The fall of the Soviet Union was one of the most dramatic events of this century. It was also one of the most surprising. Perhaps because many Sovietologists neglected its status as an empire, most Americans were taken completely by surprise when the USSR began its precipitous collapse under Mikhail Gorbachev. This text subjects the Soviet Union as an empire to systematic scrutiny, using tools and methods at the disposal of modern political science. Foreign policy specialists, defense experts and Russian area analysts should find this book useful. It should also be valuable for undergraduate and graduate courses in Russian and Soviet history and the study of empires.
ARIEL COHEN is Salvatori Fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies at the Heritage Foundation. Cohen is a commentator with Voice of America, Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe, and the Washington Times.