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HIST2301
HIST2301 Reading List

The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union, 1921-1993, 2021/22, Semester 2
Dr James Harris
j.r.harris@leeds.ac.uk
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

WEEK 2. Soviet History

Core Reading:

Stephen Lovell, The Soviet Union: A Very Short Introduction (1999)

WEEK 3. LEGITIMACY

Either Labour Unrest

Core Reading:

W. Rosenberg, ‘Russian Labor and Bolshevik Power after October’ Slavic Review v. 44 #2 1985 (pp. 213-38)

M. Lewin “More than One Piece is Missing in the Puzzle” Slavic Review v. 44 #2 1985 (pp. 239-43)

V. Brovkin, “Politics, not Economics was the Key” Slavic Review v. 44 #2 1985 (pp. 244-50)

W. Rosenberg, “Reply” Slavic Review v. 44 #2 1985 (pp. 251-56)

Further Reading:

V. Brovkin, “Workers’ Unrest and the Bolsheviks’ Response in 1919” Slavic Review v. 49 #3 (1990) pp. 350-73

S. A. Smith, Red Petrograd: Revolution in the Factories 1917-1918 (1983)

Or Cheka/Terror

Core Reading:

James Harris, The Great Fear (2016) ch. 1

Iain Lauchlan, “Chekist Mentalite and the Origins of the Great Terror” in James Harris, The Anatomy of Terror (2013) pp. 13-28.

James Ryan, “The Sacralization of Violence: Bolshevik Justifications for Violence and Terror during the Civil War” Slavic Review 4 (2015), pp. 808-831.

Further Reading:

Gabor Rittersporn, “Omnipresent Conspiracy: On Soviet Imagery of Politics and Social Relations in the 1930s” in Arch Getty and Roberta Manning eds., Stalinist Terror: New Perspectives (1993) pp. 99-115.

Arno Mayer, The Furies: Violence and Terror in the French and Russian Revolutions (2000) ch. 15

Peter Holquist, “State Violence as Technique: The Logic of Violence in Soviet Totalitarianism” in David Hoffman ed., Stalinism: The Essential Readings (2008) pp. 128-156.

WEEK 4. The End of NEP

Core Reading:

Stephen F. Cohen, Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution ch. 8 “The Crises of Moderation”.  

Sheila Fitzpatrick, “The Civil War as a Formative Experience” in Abbott Gleason, Peter Kenez and Richard Stites eds., Bolshevik Culture: Experiment and Order in the Russian Revolution (1989) pp. 57-76.  

Anne E. Gorsuch, “NEP Be Damned! Young Militants in the 1920s and the Culture of Civil War” Russian Review, 4 (1997), pp. 564-580

Further Reading:

Michal Reiman, The Birth of Stalinism: The USSR on the Eve of the “Second Revolution” (1987)

Sheila Fitzpatrick, “Cultural Revolution in Russia, 1928-1932”, Journal of Contemporary History 1 (1974), 33-52

Michael David-Fox “What Is Cultural Revolution?” Russian Review, 2 (1999), 181-201

Matthias Neumann, The Communist Youth League and the Transformation of the Soviet Union, 1917-1932 (2011)

S. Cohen, Rethinking the Soviet Experience (1985), chs 2

J. Harris, The Great Urals: Regionalism and the Evolution of the Soviet System (1999) ch. 3.

L. Siegelbaum, Soviet State and Society between Revolutions 1918-1929 (1992)

A. Nove and J. Millar, 'A Debate on Collectivisation: Was Stalin Really Necessary?', Problems of Communism, 25/4 (1976), also in Ward Stalinist Dictatorship (1998)

R. Tucker, Stalinism as Revolution from Above in R. Tucker ed., Stalinism: Essays in Historical Interpretation (1977)

Isaac Deutscher, Stalin: A Political Biography (1949) ch. 8 “The Great Change”

Moshe Lewin, The Making of the Soviet System (1985) ch. 11 “The Social Background of Stalinism”; ch. 9 “State, Society and Ideology During the First Five Year Plan”

James R. Hughes, “The Irkutsk Affair: Stalin, Siberian Politics and the End” Soviet Studies 41 no. 2 (1989) JSTOR

WEEK 5. NATIONALITIES

Core Reading:

Yuri Slezkine, “The USSR as a Communal Apartment, or How a Socialist State Promoted Ethnic Particularism” in Slavic Review 2 (1994) pp. 414-452.

Francine Hirsch, “Toward an Empire of Nations: Border Making and the Formation of Soviet National Identities” The Russian Review 2 (2000) pp. 201-226.

