24 February 2022Share
Eminent historian Professor Sheila Fitzpatrick has written many long, thorough books. But her newest book makes a virtue of accessibility.
The Shortest History of the Soviet Union is the story of an empire made an empire undone by one of the world’s leading authorities on Soviet Russia.
The Shortest History of the Soviet Union will be launched at ACU by international philosopher Slovoj Zizek on 29 March. The online event will include a discussion between Professor Fitzpatrick and Professor Zizek and is open to the public, but participants must register.
The publisher, Black Inc Books, describes the book as a small masterpiece, replete with telling detail and peppered with some very black humour.
“Soviet Russia arrived in the world accidentally and departed unexpectedly. More than a hundred years after the Russian Revolution, the tumultuous history of the Soviet Union continues to fascinate us and influence global politics.
“Here is an irresistible entree to a sweeping history. From revolution and Lenin to Stalin’s Great Terror, from World War II to Gorbachev’s perestroika policies, this is a lively, authoritative distillation of seventy-five years of communist rule and the collapse of an empire.
“Sheila Fitzpatrick shows us the fate of non-Russian republics often left out of discussions of Soviet history, provides vivid portraits of key Soviet figures and traces the aftermath of the regime’s unexpected fall, including the rise of Vladimir Putin, a product of the Soviet system but not altogether a Soviet nostalgic.”
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