The Soviet Union under Brezhnev (inbunden)
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The Soviet Union under Brezhnev (inbunden)

The Soviet Union under Brezhnev

Inbunden Engelska, 2016-02-01
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The Soviet Union Under Brezhnev provides an accessible post-Soviet perspective on the history of the USSR from the mid-1960's to the mid-1980's. It challenges both the 'evil empire' image of the USSR that was widespread in the early 1980's and the 'stagnation' label attached to the period by Soviet reformers under Gorbachev. The book makes use of a range of memoirs, interviews, archival documents and other sources not available before 1990 to place Brezhnev and his epoch in a broader historical context. The author: examines high politics, foreign policy and policy making explores broader social, cultural and demographic trends presents a picture of Soviet society in the crucial decades prior to the upheavals and crises of the late 1980's While stopping well short of a full-scale rehabilitation of Brezhnev, Tompson rejects the prevailing image of the Soviet leader as a colourless non-entity, drawing attention to Brezhnev's real political skills, as well as his faults, and to the systemic roots of many of the problems he faced.
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William Tompson is Reader in Politics at Birkbeck College, University of London.


Acknowledgements IX Chronology XI PART ONE: INTRODUCTION 1 1. THE SOVIET UNION AT THE END OF THE KHRUSHCHEV ERA 3 The Fall of Nikita Khrushchev 3 The New Leaders 5 Soviet Society a Decade After Stalin's Death 8 The Soviet Union and the World in 1964 9 PART TWO: ANALYSIS 13 2. LEADERSHIP POLITICS 15 High Politics and Brezhnev's Consolidation of Power 15 Brezhnev as Politician: Mannequin or 1;lachiavellian? 17 'Two Brezhnevs'? 20 The Soviet Elite in the Brezhnev Era 22 3. POLICY-MAKING IN THE BREZHNEV ERA 26 Brezhnev as Policy-maker: From Consensus to Stagnation? 26 The Role of the Politburo and Secretariat 28 Taking Advice: Information, Institutions and Expertise 30 Policy-making in Practice: The Case of Arms Control 33 4. FOREIGN POLICY FROM CUBA TO HELSINKI 35 The Defence Build-up of the 1960s 35 Managing. the Bloc 36 War in Vietnam and US-Soviet Relations 39 The Road to Superpower Detente 40 China 42 The Soviet Union and the Developing World 43 The Era of High Detente 47 5. FROM HELSINKI TO THE SECOND COLD WAR 50 Arms Control and Trade 50 Detente Under Strain 52 China 55 VI Contents Afghanistan 56 Poland 58 Conflicting Expectations and the Failure of Detente 59 After Detente 61 6. ECONOMIC POLICY UNDER BREZHNEV AND KOSYGIN 64 Soviet Industry Under the Kosygin Reforms and After 64 The Limits of Reform 67 Soviet Agriculture in the Brezhnev Era 69 Blind Spots in Economic Policy and the 'Obsession with Growth' 72 7. ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE 75 Growth Performance Under Brezhnev and Kosygin 75 The Failure of the Centrally Planned Economy 78 Detente, Foreign Trade and the 'Scientific and Technical Revolution' 82 Living Standards and Household Welfare 83 8. SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE 86 Urbanisation and Education 86 The 'Social Contract' Under Strain 88 Emerging Demographic Problems 91 Nationalities Policy Under Brezhnev 93 9. CULTURE AND IDEAS 98 Culture High and Low 99 The Crackdown on Dissent 103 The Changing Nature of Dissidence 105 Growing Room for 'Permitted Heterodoxy' 107 PART THREE: ASSESSMENT 109 10. BREZHNEV'S LEGACY TO GORBACHEV 111 Brezhnev's Twilight 111 The Andropov Interregnum 113 The Chernenko Interlude 115 State and Society at the End of the Brezhnev Era 117 PART FOUR: DOCUMENTS 119 Glossary 147 Who's Who 150 Guide to Further Reading 153 Bibliography 158 Index