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Russia: Part Two: The Rise and Fall of the Soviets | [Martin Sixsmith]

Russia: Part Two: The Rise and Fall of the Soviets

Martin Sixsmith continues his history of Russia, from the tumultuous events of 1917 to the country’s re-emergence as one of the world’s most powerful nations. After the whirlwind of the revolution, the Bolsheviks struggled to consolidate their victory. To rescue the economy and save the regime, Lenin made concessions to the people. But after his death, Stalin introduced forced collectivisation and industrialisation, condemning the Soviet people to conditions worse than those experienced under the Tsars.
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Publisher's Summary

Martin Sixsmith continues his history of Russia, from the tumultuous events of 1917 to the country’s re-emergence as one of the world’s most powerful nations.

After the whirlwind of the revolution, the Bolsheviks struggled to consolidate their victory. To rescue the economy and save the regime, Lenin made concessions to the people. But after his death, Stalin introduced forced collectivisation and industrialisation, condemning the Soviet people to conditions worse than those experienced under the Tsars. Nikita Khrushchev reversed the worst excesses of Stalinism, and in 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev embarked on radical reforms of the communist system - unleashing unforeseen consequences that swept him from power and destroyed the USSR.

Martin Sixsmith brings his firsthand experience of reporting from Russia in the 1980s and ‘90s to his narrative, witnessing the critical moment when the Soviet Union lost its grip on power. He asks if the recurring patterns of Russian history can help us understand what has happened since 1991, when the promise of Western-style democracy aroused so many hopes for change.

Eyewitness accounts, archive recordings and personal testimony enrich his narrative, as well as readings from Russian authors and historians such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Vasily Grossman, plus music by Stravinsky, Prokofiev and others.

Listen to Russia: Part One: From Rulers to Revolutions.

©2011 Ladbroke Productions (Radio) Ltd. Text copyright Martin Sixsmith (P)2011 AudioGO Ltd

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  •  
    Nikoli Gogol Edmonton 12-01-12
    Nikoli Gogol Edmonton 12-01-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Re-Broadcast of a BBC's "Russia: The Wild East""
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    There is an astonishing lack of proportion and emphasis. The communist regime killed millions of peasants. The prison system established by the communists was a source of slave labor as well as a means of suppressing dissent. The Russians dealt with minorities in a particularly bloody and brutal manner. While each of these topics is covered, it is hasty. Instead, Martin Sixsmith spends an inordinate amount of time on covering the day-to-day minutia of the USSR's downfall and his coverage of it for the BBC.


    If you’ve listened to books by Martin Sixsmith before, how does this one compare?

    I have read his Putin's Oil which is a superior work.


    Did Martin Sixsmith do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    This is a rebroadcast of BBC's "Russia: The Wild East, Part 2" presented in 25 episodes. Although Sixsmith is the primary narrator, there are interviews, clips from news accounts, tape recorded speeches of historical figures, quotes from poems, choirs singing in the background, etc. In many respects the historical characters speak for themselves.


    Could you see Russia: Part Two: The Rise and Fall of the Soviets being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    There is far too much turf to cover for this to be made into a movie.


    Any additional comments?

    Martin Sixsmith is a BBC journalist who served in the USSR, Poland, and Washington. He was Tony Blair's Director of Communications and has written both fiction and non-fiction books. I would recommend this audiobook for someone who wants a general overview of the events of the past century. However, it does not come close to describing the full magnitude of atrocities perpetrated by the Soviet regime.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fabio São Paulo, Brazil 07-02-12
    Fabio São Paulo, Brazil 07-02-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Very Interesting!"

    I liked this audiobook very much specially because of the "practical" approach the author gives to the Russian History. He and his personal experience as a journalist in Russia during the late 20th century make it specially interesting.

    I've listened to other audiobooks on Russian History, including Stalin's biography and I couldn't keep focused as on this one.

    I really enjoyed this audiobook and so far, three weeks after buying it, I've heard it more than twice

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandy Laguna Woods, CA, United States 04-19-14
    Sandy Laguna Woods, CA, United States 04-19-14 Member Since 2011

    75 yr old MWF. I like historical novels with more history than story. Audiobooks shouldn't have too many characters.

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    "Russia, by Martin Sixsmith (Parts 1 and 2)"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would definitely recommend this audiobook to anyone, whether they know Russian history very well, or not at all. It is more than a mere audiobook; it's a BBC radio series. Sixsmith makes us feel that we are there with him in the various historical spots, and there is wonderful Russian classical and folk music to accompany us on our journey!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This is a very tough question, because so many characters in Russian history are colorful and amazing -- think of St Vladimir, Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, Rasputin, Lenin and Stalin, Krushchev, Gorbachev -- how could anyone possibly select a favorite? I choose the marvelous panorama of them all!


    What about Martin Sixsmith’s performance did you like?

    He knows how to pronounce Russian correctly, he has a wonderful personality, and he made me feel that I was there to witness each event. He must have been collecting Russian music all his life. I wish I had it all on CDs.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes --his relating of the horrors of the Stalinist regime, especially that after Russia won World War II, losing millions of soldiers, all the ones who had ever been in any other country, such as Germany, were put into prison when they got home -- or shot to death, because they had witnessed a higher standard of living.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't miss this marvelous performance!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brian 04-01-13
    brian 04-01-13 Member Since 2010
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    "A man who knows his history."
    Would you listen to Russia: Part Two: The Rise and Fall of the Soviets again? Why?

    I would. It has some parts of Soviet history I didn't know about until now.


    What other book might you compare Russia: Part Two: The Rise and Fall of the Soviets to and why?

    I can't think of anything to compare it to.


    Which character – as performed by Martin Sixsmith – was your favorite?

    He didn't perform them, but his interviews are impressive.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Wintnes to History.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    guido 11-12-12
    guido 11-12-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Much I remember but didn't understand at the time"
    If you could sum up Russia: Part Two: The Rise and Fall of the Soviets in three words, what would they be?

    Dynamic survey of Soviet history from the revolution up through Putin


    What did you like best about this story?

    Story-teller really knew his stuff -- knew the people, the places,a nd the context of the things he describes


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Growing up during the cold war, there were many things we didn't know at the time, that have only been revealed with the release of Soviet archives. Similarly, there were a lot things that happened in the post-Gorbachev era that I remember when the happened, but didn't have a great understanding of what they meant. This book rectified all that.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey Houston, TX, United States 09-27-12
    Jeffrey Houston, TX, United States 09-27-12
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    "They have what they deserve"
    Would you listen to Russia: Part Two: The Rise and Fall of the Soviets again? Why?

    Yes I would. This part was very interesting, I learned a great deal.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Narrator, he was great. Lived through this and he was very engaing.


    Have you listened to any of Martin Sixsmith’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    no, I knew what was comming. I lived through this.


    Any additional comments?

    It made me want to visit Saint Petersburg more than ever.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean NASHVILLE, TN, United States 03-19-12
    Sean NASHVILLE, TN, United States 03-19-12
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    "Very entertaining and thorough"
    What made the experience of listening to Russia: Part Two: The Rise and Fall of the Soviets the most enjoyable?

    This is a very well produced audio program that draws you in and makes it very easy to lose track of time.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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