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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introductory text, 9 Dec 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Russia after the Cold War (Paperback)
General description
‘Russia after the Cold War’ is a detailed yet accessible overview of the modern day Russia in search for its new identity, and the social, economic and political dilemmas it faces in its pursuit.
Positive aspects
‘Russia after the Cold War’ has an excellent introductory chapter as a general background to the subject. The book covers a wide range of relevant issues ranging form from political culture and public opinion to Russia’s relations with China and Japan, covering political, economic, social and cultural aspects of life in Soviet and present day Russia. The authors look into complex subjects and debates such models of transition and democratisation. The text is written by a number of distinguished academics in various fields discussed, such as Richard Sawka (on Russian nationalism and democratisation) and Mark Galeotti (on crime, corruption and the law). Each chapter is very well written and has a definite structure: ‘Introduction’ provides a good background, ‘Conclusion’ sums up ideas. Each chapter is full of facts, data, statistics, charts and tables, while good use of maps, boxes and bullet points illustrating ideas, reviewing main concepts and key personalities enhance its reader-friendliness. Although each chapter is written by a different author, it is easy for the reader to read on from one chapter to the next. The balance between issues discussed is impressive. Many viewpoints are put forward in a critical, yet objective way.
Negative aspects
While ‘Russia after the Cold War’ does a good job both describing and explaining events with a view from the top, and almost totally ignores a perspective from the bottom of the social ladder. More individual case studies could have been included – individuals, small enterprises. The book lacks illustrations, so a beginner in the subject (who the book is primarily intended for) may finish reading without being familiar with any of the faces in the life of Russia. The text also lacks a comparative perspective. Like many other texts in the field it needs to be updated more regularly to take into account more often to take into account recent developments in Russia and Former Soviet Union, such as Putin’s presidency.
Conclusion
‘Russia after the Cold War’ is ideal for anybody interested in the subject of modern day Russia. While providing a comprehensive coverage of main issues and debates, it does so in accessible and lively style requiring no prior knowledge in the topic, though the text could benefit from more perspectives and illustrations.
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Russia after the Cold War
Russia after the Cold War by Cameron Ross (Paperback - 20 Oct 1999)
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