1st Edition

From Vladimir Lenin to Vladimir Putin Russia in Search of Its Identity: 1913–2023

By Vladimir N. Brovkin Copyright 2024
    298 Pages
    by Routledge

    298 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book integrates Soviet and post-Soviet Russian history into a coherent whole by focusing on the culture, role models, habits and behavior patterns that provide continuity between various political regimes, systems, and rulers from Vladimir Lenin to Vladimir Putin.

    The unifying theme of all these periods is the central question of identity – how the Russians have defined themselves, their country, and their values. Why did the Bolsheviks try to erase any trace of Old Russia and with what did they try to replace it? Why did Stalin wipe out the kulaks and the old Bolsheviks? What were the political consequences of the Great Patriotic War on the Russians as people? When post-Stalin Russia slowly weakened and gave way to the humanism and Westernization that led to the collapse of the Soviet system, why did the 1990s generate a resurgence of anti-western nationalism? And how to explain the slow and steady break with the West under President Putin?

    This will be a core textbook for undergraduate and graduate students of Russian and European history, and a valuable text for all those interested in how the Russian past influenced and shaped current politics, and in the international East–West divide in particular.

    For YouTube discussions of the book, see:




    1. Smashing the State, Its Culture and Institutions: 1917–1918

    2. Constructing a New Political Order

    3. Old Cultural Practices in a New Form: NEP Russia 1921–1929

    4. The Rise of the Stalinist Dictatorship and of a New Soviet Identity

    5. The Great Patriotic War: The Fusion of the Russian and Soviet Identity

    6. Post-War Stalinism 1945–1953

    7. Stalinism with a Human Face: The Khrushchev Decade: 1953- 1964

    8. The Brezhnev Era: Re-emergence of the Independent Thought

    9. Back to European Values: Soviet Society Under Gorbachev

    10. Disillusionment in Capitalism and Democracy: The Terrible 1990s

    11. The New Beginning: The Putin Years


    Vladimir N. Brovkin is a Russian-born American historian who was Associate Professor of Soviet History at Harvard University in the 1990s. His other books on Russian history include The Mensheviks After October, Behind the Frontlines of the Civil War, Dear Comrades, and Russia After Lenin.