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We cannot understand the history of Soviet society in 1917-1991 by looking only at the regime's oppressive features—to understand the history of Soviet society we also must examine reasons why millions of people supported Communist rule (or at the very least chose to make accommodations to it). Moreover, if we want to understand why Communist rule collapsed, we must recognize that by the mid-1980s the "Soviet system" had lost virtually all popular legitimacy; this was because while the Soviet system had succeeded in transforming Russia from a backward peasant society into a well-educated urban society, it by its very nature was incapable of meeting the "new" society's needs and aspirations.
My question is composed of two parts:
First, based upon Armageddon Averted, would Stephen
Kotkin agree with the premise articulated in the preceding paragraph?
Explain why you think that he would agree or disagree, based upon
evidence drawn from Armageddon Averted.
Second, based upon our readings this semester (Suny's The Soviet Experiment, Wade's The Russian Revolution, Siegelbaum and Sokolov's Stalinism as a Way of Life, Temkin's My Just War, and Kotkin's Armageddon Averted), would YOU agree with the argument articulated in the above paragraph? Explain why or why not, based upon evidence drawn from all of these books.
You must answer both parts of the question. Your
paper must be typed, double-spaced. It
must make use of endnote citations. See the directions in the on-line