1st Edition

Russia's Long Twentieth Century
Voices, Memories, Contested Perspectives

ISBN 9780415670371
Published May 17, 2016 by Routledge
290 Pages

USD $52.95

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Book Description

Covering the sweep of Russian history from empire to Soviet Union to post-Soviet state, Russia's Long Twentieth Century is a comprehensive yet accessible textbook that situates modern Russia in the context of world history and encourages students to analyse the ways in which citizens learnt to live within its system and create distinctly Soviet identities from its structures and ideologies.

Chronologically organised but moving beyond the traditional Cold War framework, this book covers topics such as the accelerating social, economic and political shifts in the Russian empire before the Revolution of 1905, the construction of the socialist order under Bolshevik government, and the development of a new state structure, political ideology and foreign policy in the decades since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The authors highlight the polemics and disagreements that energize the field, discussing interpretations from Russian, émigré, and Western historiographies and showing how scholars diverge sharply in their understanding of key events, historical processes, and personalities.

Each chapter contains a selection of primary sources and discussion questions, engaging with the voices and experiences of ordinary Soviet citizens and familiarizing students with the techniques of source criticism. Illustrated with images and maps throughout, this book is an essential introduction to twentieth-century Russian history.

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of maps

Publisher's acknowledgements

An Introduction for Students and Instructors

1 – Empire and Modernization

2 – Modernity, War and Revolution

3 – Constructing the Socialist Order

4 – Making a New World and New People

5 – Revolution from Above

6 – Making Sense of Stalinism

7 – The Great Fatherland War and the Origins of the Cold War

8 – Cold War, Culture, and Everyday Life

9 – Paradoxes of the Thaw

10 – An Era of Stagnation

11 – Gorbachev and the Truth Paradox

12 – Russia after 1991


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Choi Chatterjee is Professor of History at California State University, Los Angeles. She is the author of Celebrating Women: Gender, Festival Culture and Bolshevik Ideology, 1910-1939 (2002), co-author of The Twentieth Century. A Retrospective (2002) and co-editor of Everyday Life in Russia Past and Present (2015), and The Russian Experience: Americans Encountering the Enigma, 1890 to the Present (2012).

Lisa A. Kirschenbaum is Professor of History at West Chester University. She is the author of Small Comrades: Revolutionizing Childhood in Soviet Russia, 1917-1932 (2001); The Legacy of the Siege of Leningrad, 1945-1991 (2006); and International Communism and the Spanish Civil War (2015).

Deborah A. Field is Professor of History and Director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Adrian College. She is the author of Private Life and Communist Morality in Khrushchev’s Russia (2007) and winner of the Adrian College Teaching Excellence Award.



"Russia’s Long Twentieth Century is perfectly suited to American undergraduate students of today. Its stress on interpretation and engagement with sources and its examination of Russian experience within the context of social and intellectual developments in Europe, America, and Asia are fresh and illuminating, a welcome advance over current textbooks. An excellent teaching tool."

David L. Ransel, Indiana University, USA

"This is a very creatively put together, well-researched and thoughtful, analytically-minded textbook on twentieth-century Russian and Soviet history. Its combination of framing questions, lively narratives and varied primary sources will make it an easy choice for anyone teaching a course on the Soviet/Russian twentieth century."

Rebecca Friedman, Florida International University, USA 

"Written by three eminent scholar-teachers of Russian and Soviet History, this inquiry-based textbook reveals how historical narratives are created and empowers students to ask and answer crucial historical questions using biographical vignettes and carefully-selected primary sources. The volume's fresh transnational approach is unique among Russian History texts and will appeal to today's students interested in questions of globalization, inequality and identity. I am deeply impressed with the volume's innovative format and carefully-considered pedagogical aims, and look forward to assigning it in my Russian history classes."

Karen Petrone, University of Kentucky, USA