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Ideology and the Collapse of the Soviet System
A Critical History of Soviet Ideological Discourse. Studies of Communism in Transition
This innovative book offers a critical history of the development of Soviet ideology, discussing its centrality to Soviet politics and the destructive effect that it had on the Gorbachev reforms. Neil Robinson analyses the nature and historical evolution of Soviet ideology between 1917 and 1985 to demonstrate the structural importance of Soviet ideological discourse and the uncertain place that it allocated to the communist party in the Soviet political system. On the basis of this analysis, Dr Robinson provides a fresh interpretation of Gorbachev's political reforms. He describes the ideological dynamic that underwrote the development of perestroika, how Gorbachev's ideas on democratization sent contradictory messages to the communist party, and how this stimulated opposition to perestroika from party cadres and Soviet society. Ideology and the Collapse of the Soviet System establishes the ideological roots of the crisis of Soviet power under Gorbachev and provides a convincing account of the Soviet system's inability to reform itself.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'... this work is a serious attempt to bring ideology back into discussions about the end of the Soviet Union.' -- Bartholomew Goldyn, Slovo '... this is an excellent book which sheds considerable light upon the role of ideology, particularly in the last years of the Soviet Union.' -- Graeme Gill, Europe - Asia Studies '... Robinson's book is invaluable and will be of lasting value.' -- Michael Waller, Keele University, UK 'Robinson's method is considerably more advanced than the methodologies that informed most discussions of this subject while the USSR was still in existence. He asks better questions and comes up with more stimulating answers than one is likely to find in conventional sovietological accounts.' -- Michael Urban, Slavic Review