Peter Blitstein, “Nation-building or Russification? Obligatory Russian Instruction in the Soviet Non-Russian School, 1938-1953” in Ronald Grigor Suny and Terry Martin eds., A State of Nations: Empire and Nation-Making in the Age of Lenin and Stalin (2001)

Erik Van Ree, The Political Thought of Joseph Stalin (2002), ch. 14.

Further Reading:

Ronald Grigor Suny, Revenge of the Past: Nationalism, Revolution and the Collapse of the Soviet Union (1993)

________________, “State, Civil Society and Ethnic Cultural Consolidation in the USSR: The Roots of the National Question” in Gail Lapidus and Victor Zaslavsky eds., From Union to Commonwealth (1992) and in

Alexander Dallin and Gail Lapidus eds., The Soviet System: From Crisis to Collapse (1995)

Terry Martin, The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939 (2001)

__________, “Modernization of Neotraditionalism? Ascribed Nationality and Soviet Primordialism” in Sheila Fitzpatrick ed., Stalinism: New Directions (2000)

J Dunlop, The Rise of Russia and the Fall of the Soviet Empire (1993)

Nicholas Werth, “The 'Chechen Problem': Handling an Awkward Legacy, 1918-1958” Contemporary European History 3 (2006) 347-366.

Francine Hirsch, Empire of Nations: Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet Union (2005).

Nationalities Policy under Gorbachev

(This list is useful for those of you who want to return to this theme for seminars on Gorbachev and the collapse)

Nikolai Botev, “The Ethnic Composition of Families in Russia in 1989: Insights into the Soviet ‘Nationalities Policy’” Population and Development Review 4 (2002), 681-706

Mark R. Beissinger, Nationalist Mobilization and the Collapse of the Soviet State (2002),

Mark R. Beissinger, “Soviet Empire as ‘Family Resemblance’'' Slavic Review 2 (2006), 294-303

Alexander Motyl, The Post-Soviet Nations: Perspectives on the Demise of the USSR (1992)

Gail Lapidus, “From Democratization to Disintegration: the Impact of Perestroika on the National Question” in Gail Lapidus and Victor Zaslavsky eds., From Union to Commonwealth (1992) HDC

Victor Zaslavsky, “The Evolution of Separatism in Soviet Society under Gorbachev” in Gail Lapidus and Victor Zaslavsky eds., From Union to Commonwealth (1992) HDC

Miron Rezun ed., Nationalism and the Break-up of an Empire: Russia and its Periphery (1992)

Yitzhak Brudny, Reinventing Russia: Russian Nationalism and the Soviet State (1998)

Mark Beissinger, Nationalist Mobilization and the Collapse of the Soviet State (2002)

Rachel Denber, The Soviet Nationality Reader: The Disintegration in Context (1992)

Stephen White, Gorbachev and After (1992) ch. 5 “The Soviet Multinational State”

Archie Brown, The Gorbachev Factor (1996) ch. 8 “The National Question, the Coup and the Collapse of the Soviet Union”

Victor Zaslavsky, “Success and Collapse: Traditional Soviet Nationality Policy” in Ian Bremmer and Ray Taras, Nations and Politics in the Soviet Successor States (1993)

Rogers Brubaker, “Nationhood and the National Question in the Soviet Union and Post-Soviet Eurasia” Theory and Society v. 23 #1 (1994)

Gail Lapidus, “Gorbachev’s Nationalities Problem” Foreign Affairs (Fall, 1989) pp. 92-108.

WEEK 6. THE ECONOMY

Core Reading:

 James Harris and Sarah Davies, Stalin’s World (2015) ch. 1 “Bolshevik Leadership”

Holland Hunter “The Overambitious First Soviet Five-Year Plan” Slavic Review 2 (1973) pp. 237-57 plus comments by Stephen Cohen and Moshe Lewin

Stephen F. Cohen, “The Friends and Foes of Change: Reformism and Conservativism in the Soviet Union” in Stephen F. Cohen, Alexander Rabinowitch and Robert Sharlet eds., The Soviet Union Since Stalin (1980) and in Stephen F. Cohen, Rethinking the Soviet Experience (1985)  

Further Reading:

Podcast: Stalin and the Economic Transformation of the USSR pt. 1 https://youtu.be/4zNh-05WqBI; pt. 2 https://youtu.be/O4S0tgTsiUw; pt. 3 https://youtu.be/jHgKmG4V7Zo

Hiroaki Kuromiya, Stalin’s Industrial Revolution (1988) esp. ch. 11

Moshe Lewin, “Society, State and Ideology During the First Five-Year-Plan” in Sheila Fitzpatrick ed., Cultural Revolution in Russia, 1928-1931 (1978). Also in Moshe Lewin, The Making of the Soviet System (1985) pp. 209-240

Robert Tucker, Stalinism: Essays in Historical Interpretation (1977) ch. 4 (part 1) “Stalinism as Revolution from Above” pp. 77-110.

