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Audio Book Review


Part Two
The Rise and Fall of the Soviets


Author: Martin Sixsmith
Read by: Martin Sixsmith
RRP: £25.00
ISBN: 978 1 408 46853 1
Available 25 August 2011

Martin Sixsmith continues his history of Russia, from the tumultuous events of 1917 to the country's re-emergence as one of the world's most powerful nations. This recording covers Lenin's concessions to the people, Stalin's condemnation of the Soviet people to conditions worse than those experienced under the Tsars, Khrushchev - who reversed the worst excesses of Stalinism - and Mikhail Gorbachev's radical reforms. Russia: Part Two features eye witness account, archive recordings , readings, music and personal testimonies...

Russia: Part Two: The Rise and Fall of the Soviets follows on from the first collection in the series and pretty much brings us up to the present day.

After the revolution, the Bolsheviks struggled to consolidate their victory. To rescue the economy and save the regime, Lenin made concessions to the people. But after his death, Stalin introduced forced collectivisation and industrialisation, condemning the Soviet people to conditions worse than those experienced under the Tsars. Nikita Khrushchev reversed the worst excesses of Stalinism, and in 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev embarked on radical reforms of the communist system - unleashing unforeseen consequences that swept him from power and destroyed the USSR.

Martin Sixsmith brings his experience of reporting from Russia in the 1980s and '90s to life in this five disc recording, which includes the final 25 episodes of this BBC series.

This is an interesting and entertaining series that will help students get a grip on the basics of Russian politics since the end of Lenin's reign until the present day.


Nick Smithson

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