David Marples looks back at the Soviet century and examines the relationship between the Communist state and the Russian national idea. He concludes that ultimately, it was the ideal of the motherland that brought about the end of communism in Russia.
Motherland tells the dramatic story of the rise and fall of the Soviet Union. From Lenin's virtual coup in November 1917 to Boris Yeltsin's ruthless takeover of power in 1991, the book culminates with a new view of the Yeltsin years.
David Marples focuses on the evolution of Russia during the Soviet period, and the attempt to harness Russian nationalism to the avowed Soviet mission of promoting World Communism. Along the way heanalyses some of the more intensive historical debates and uncovers some of the myths perpetuated by state propaganda, especially those associated with the Great Patriotic War.
'A brisk, refreshing tour d'horizon of Russia and the Soviet Union in the twentieth century. The author deployes his specialist knowledge of Ukraine and Belarus to telling effect in analysing the multi-ethnic Soviet Union. Very readable, up-to-date and thought provoking Is Russia still a mystery? Read this book'
'The author...uses his expertise in the history of the Ukraine and Belarus to good effect...a handy reference to the problems involved in writing the history of this vast empire.'
David Marples is Professor of History at the University of Alberta. He is the author of eight previous books on Russia and the Soviet Union and has a particular interest in the issue of nationalities. He served as a regular consultant on Soviet issues to the governments of Canada and the USA and is uniquely placed to write the definitive account of modern Russia