The Economy from Stalin to Gorbachev

Moshe Lewin, The Gorbachev Phenomenon (1988) esp. chs. 1-7.  

Robert Service, A History of Twentieth Century Russia (1997) ch. 20 “Developed Socialism”

Robert Tucker, Political Culture and Leadership in Soviet Russia from Lenin to Gorbachev (1987) ch. 6 “Swollen State, Spent Society: Stalin’s Legacy to Brezhnev’s Russia” pp. 108-139.

Arthur W. Wright, “Soviet Economic Planning and Performance” in Stephen F. Cohen, Alexander Rabinowitch and Robert Sharlet eds., The Soviet Union Since Stalin (1980)

Ed A. Hewett, “Is Soviet Socialism Reformable?” in Alexander Dallin and Gail Lapidus eds., The Soviet System: From Crisis to Collapse (1995)

Alec Nove, An Economic History of the USSR, 1917-1991 (1992)

Alec Nove, The Soviet Economic System (1986)

Alec Nove, Political Economy and Soviet Socialism (1979)

Stephen Whitefield, Industrial Power and the Soviet State (1993)

Holland Hunter and Janusz M. Szyrmer, Faulty Foundations: Soviet Economic Policies, 1928-1940 (1992)

Joseph Berliner, Soviet Industry from Stalin to Gorbachev (1988)

George W. Breslauer, “Soviet Economic Reforms since Stalin: Ideology, Politics and Learning” Soviet Economy v. 6 #3 (1990) pp. 252-280.

Stephen Kotkin, Armageddon Averted (2001)

Seweryn Bialer, The Soviet Paradox: External Expansion, Internal Decline (1986)

Alan H. Smith, “Soviet Economic Prospects: Can the Soviet Economic System Survive?” in Martin McCauley ed., The Soviet Union after Brezhnev (1983) pp. 62-81

WEEK 8. POLITICAL VIOLENCE

Core Reading:

James Harris ed., The Anatomy of Terror: Political Violence under Stalin (2013) esp introduction, Rees

Arch Getty and R Manning (eds.) Stalinist Terror. New Perspectives (1993) esp chapters by Rittersporn, Getty

Lynne Viola “The Question of the Perpetrator in Soviet History” Slavic Review 1 (2013), pp. 1-23

O. Khlevniuk, Master of the House: Stalin and his Inner Circle (2008) ch. 5

Further Reading:

 R. Conquest, The Great Terror: A Reassessment (1990)

Arch Getty, Origins of the Great Purges: The Soviet Communist Party Reconsidered, 1933-1938 (1985)

James Harris, The Great Fear: Stalin’s Terror of the 1930s (2016)

O. Khlevniuk, ‘The Objectives of the Great Terror, 1937-38’, in M. Perrie et al (eds), Soviet History 1917-1953 (1995).

Nicolas Werth, ‘A State against its People: Violence, Repression, and Terror in the Soviet Union’, in The Black Book of Communism: Crime, Terror, Repression, (1999).

Arch Getty, “Excesses are not Permitted: Mass Terror and Stalinist Governance in the Late 1930s” Russian Review (2002) pp. 113-138.

La Police Politique en Union Sovietique, 1918-1953 a special edition of Cahiers du Monde Russe v. 42 #2-4 2001 esp. Foreword and articles by Shearer, Harris and Hagenloh (all in English).

E.A. Rees, The Nature of Stalin’s Dictatorship (2004)

James Harris, ‘Was Stalin a Weak Dictator?’ Journal of Modern History 75 no. 2 (2003), 375-86.

James R. Harris, 'The Purging of Local Cliques in the Urals Region, 1936-37' in S. Fitzpatrick, Stalinism: New Directions (2000), 262-85.

Peter Holquist, ‘State Violence as Technique: The Logic of Violence in Soviet Totalitarianism,’ in Amir Weiner, Landscaping the Human Garden: Twentieth-Century Population Management in a Comparative Perspective, (2003).

Wendy Z. Goldman, Terror and Democracy in the Age of Stalin: The Social Dynamics of Repression (2007).

