The Troubled Birth of Russian Democracy Parties Personalities and Programs

Gathered here are essays offering historical background on the parties, selected interviews with prominent members of these groups, and important party documents. Whether democracy will flourish in Russia remains in question.

The Troubled Birth of Russian Democracy  Parties  Personalities  and Programs

The Troubled Birth of Russian Democracy Parties Personalities and Programs

The demise of communism in the Soviet Union could not have occurred without the activism of dissident, anticommunist leaders who created and nourished a climate in which ordinary Russians gained the courage to stand up to and defeat communist control. But with communism ousted, what new form of government and what new leaders will emerge in Russia, a society that has never known democracy? Michael McFaul, a research associate at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Arms Control, and Sergei Markov, an assistant professor at Moscow State University, interviewed anti-communist leaders and collected the documents of anticommunist parties in the months preceding and immediately following the August 1991 attempted coup d'etat. To examine the range of the political spectrum in Russia, they also talked to procommunist leaders who emerged to oppose Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms, nationalist and anti-Semitic leaders of movements such as Pamyat', labor unions, Christian movements, and organizations opposed to the division of the Soviet Union. What emerges is a kaleidoscope of leaders with distinct ideas on key issues facing Russia: how to reform the economy, what role the market should play in a new economic system, how to respond to growing demands from non-Russian republics for independence, what leaders can be trusted, what Russia's relations with the West should be, and what form of government would be best for Russia. Gathered here are essays offering historical background on the parties, selected interviews with prominent members of these groups, and important party documents. Whether democracy will flourish in Russia remains in question. The parties profiled here, actively involved in the debate over Russia's future, offer readers an insider's look into contemporary Russian politics.

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