The Best Books of 2012 on Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Republics
The Marshall D. Shulman professor emeritus at Columbia University selects the most important books on Eastern Europe and Former Soviet Republics published during the last year. Here are his reviews, culled from recent issues of the magazine.
Click here to see all of the best books on international relations of 2012.
In an intelligent, fluent study of Czechoslovak dissent in the 1970s and 1980s, Bolton pushes aside the mythologized image of Czechoslovak dissidents and examines the diverse and sometimes conflicted ways they went about their lives.
It might seem oxymoronic to speak of shining moments during the waning years of the Soviet Union, but Aron more than justifies the description with a stunning portrait of the intellectual and moral revolution that burst forth between 1987 and 1991. But Aron’s account is less convincing when it comes to explaining why the soul-searching of those heady days later mutated into something more diffuse and less compelling.
Few have studied the Russian oil and gas industry longer or with a broader political perspective than Gustafson. The result is this superb book, which is not merely a fascinating, subtle history of the industry since the Soviet Union’s collapse but also the single most revealing work on Russian politics and economics published in the last several years.