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: Will Russia ever be peaceful, prosperous, and free? Part of the answer to that question lies in the past. Now revised and updated, this most readable and thought-provoking history of modern Russia begins with a brief review of the past that shaped Russia as it entered the twentieth century. The author then focuses on the pivotal events that led in turn to the demise of the tsarist regime, the establishment of the Bolshevik dictatorship, the era of Stalinist totalitarianism, the reforms and counter-reforms of Khrushchev and Brezhnev, and the dramatic changes that swept the country during the Gorbachev years, culminating in the collapse of the Soviet experiment that Lenin and the Bolsheviks so confidently began in 1917. The last part of the book chronicles the triumphs and difficulties that Russia has experienced since the Soviet collapse in 1991, and the attempt to create a Russian-style capitalist democracy under the very different presidencies of Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin. Michael Kort's treatment is deeply informed by new revelations and ongoing debates about the nature of the Soviet regime and its successor, and students respond positively to the author's lively style and moral engagement. This new edition of "The Soviet Colossus" is the most readable, accessible, and judicious short history of modern Russia - an ideal choice for courses on Russian history or politics.