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The Last Dictatorship in Europe: Belarus Under Lukashenko Hardcover – 27 Dec 2011

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Hardcover, 27 Dec 2011
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 358 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (27 Dec. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780231702805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231702805
  • ASIN: 0231702809
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,447,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Gives a blow-by-blow account of how Lukashenko went from crusader against corruption to owner of most of the country; from champion of the common man to boss of a repressive state apparatus; from popularly elected president to dictator for life. . . .Bennett's take on Lukashenko's character is perceptive.' --Times Literary Supplement

'A clear and well-documented history of social, cultural, economic, and political change during the autocratic rule of Alexander Lukashenko, a welcome addition for scholars and students of the history and politics of post-Soviet Belarus. ... Lukashenko's victory in December 2010 will ensure a sustained interest in this book in the coming years.' --Professor Christian W. Haerpfer, University of Aberdeen

'Brian Bennett s lucid and judicious account of the rise of Lukashenko is based on his diplomatic work as British representative in Minsk during this bleak period. This unique, factually detailed book is a readable, authentic and shocking cautionary tale for modern times.' --Arnold McMillin, Professor of Russian Literature, University College London --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Brian Bennett was born in Portsmouth in 1948. After Sheffield University, where he read Russian, he joined the Diplomatic Service and served in Central, Northern, Western and Eastern Europe, the Caribbean and North Africa. His last posting was as Ambassador to Belarus 2003-2007. He is married with three children. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 7 people found the following review helpful By William Podmore on 18 Oct. 2013
Format: Hardcover
If you want a true picture of the world, don't rely on the Foreign Office!
Read Stewart Parker's book for balance. He shows that this 'dictator' holds elections and, outrageously, wins them, rather like Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Because neither do what they're told by the USA (and lapdog Britain), they are vilifed.
In July 1994, 80 per cent of the people voted for Alexander Lukashenko to become President. His policies of full employment, free healthcare and free education proved very popular. He held and won referendums in 1995 and 1996. He won the presidential elections of 2001, 2006 and 2010, the last with 79.65 per cent of the votes. Parliamentary elections were held in 1995, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012.
In the two years before the presidential election of 2001, the US government spent $50 million funding the opposition to President Lukashenko. It also funded 300 `independent' `Non-Governmental' Organisations `seeking political change' in Belarus.
Of the 2001 election, Gerard Stoudmann, head of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe [OSCE], said there was `no evidence of manipulation or fraud of the result'. The Association of Central and Eastern European Election Officials confirmed that the election had been `free and open in compliance with universal democratic institutions'.
The OSCE, as a whole, refused to observe the 2001 election but still denounced the vote as neither free nor fair, despite what Stoudmann had said. The BBC parroted the OSCE, saying `Belarus vote neither free nor fair'.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An appealing book 10 Feb. 2012
By Dimitri Shvorob - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
If I had to pick one book about Belarus, I would probably go for Andrew Wilson's "Belarus: the last European dictatorship" - yes, books about Belarus have drearily similar titles - just because it does not limit its historical scope to the Lukashenka years, but gives half of its pages to a tour of Belarusian history. On the Lukashenka territory, the two books share the same sources - including Aliaksandr Fiaduta's go-to reference on the dictator's early years - and the same descriptive style, and, obviously, follow the same main events, up to early 2011. Nonetheless, the overlap is moderate, and I certainly do not think that Wilson's story "nests" Bennett's. The latter's strong points come from the author actually having been there, and observed the events up close; apart from interesting anecdotes, this means a grasp of context, and more reliable judgment. Overall, I liked Brian Bennett's book, and recommend it to interested readers.

PS. "Books > History > *Asia* > Belarus"? Oh, Amazon...
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Quite biased 8 July 2013
By Urbalaari - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book a couple of months ago (with a couple of other books on various topics about Belarus) while making a linguistic project on East Slavic countries, as I wanted to deepen the understanding of language and cultural differences. I read some other literature on Belarus and eventually visited the country, and all I can say that the book is very biased. The description of the current situation and ordinary life and also history of Belarus throughout last 30 years offers a very subjective viewpoint that has little to do with real facts.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Inconsistent data, bad overview of current situation, otherwise good 26 Feb. 2014
By Marko Viskic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I am about halfway through this book. It is very informative, especially when it comes to the historical overview and past of the country. However, the portion on last few decades is very inconsistent, full of non-reliable sources and data and it would definitely be more complete with some stronger sources. It is extremely difficult to follow the development of the situation due to poor explanations, and that is inexcusable for a history book that is telling the story that is connected to present and near past. It is difficult to escape the felling that the author is not forcefully pushing forward some thesis instead of recounting the problems.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Last Dictatorship in Europe: Belarus Under Lukashenko 26 Oct. 2012
By Viktor Mandrik - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very good book. Totally recommendable for anyone interested in Belarus or the problem of dictatorships in the world as such.
This is a very good book. Totally recommendable for anyone interested in Belarus or the problem of dictatorships in the world as such.
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