A Failed Empire

  • by Vladimir Zubok
  • Narrated by Nick Sullivan
  • 20 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Western interpretations of the Cold War - both realist and neoconservative - have erred by exaggerating either the Kremlin's pragmatism or its aggressiveness, argues Vladislav Zubok. Explaining the interests, aspirations, illusions, fears, and misperceptions of the Kremlin leaders and Soviet elites, Zubok offers a Soviet perspective on the greatest standoff of the 20th century.


What the Critics Say

"Ranks as the new standard work on the Soviet Union's Cold War - for scholars and students alike.... An excellent combination of old and new, offering both a synthetic interpretation of Soviet foreign policy in the latter half of the twentieth century and fresh new material to reconceptualize the factors behind that policy.... An important book [and] a standout." (Journal of American History)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Soviet Cold War History in an understandable form.

Being somewhat interested in the Cold War and soviet history I thought that I would "chance my arm" and see what this book would bring. I was not disappointed. A very well researched book which provides a behind the iron curtain insight into the era of brinkmanship behind the public face of both US and Soviet politics during the period described in the title.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and its narrator, who does the writing justice, listening for hours on end it made me switch the tv off over Christmas.

A well written and compelling history of a period which to most European people of my age (42) will provide insight into the tension that led us all to live in fear of nuclear attack. It also provides a realisation of how financial pressure and political reform ended the Soviet Unions pretence to empire and ultimately the end of Soviet Communism.

Listened to twice and now on my third listen, this is simply because I enjoy it and there is a vast amount of information contained within, I will definitely be back to listen maybe three or four times a year.

Armchair history buffs this book is for you!
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- Adrian

The demystification of the soviet experiment

I have long wondered about the Soviet Union and how it might have been to live there in the post war period. This book has not covered how it was for the ordinary average citizen. Although that wasn’t the point, rather than the political developments on the world scale, the book would have been enhanced by a few chapters relating to socio/economic life of ordinary citizens. However,overall it was a brilliant historical account by the author. I particularly liked his summary of the Gorbachev years.
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- Jim M.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 22-03-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios