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The War That Never Was: Fall of the Soviet Empire, 1985-91 [Paperback]

David Pryce-Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

20 Sep 2001
The coup of August 1991 brought an end not only to Gorbachev's political career but to the entire Soviet Union: communism imploded, the Berlin Wall had been dismantled, Germany reunified, and several European states regained their independence. This extraordinary reordering of the world, unimaginable to most people in the West, occurred remarkably peacefully. David Pryce-Jones has travelled extensively throughout the former empire to ask the major political personalities for their opinions and reactions as to why this happened. He asks why Gorbachev and the leadership didn't resort to armed violence in classic Soviet style, how much was accidental, how much was planned, and how much will never be known about the workings of the impenetrable structure which held together the Soviet bloc. Party leaders, decision-makers and first secretaries of the Soviet republics and satellites each give their version of events, often speaking frankly about Gorbachev, his motivations and actions. The result is a narrative of high drama and interpretation.

Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; New edition edition (20 Sep 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842125168
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842125168
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 15.8 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,503,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Publisher

“If you want to read just one book about how and why the whole Soviet empire crumbled and fell, you should read this one” Noel Malcolm, Sunday Telegraph

About the Author

David Pryce-Jones is the author of many works of non-fiction, including The Closed Circle and Paris in the Third Reich. He has also written nine novels, of which Inheritance is his most recent.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
David Pryce-Jones has somehow managed to interview many of the people involved in the collapse of the Soviet Union and its satellite states. Furthermore, he has bound the interviews together in a way that flows. The resultant critique and the mixture of integrity, hypocrisy, defensiveness etc. the various protagonists exhibit is fascinating. It deepened my understanding of the reasons why the empire collapsed - and I found it impossible to put down too. Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars A Detailed and Balanced Account of the Fall 1 Jun 2010
By John Desmond - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This work provides a valuable and objective explanation of the collapse of the Soviet Union. The author provides loads of personal detail that clears up many of the mysteries of the collapse and why it did not end more violently than it did.
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