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By Stephen White

Starting from the Russian revolution of 1917 to the cave in of japanese Europe within the Eighties this learn examines Communist rule. through focusing totally on the USSR and japanese Europe Stephen White covers the foremost themes and concerns affecting those nations, including:* communism as a doctrine* the evolution of Communist rule* the demanding situations to Soviet authority in Hungary and Yugoslavia* the rising financial fragility of the Nineteen Sixties* the complicated strategy of cave in within the Nineteen Eighties. Any pupil or pupil of eu heritage will locate this an important addition to their examining checklist.

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Extra resources for Communism and its Collapse (Making of the Contemporary World)

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In practice, the most important force that held the bloc together was Soviet control over the internal politics and security of its closest allies – a control that began to diminish from the mid-1950s as the USSR itself moved from Stalinist totalitarianism to more broadly based patterns of authoritarian rule. 3 ‘National communism’ in Eastern Europe Communist rule, by the early 1950s, had been established throughout Eastern Europe and beyond; but it helps to understand its collapse a generation later if we remember that it was contested in many of these countries from the outset.

There was no overt challenge to Poland’s international alliances during 1980–1, and the Communist Party had nominally retained its leading role. Nor did it necessarily follow that independent trade unions were incompatible with communist rule, as the Yugoslavian experience appeared to demonstrate. But Yugoslavia was not a member of the Warsaw Pact, and it was in an entirely different geostrategic situation – with a much smaller territory and population, in the Balkans and not between Russia and West Germany.

5 A system in decline By the mid-1980s, when Mikhail Gorbachev became Soviet party leader, there were many who thought communist rule had become firmly established (so, apparently, did he). Partly this was a matter of longevity: there were more and more who had been brought up under socialist conditions, few who had any conscious recollection of a different kind of society. Partly, too, it stemmed from a victory in the Second World War that had been bought at a heavy price, but which appeared to suggest that a system of the Soviet type could overcome the military might of Nazi Germany and do so by rallying ordinary people to its support.

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