Farewell Perestroika: A Soviet Chronicle

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Verso, 1990 - History - 217 pages
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As a leading member of the Moscow Popular Front, Kagarlitsky and his associates sought to extend the debate and agitation throughout society as a whole. From the striking coalfields if Siberia and the human chain protests of the Baltic republics to the rallies of the fascist Pamyat and the burgeoning of a Soviet environmental movement, Kagarlitsky listens to and analyses a nation in turmoil.

Describing the elections of Spring 1989, Kagarlitsky assesses candidates like Boris Yeltsin, to whom the Popular Front lent critical support. He outlines the way in which the ensuing People's Congress fed a mounting frustration at the gap between promised and actual change. And he points to the dangers of an emerging 'market Stalinism' which could exacerbate social inequity without delivering political freedom.

Fall 1989 saw governments throughout Eastern Europe tumble before mass mobilizations of peoples no longer afraid of Soviet intervention. The biggest transformation in global politics since 1945 flowed directly from the opening of discussion between the caucuses of the Soviet Communist Party and the masses it claimed to represent, a debate which is described in these pages with a vividness and insight available only to a participant.

Kagarlitsky's testament concludes with a stark account of the escalating difficulties and conflicts facing the government in the early months of 1990--events signalling, in the author's view, the demise of perestroika itself.
 

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Farewell perestroika: a Soviet chronicle

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The Soviet Union's much-chronicled years of change, 1988-89, are recounted here, sometimes engagingly, by an insider in the Marxist-oriented opposition to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union ... Read full review

Contents

The Popular Front Movement in Crisis?
31
Popular Front or National Front?
39
The Restless Borderlands
51
A Constitutional Crisis
81
CHAPTER6
89
A Difficult Hegemony
99
The Elections Yeltsin and the Popular
111
The Congress and Around the Congress
145
Onward Onward Onward
165
Yet Another Hot Summer
177
Farewell Perestroika?
195
Index
211
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About the author (1990)

Boris Kagarlitsky is the author of The Thinking Reed, The Dialectic of Hope, and The Mirage of Modernisation. He has been arrested twice for his activism, once in 1982 under Brezhnev, and in 1993 under Yeltsin.

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