A History of the Soviet Union From the Beginning to the EndBook - 1999
Peter Kenez's History of the Soviet Union examines not only political change, but also social and cultural developments. The book identifies the social tensions and political inconsistencies that spurred radical change in the government of Russia, beginning at the turn of the century, culminating in the revolution of 1917. Kenez envisions that revolution as a crisis of authority that posed the question, 'Who shall govern Russia'? This question was resolved with the creation of the Soviet Union. Kenez traces the development of the Soviet Union from the Revolution, through the 1920s, the years of the New Economic Policies - which he sees as crucial to any interpretation of the history of the Soviet Union - and into the Stalinist order. He shows how post-Stalin Soviet leaders struggled to find ways to rule the country without using Stalin's methods but also without openly repudiating the past, and to negotiate a peaceful but antipathetic coexistence with the capitalist West.