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The War That Never Was: Fall of the Soviet Empire, 1985-91 Paperback – 20 Sep 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; New edition edition (20 Sept. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842125168
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842125168
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,740,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


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.

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

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Most helpful customer reviews on 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
John Webster
5.0 out of 5 starsFacinating read of how the old Soviet Union became the new Russia
27 November 2018 - Published on
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5.0 out of 5 starsA Detailed and Balanced Account of the Fall
1 June 2010 - Published on
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