Barry McLoughlin and Kevin McDermott, Stalin’s Terror: High Politics and Mass Repression in the Soviet Union (2003)

H. Kuromiya, 'Accounting for the Great Terror', Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, Neue Folge, Bd. 53, H. 1 (2005), pp. 86-101, JSTOR

M. Lewin, The Soviet Century (2005), ch. 9 and 10.

S. Wheatcroft ed. Challenging Traditional Views of Russian History (2002), ch. 6

WEEK 9. DISSENT/CIVIL SOCIETY

Core Reading:

John Bushnell, “The ‘New Soviet Man’ Turns Pessimist” in Stephen F. Cohen, Alexander Rabinowitch and Robert Sharlet eds., The Soviet Union Since Stalin (1980)  

Donna Bahry, “Society Transformed? Rethinking the Social Roots of Perestroika” Slavic Review v. 52 #3 (1993)

Further Reading:

Jeremi Suri, “The Promise and Failure of 'Developed Socialism': The Soviet 'Thaw' and the Crucible of the Prague Spring, 1964-1972” Contemporary European History 2 (2006), 133-158

Juliane Fürst ed., Late Stalinist Russia: Society between Reconstruction and Reinvention (2006)

Anne Gorsuch, “’There's No Place like Home’: Soviet Tourism in Late Stalinism” Slavic Review 4 (2003), 760-785

Philip Boobbyer, Conscience, Dissent and Reform in Soviet Russia (London, 2005)

Ann Komaromi, “Samizdat and Soviet Dissident Publics” Slavic Review 1 (2012), 70-90

Stephen F. Cohen, The Victims Return. Survivors of the Gulag after Stalin (2011)

Juliane Fürst, Stalin's Last Generation: Soviet Post-War Youth and the Emergence of Mature Socialism (2010)

Alex Inkeles, The Soviet Citizen: Daily Life in a Totalitarian Society (1959)

James R. Millar, Politics, Work and Daily Life in the USSR (1987)

V. Dunham, In Stalin’s Time: Middleclass Values in Soviet Fiction (1976)

Stephen Kotkin, Magnetic Mountain, ch. 6 “Bread and a Circus”

Dennis O’Hearn, “The Consumer Second Economy: Sizes and Effects” Soviet Studies, v. 32 #2 (1980)

G Grossman, “The ‘Second Economy’ of the USSR”, Problems of Communism, v. 26 #5 (1977) pp. 25-41.

James Millar, “The Little Deal: Brezhnev’s Contribution to Acquisitive Socialism” Slavic Review v.44 # 4 (1985)

Iain Elliot, “Dissent, Opposition and Instability” in Martin McCauley ed., The Soviet Union After Brezhnev (1983)

Stephen Kotkin, Armageddon Averted. The Soviet Collapse, 1970-2000 (2001) ch. 2

T. H. Rigby, A. Brown, P. Reddaway eds., Authority, Power, and Policy in the USSR

(1980), chapter by Reddaway

Archie Brown and M. Kaser eds., The Soviet Union Since The Fall Of Khrushchev

(1978), chapter by Reddaway

Ted Friedgut, “The Democratic Movement: Dimensions and Perspectives” in Rudolf L. Tokes ed., Dissent in the USSR (1975)

Glasnost’ and Civil Society

(Useful for Gorbachev and Collapse)

Stephen White, Gorbachev and After (1992) ch. 3 Glasnost’ and Public Life

Stephen Kotkin, Armageddon Averted. The Soviet Collapse, 1970-2000 (2001) ch. 7

Richard Sakwa, Gorbachev and His Reforms (1991) ch. 5 The Independence Movement and Civil Rights

Geoffrey Hosking, “The Beginnings of Independent Political Activity” in The Road Road to Post-communism (1992) and in Alexander Dallin and Gail Lapidus eds., The Soviet System: From Crisis to Collapse (1995)

Archie Brown, “Political Change in the Soviet Union” World Policy Journal (summer 1989) pp. 469-501. Also in Alexander Dallin and Gail Lapidus eds., The Soviet System: From Crisis to Collapse (1995)

Gail Lapidus, “State and Society: Toward the Emergence of Civil Society in the Soviet Union” in Seweryn Bialer ed., Politics, Society and Nationality: Inside Gorbachev’s Russia (1989) pp. 121-148. Also in Alexander Dallin and Gail Lapidus eds., The Soviet System: From Crisis to Collapse (1995)

Stephen Fish, “The Emergence of Independent Associations and the Transformation of Russian Political Society” in Journal of Communist Studies v. 7 #2 (September 1991) and in Alexander Dallin and Gail Lapidus eds., The Soviet System: From Crisis to Collapse (1995)

Walter Laqueur, The Long Road to Freedom: Russia and Glasnost’ (1989)

WEEK 10. Gorbachev and Perestroika

Core Reading:

Archie Brown, The Gorbachev Factor (1993) esp. ch. 9 Conclusions pp. 306-18.

