The two Russias

It contains everything that is known about anti-communist and anti-totalitarian resistance in the Soviet Union. As such, The Two Russias is the first of its kind.
The publication of this book marks a watershed event for the study of 20th century Russian history. The book's principal focus is the period beginning with the Bolshevik coup and ending with the collapse of the Soviet Union. The book was written by Boris Pushkaryov, director of the publishing house Posev, together with a number of young historians. It portrays the panorama of events of an entire epoch, extending into the post-Soviet period.

The Two Russias encompasses not only the country's internal processes and foreign policy but the history of resistance encountered by Soviet ideologues. Arguing in favor of a new, non-traditional view of Russian history, the authors remark: "Over the course of seventy-seven years, side by side with Soviet Russia there existed `another Russia', first White and insurgent, then `the Russia of Kolyma and Solovki' [two of Stalin's most notorious labor camps], then the country under occupation during the Second World War, and throughout all these years the Russia underground and in emigration."

This book presents a detailed analysis of the historical processes that led to the events of 1905, when an unsuccessful attempt at revolution took place, then to the February revolution of 1917 followed by the October coup. Pushkaryov has collected various articles by émigrés and foreign Sovietologists that run counter to official Soviet historiography - works devoted to the struggle of the Whites, the Vlasov movement (named for the Soviet general who, after capture by the Nazis, began collaborating with them), popular rebellions and the Red Terror, Stalin's repressions and the Soviet dissident movement. Even if one disagrees with certain of the authors' conclusions, one has to admit that they have done a conscientious job of laying out the verified facts. Their book also has many illustrations, tables of statistics and a meticulous chronology of the 77 years. In this respect, it is an invaluable reference book.

"I would recommend this book to students as a textbook," says Academician Yuri Afanasiev, a doctor of history. "I am very satisfied by the new sections on everyday life in the Soviet Union and on the resistance movement. No one has ever talked about this before. And the [Second World] War is presented in an untraditional way."

Traditionally, Russian textbooks on 20th century Russian history describe it as the history of the Soviet State. The Two Russias offers a new, alternative perspective on this period, one that is indispensable to understanding our past and determining the vector of our future development.

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