A Normal Totalitarian Society : How the Soviet Union Functioned and How it Collapsed

Vladimir Shlapentokh

Shlapentokh undertakes a dispassionate analysis of the ordinary functioning of the Soviet system from Stalins death through the Soviet collapse and Russias first post-communist decade. Without overlooking its repressive character, he treats the USSR as a normal system that employed both socialist and nationalist ideologies for the purposes of technological and military modernization, preservation of empire, and expansion of its geopolitical power. Foregoing the projection of Western norms and assumptions, he seeks to achieve a clearer understanding of a civilization that has perplexed its critics and its champions alike.