[lbo-talk] [worthwhile] resources on Gorbachev and the breakup of the USSR

John Glastonbury jglastonbury at gmail.com
Wed Aug 31 11:16:18 PDT 2011

Hey all; I've been AWOL the past few weeks, moving to a new apt, starting up school again, etc.

I'm taking a russian history class, and I find the subject extremely interesting. In the week before term started, I did a little reading on the breakup of the USSR, as a result of glasnost, perestroika, Yeltsin, etc., and, well, I found the whole situation completely riveting, tragic, and, to a large extent, still unexplained. We're still living in the midst of the power vacuum the USSR left; I see the breakneck privatization of 1992 and the 'budget crisis' in the US of 2011 as almost a sort of 'interregnum' of sorts, or perhaps a Capitalist 'Restoration' Era of sorts, very similar to the vacuum left by the fall of Napoleon in the nineteenth century. The Arab Spring is the only event of comparable magnitude; very similar to the 1848 revolutions that shattered the 'concert of europe.' I know that the parallels are of course limited and marginal, but, to me they're striking.

I was thinking of writing a paper that focuses specifically on free speech/information control/censorship, making use of young journalist Marx's writings on free speech and also the essay 'Conspiracy as Governance,' that Julian Assange wrote in 2006.

Point being, I would like to gather some suggestions for books, articles, etc., that deal with the 1985-1991 period; I spoke with my professor about it, she gave me a few suggestions, but nothing that was specifically from a Marxist perspective. Additionally, any personal anecdotes, recollections, or observations, of the usual lbo/marxmail caliber, would be greatly appreciated.

I've got sporadic access to internet; I'd prefer direct messages to specific sources or links, but I'm also eager to see what the lists think about the subject more generally.

best, John

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