John Bushnell, “Making History Out of Current Events: The Gorbachev Era” Slavic Review v. 51 #3 (1992)

Leslie Holmes, “Perestroika: A Reassessment” Europe-Asia Studies 2 (2013)

Mark Kramer, “The Reform of the Soviet System and the Demise of the Soviet State”

Slavic Review, 3 (2004), 505-512.

Further Reading:

Stephen F. Cohen, “Was the Soviet System Reformable?” Slavic Review 3 (2004), 459-488

Archie Brown “Did Gorbachev as General Secretary Become a Social Democrat?” Europe-Asia Studies 2 (2013) Stephen Kotkin, Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment (2009)

Stephen Kotkin, Armaggedon Averted (2008)

Marc Zlotnik, "Yeltsin and Gorbachev: The Politics of Confrontation," Journal of Cold War Studies 1 (2003)

David Rowley, "Interpretations of the End of the Soviet Union: Three Paradigms," Kritika 2 (2001)

Stephen Hanson, “Reform and Revolution in the Late Soviet Context” Slavic Review 3 (2004), 527-534

Martin Malia, The Soviet Tragedy: A History of Socialism in Russia, 1917-1991 (1994)

Richard Pipes, Communism: A History (London, 1994)

Archie Brown, Seven Years that Changed the World (2007)

Valerie Bunce, Subversive Institutions: The Design and the Destruction of Socialism and the State (1999)

George Breslauer, Gorbachev and Yeltsin as Leaders (2002) esp. ch. 13 Evaluating Gorbachev as Leader pp. 271-294.

Philip Hanson, The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Economy (2003)

Ellman, M. and Kontorovich, V., eds, The Disintegration of the Soviet Economic System (1992).

Gregory Grossman, "The Second Economy of the USSR," Problems of Communism 26 (September-October 1977): 25-40;

 Robert C. Allen, “The Rise and Decline of the Soviet Economy” The Canadian Journal of Economics 4 (2001), 859-881.

Stephen White, Gorbachev and After (1992) ch. 7 Gorbachev and the Politics of Perestroika

Mark Galeotti, Gorbachev and His Revolution (1997)

Martin McCauley, Gorbachev (1998)

Andrei Grachev, Final Days: The Inside Story of the Collapse of the Soviet Union (1995)

Richard Sakwa, Gorbachev and His Reforms (1990)

John Miller, Mikhail Gorbachev and the End of Soviet Power (1993)

Marshall Goldman, What Went Wrong with Perestroika (1991)

Week 11. WHY DID THE SOVIET SYSTEM COLLAPSE?

Core Reading:

Martin Malia (“Z”), “To the Stalin Mausoleum” Daedalus (January 1990) pp. 295-344, and in Alexander Dallin and Gail Lapidus eds., The Soviet System: From Crisis to Collapse (1995)  

Alexander Dallin, “Causes of the Collapse of the USSR” Post Soviet Affairs v. 8 #4 (1992) pp. 279-301, and in

Cohen, S.F. 'Was the Soviet System Reformable?', Slavic Review 3 (2004).

Further Reading:

Alexander Dallin and Gail Lapidus eds., The Soviet System: From Crisis to Collapse (1995)

Marshall Goldman, What Went Wrong with Perestroika (1991)

R. V. Daniels, The End of the Communist Revolution (1993)

Rasma Karklins, “Explaining Regime Change in the Soviet Union” Europe-Asia Studies v. 46 # 1 (1994)

Catherine Merridale and Chris Ward eds., Perestroika: The Historical Perspective (1991)

Wisla Suraska, How the Soviet Union Disappeared: An Essay on the Causes of Dissolution (1998)

Rachel Walker, Six Years that Shook the World (1993)

David Kotz and Fred Weir, Revolution from Above: The Demise of the Soviet System (1997)

Stephen White, Communism and its Collapse (2001)

Peter Boettke, Why Perestroika Failed: The Politics and Economics of Socialist Transformation (1993)

Richard Pipes, “The Communist System” in Alexander Dallin and Gail Lapidus eds., The Soviet System: From Crisis to Collapse (1995)

Philip Roeder, Red Sunset: The Failure of Soviet Politics (1993)

T. Cox (ed), Rethinking the Soviet Collapse (1998)

This list was last updated on 20/01/2022