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The twentieth century was not kind to Russia. Despite its great potential and remarkable achievements, the country also bore the weight of two world wars, a revolution and civil war, totalitarian tyranny, famine and ecological destruction, economic ruin, and imperial decline. Will Russia ever be prosperous, peaceful, and free? Seeking clues in the past, Michael Kort revisits earlier turning points in Russia's history--from the fall of the old regime to the establishment of the Bolshevik dictatorship and Stalinist totalitarianism; from the reforms and counter-reforms of Khrushchev and Brezhnev to the tumultuous years of change under Gorbachev and Yeltsin. Which strands of Russia's past is their successor, Vladimir Putin, weaving into the fabric of the present, and which are being allowed to fade, for better or worse? This new edition of The Soviet Colossus brings the story up through the first decade of the twenty-first century. Distinctively readable, judicious, and focused on critical events and questions, it integrates new revelations about the Soviet past and ongoing debates about the Soviet regime as well as its successor. It is the ideal text for as one semester history course or background for a political science course.