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Jan 17, 2022

Connor, Christian and Donald sit down to discuss the collapse of the Soviet Union. They begin by situating the economic and political problems of the system, such as the siege economy and the centralization/decentralization dichotomies which led to the general malaise of the late Brezhnev period. They continue by discussing the rise of Andropov and Gorbachev, and what reforms they tried to implement: bans on alcohol and the opening of political discussion, and how those reforms ended up backfiring.   They follow up by discuss the Five Year Plan of 86-90, the two stages of economic reforms and their adverse effects, the coalition that appears which pushes for the dismantling of the Soviet Union, the rise of Boris Yeltsin and his association to Russian nationalism and the failed coup and how it signaled the transition of sovereignty and the end of the USSR. They also discuss what happened after the collapse, including shock therapy, the 1993 bombing of the parliament and the legacy of the USSR's collapse in Russia's present political system and economical situation, before finishing with an evaluation of all attempts to reform the Soviet Union.

The Russian Revolution 1917-1932 - Sheila Fitzpatrick
Revolution from Above: The Demise of the Soviet System - David M. Kotz
Inside Gorbachev's Kremlin: The Memoirs of Yegor Ligachev - Yegor Ligachev
Soviet Baby Boomers: An Oral History of Russia's Cold War Generation - Donald J. Raleigh
Everything was Forever, Until it was No More: The Last Soviet Generation - Alexei Yurchak