slov h j spole n , p mo planet rn z jmy lidstva proti sobeck touze po zisku a r stu ze strany boh A p li zn m m v razivem odsuzuje anarchii trhu, pr va jedince pod izuje snaze o spole n blaho, a nav c m v z loze ekopl nov nPraktick ot zky ekologie jsou z sadn prezentov ny jako mor ln a ve sv ch extr mn j ch podob ch p ech z ekologie v hnut za z chranu lidsk ho rodu Znovu v ak mus me upozornit, e zm n n probl my se zap ahuj do slu eb star zn m spasitelsk metafyziky, kter je daleko p esahuje V nedokonal m sv t m zkr tka utopie sv pevn m sto a bylo by po etil p edpokl dat, e ztroskot n nejv t utopie na eho v ku povede k z niku utopick politiky A to bylo naps no v roce 1994, kdy vy la tato kniha v origin le U it se, u it se, u it se.V I Lenin This generally excellent interpretive survey of the history of the Soviet Union is not without its flaws As other reviewers have noted, Malia s bias towards utter disdain of socialism and the Soviet Union is noticeable combined with the general tendency of historical narratives to require certain facts to be shoe horned in, there are several places where the astute reader may take exception with Malia s characterization of events Additionally, though his prose is generally highly readable, hi This generally excellent interpretive survey of the history of the Soviet Union is not without its flaws As other reviewers have noted, Malia s bias towards utter disdain of socialism and the Soviet Union is noticeable combined with the general tendency of historical narratives to require certain facts to be shoe horned in, there are several places where the astute reader may take exception with Malia s characterization of events Additionally, though his prose is generally highly readable, his diction is regularly pretentious.Ordinarily, these flaws would be enough to cause me to drop my star rating a bit I am declining to do so, however, because Malia s thesis is argued so forcefully For a dense, 520 page work of history, I could not put it down Malia argues that the basic rottenness of the Soviet system was not due to any particular circumstances of the experiment but to the failures of socialism itself He does not see Stalin as an aberration, but rather as a logical consequence of a system that requires power to be concentrated in a single set of hands for it to function Even then, as Malia demonstrates in his examination of the regimes of Kruschev, Brezhnev, and Gorbachev, it functions poorly.I read this book hoping to fill in the gaps of my knowledge of Soviet history as part of a general study of the twentieth century, not because I hoped to find ammunition to dispute the arguments of the self proclaimed socialists now ascending in Western society On the contrary Malia takes great pains to point out that mere support of a welfare state hardly qualifies one as a socialist However, having read this, I would suggest that it would make an excellent addition to the reading list of those who are inclined to socialist sympathies Though I noted his bias, Malia is hardly a socialized medicine type He was a leading expert on the Soviet Union, and this book reflects a deep understanding of that defunct empire s political and economic systems The book s epilogue on the future of socialism is notable both fornits prescience and its charitability towards a political Left with which Malia has profound disagreement The Soviet Tragedy is a great book, and beyond its merits as a work of history deserves to bewidely read as a reality check on what many are actually advocating.5 5 stars