Age of Delirium: The Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union

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A.A. Knopf, 1996 - History - 424 pages
Feared and respected as one of the world's two great superpowers, the Soviet Union throughout the final twenty years of its life was a model of state-organized delusion. As David Satter shows in powerful detail, the leaders of the Kremlin found that when their carefully constricted facade fell apart in the late 1980s, there was nothing to prop up the crumbling ruins. Satter's book demonstrates compellingly how the Soviet people were forced to live a gigantic lie. During nearly two decades of reporting for the Financial Times and Reader's Digest, he interviewed Soviet citizens all across the vast country, not just the dissidents and party apparatchiks in Moscow but ordinary men and women. Traveling with him from coal mines and farms to bureaucratic reception halls to the nightmarish wards of punitive psychiatric hospitals to railroad stations where victims of the Communist system set up camp, the reader witnesses how an entire state was constituted on the basis of a fraudulent version of reality. In the Soviet Union, lying - at the grocery and the factory as well as the government office - was universal and obligatory, and Westerners were seldom able to penetrate the perplexing mosaic of wishful thinking and denial that camouflaged a brutal regime.

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AGE OF DELIRIUM: The Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union

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Reluctant to relinquish America's Cold War mentality, a veteran journalist revives our image of the Soviet Union as the evil empire we loved to hate. At a time when most works on Russia and the Soviet ... Read full review

Age of delirium: the decline and fall of the Soviet Union

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This book follows a distinguished genre of reporting represented by Hedrick Smith's New Russians (Random, 1990) and David Shipler's Russia: Broken Idols, Solemn Dreams (LJ 9/1/83). Like the works of ... Read full review



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