"An extremely sure-footed and gracefully written interpretation of the last sixty years of Soviet/Russian history. Lovell exhibits much razor-sharp wit and insight, although almost never at the expense of his subjects. He views Soviet leaders and ordinary citizens from the standpoint of a western observer, but also steps back to observe himself observing his subjects, a perspective all too rare in textbooks." Lewis Siegelbaum, Michigan State University
After enduring untold suffering and near total devastation, the Soviet Union emerged from the ashes of World War II as a superpower. Even now, the "Great Patriotic War" constitutes the country's single greatest source of national pride and identity-a defining moment in Russian history no less significant than the Revolution of 1917. Yet just as the overthrow of Tsarist autocracy is fraught with ambiguities, so too is the legacy of World War II. After liberating itself from Nazi occupation, the Soviet Union established imperial domination over much of east-central Europe. But a victorious Soviet society was also poor, hungry, and - for all intents and purposes - still enslaved by the communist regime.
The Shadow of War: Russia and the USSR, 1941 to the Present offers a fresh approach to Soviet and Russian history. Taking the achievements, ambiguities, and legacies of World War II as a point of departure, the book reveals the strains on the Soviet system in the postwar decades as it distanced itself from Stalinist repression and reinvented itself as a form of illiberal modern welfare state. The author shows how tens of millions of people moved from villages to cities to reap the benefits of modern civilization, while Soviet society remained divided along class, regional, and ethnic lines - divisions that came into sharp focus with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Drawing on the latest research and a wide range of sources, The Shadow of War greatly enhances our understanding of Soviet and Russian history during a complex and controversial phase of world history.
?The book can also serve as an excellent first guide to most historiographical debates about the post-war Soviet Union.? (English Historical Review, 1 April 2014)
?But by re-arranging known phenomena his fascinating book offers new and consistent perspectives on the last Russian and Soviet decades. It is one of the best introductions to the focused period of time.? (Jahrbucher fur Geschichte Osteuropas, 1 May 2013)
?With its capacity for engaging synthesis of the scholarly literature of the period and pioneering insight into historiographical commonplaces, Lovell?s elegantly formulated and delightfully illustrated history is an indisputable asset to any scholarly bookshelf.? (Slavonica, 1 May 2013)
?Lovell, in particular, has written an accomplished and stimulating book.? (European History Quarterly, 2012)
?There are different ways to write a survey of Russian history, and most of them have been tried many times. Yet Simon Dixon, the editor of this excellent three-volume series, has invited his authors to do something new.? (Slavonic and East European Review, 1 April 2012)
"It is easy to read, is based on recent research in English and Russian, covers a wide range of issues, and has an up-to-date and very well informed approach to its subject. Its moderate optimism about the future is a welcome counterbalance to the current predominantly negative Western assessment of modern Russia." (The Russian Review, 1 October 2011)
"Stephen Lovell's The Shadow of War is a work of a different kind: a textbook which should appeal also to a general readership. It is both a social and political history and provides an excellent synthesis of the Russian experience from the Second World War to the present". (History Today, 1 August 2011)
"Shadow of War is an astute topical approach to Soviet/Russian history from 1941 to the beginnings of the Medvedev presidency in 2008. Its clarity and first-rate scholarship make it exceptionally enlightening on major socioeconomic and national conditions and post-Soviet matters generally." (Michigan War Studies Review, November 2010)
"For Russians the Second World War was one of both national liberation and imperial expansion; it was also the dominant memory in the lives of three generations of Soviet citizens. Lovell's decision to take it as his starting point enables him to shine an innovative and penetrating light on many aspects of Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia often ignored in general studies. This is a very valuable book for those seeking to understand today's Russia."
, Emeritus Professor, University College London
"An extremely sure-footed and gracefully written interpretation of the last sixty years of Soviet/Russian history. Lovell exhibits much razor-sharp wit and insight, although almost never at the expense of his subjects. He views Soviet leaders and ordinary citizens from the standpoint of a western observer, but also steps back to observe himself observing his subjects, a perspective all too rare in textbooks."
?Lewis Siegelbaum, Michigan State University
List of Illustrations.
Series Editor?s Preface.
1. Introduction: World War II and the Remaking of the Soviet Union.
2. Reform, Reaction, Revolution.
3. From Plan to Market.
4. Structures of Society.
5. Public and Private.
6. Center and Periphery.
7. National Questions.
8. Geopolitical Imperatives.
9. From Isolationism to Globalization.
10. Conclusion: The Second Russian Revolution?
Guide to Further Reading.