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Revolution 1989 Audiobook

Revolution 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire

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Audible Editor Reviews

If it were fiction nobody would believe it. Real life events just don’t happen in such dramatic and thematic sync, right? A succession of aged, feeble, and sclerotic Soviet leaders — General Secretaries Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov, and Konstantin Chernenko — become embodiments of the total moral rot that was the Soviet Union. The next in line, Mikhail Gorbachev, believed in communism and, unlike almost all of his colleagues, admired Lenin. Who would have thought that a man with such beliefs would introduce glasnost (openness), and perestroika (restructuring), and that he would be serious about it? That he would insist upon the unthinkable: that the Soviet satellite states independently make their own political decisions? The Soviet Union was ideologically, militarily, and fiscally bankrupt, and in cutting loose the satellite states, Gorbachev believed these states would choose communism. Victor Sebestyen’s Revolution 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire chronicles the transformation of the Soviet leadership under Gorbachev and the revolutions in the six nations of the Warsaw Pact — East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria — that toppled the old guards of the Soviet Union and altered the course of history.

Sebestyen had access to the Soviet archives, and the finely detailed narrative renderings that pervade Revolution 1989 indicate the archives were extensively used. Paul Hecht, with his rich baseline baritone voice, his precise dramatic control, his evocative vocal cadences and inflections, and careful detailing of characters and events, is the perfect narrator for this book. At 18 hours, 40 minutes in length, the narrative is presented both chronologically and by shifts to and from the six Warsaw Pact states and Soviet Russia. The narrative architecture of the Soviet Union’s deconstruction is a complex and involved and exhilarating story. For this listener and reviewer, the effect of dynamic events of such scale and on all fronts produced a stark, dramatic, and fluid rendering of visual images. Without Hecht’s superb narration I doubt this visual enhancement would have been present in the audiobook. Revolution 1989 is a richly compelling, historically important, and very exciting listen. —David Chasey

Publisher's Summary

Revolution 1989 by British journalist Victor Sebestyen is a comprehensive and revealing account of those dizzying days that toppled Soviet tyranny and changed the World. For more than 40 years, communism held eight European nations in its iron fist. Yet by the end of 1989, all of these nations had thrown off communism, declared independence, and embarked on the road to democracy.

©2009 Victor Sebestyen; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC

What Members Say

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  •  
    Augustus United States 10-16-14
    Augustus United States 10-16-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Title should be: Polish Revolution 1989"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    The book is a view of events before Soviet Union fall from an author view who lived in Poland it seems. So what you get is really detailed view of events in Poland and Eastern Germany and very high level information of events and characters in Russia where main
    events leading to Sovietn Union fall actually happened.
    I can say it since I was just a boy growing up in Far East of Russia when perestroika started.
    What this book fails to mention is an economin collapse, hyperinflation and default which happened when those "wise leaders" like Gorbachev decided to switch to capitalism economy overnight.
    Then again any revolution comes at a cost - I don't see any country in recent years where people became better off after the revolution. Just look at Ukraine.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    There are no favorite characters in this story.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    erik Amersfoort, Netherlands 04-08-13
    erik Amersfoort, Netherlands 04-08-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Great read!!"
    If you could sum up Revolution 1989 in three words, what would they be?

    Fantastic historic book


    What did you like best about this story?

    Good historic perspective of each different country


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The whole book is one great read


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David SUNNYSIDE, NY, United States 04-25-10
    David SUNNYSIDE, NY, United States 04-25-10
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    "Excellent Review"

    I enjoyed this book. I found it an excelent and balanced view of the fall of the Soviet Block. What is chilling is the fact that many of the factors the author points out that lead to the fall of the Soviet Union are present in the current United States: a failure of leadership, the government and medias demonization of opposition, inflation, borrowing, ecessive spending etc. On a positive note, the book also shows what is possible if people are hopeful and persistent.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johnathon 06-10-16
    Johnathon 06-10-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Factual, historical and we'll written recollection"

    If you are even considering reading this, do it. This book offers a compelling recollection of the failures and subsequent fall of the failed communist states in Eastern Europe from the Brezhnev period up until the fall of Ceausescu in Romania.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joey 10-21-15
    Joey 10-21-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Great Book!"

    I liked this book. It was informative and showed the long range of details both present and historical that led to the fall of the Soviet Bloc. Not just in the USSR but in most of the other countries behind the Iron Curtain.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David United States 07-25-15
    David United States 07-25-15 Member Since 2012

    Hellicopter Man

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    "Best summary I have seen."



    Maxism:
    1) Dictatorship by Scientific Marxist socialist experts ruling the State. 2) State ownership of the means of production.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    "They lie to us. We know they lie to us. They know we know they lie to us. We all go home." To this day people claim to be Marxist/Lenninists presumably ready to break eggs for omlets.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Seals 05-07-15
    Jason Seals 05-07-15
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    "What an incredible story"

    I only have the slightest memories of the wall coming down when I was 9 years old. This book tells the rich and incredible story of how it all happened. I am very glad I listened.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Walter 02-12-12
    Walter 02-12-12 Member Since 2012
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    "The puzzle fits together"
    What did you love best about Revolution 1989?

    For somebody who wants to know why the Berlin fell


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B.K. Pepeekeo, HI, United States 10-20-11
    B.K. Pepeekeo, HI, United States 10-20-11 Member Since 2002
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    "eye opener"

    Learned about many things I was unaware of and it was presented in a very entertaining manner and made a serious subject very human and enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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