The new Russians ebook

by Hedrick Smith

Hedrick Smith exposes the roots of reform, ideas that were germinating within the . It is one of the best and certainly one of the most ns to the Soviet Union under Gorbachev.

Hedrick Smith exposes the roots of reform, ideas that were germinating within the . during the late seventies and early eighties, but were hidden from view. It is one of the best and certainly one of the most ns to the Soviet Union under Gorbache. .The Washington Post Book World.

Inside portrait of Russia and its people. In The Russians, published in 1983, Smith asserted that fundamental change in the Soviet Union was impossible. Hardcover with dust jacket. Based on his 10 trips to the . within the past two years, his new book represents an about-face. He hails the current wave of reforms as "the most extraordinary peaceful revolution of the twentieth century" and argues that the process of change will sustain momentum-with or without Gorbachev.

Hedrick Smith is a bestselling author, Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter, and Emmy Award–winning producer. His books The Russians and The Power Game were critically acclaimed bestsellers and are widely used in college courses today. Smith’s prime-time specials for PBS have won several awards for examining systemic problems in modern America and offering insightful, prescriptive solutions.

The New Russians book. Books by Hedrick Smith. Mor. rivia About The New Russians.

Smith was born in Kilmacolm, Scotland. He was educated at The Choate School (now Choate Rosemary Hall) in Wallingford, Connecticut and at Williams College, where he was a brother of Alpha Delta Phi. After graduating from Williams College (where he earned a .

Xxxi, 621 pages ; 24 cm. The story of the 2nd Russian Revolution. Includes bibliographical references (pages 575-580) and index. Includes bibliographical references (pages 575-580) and index

I just received The New Russians.

I just received The New Russians. But it's a bit confusing. I initially thought that this updated the original - 'The Russians'. Flicking through The New Russians, the majority of the work is clearly from the late 80s onwards.

Even from afar, the transformation in the Soviet Union held a special fascination for all of us, and not only because it affected our destiny, our survival, even the changing nature of our own society. What happened there riveted our interest for a deeper reason: It was a modern enactment of one of the archetypal stories of human existence, that of the struggle from darkness to light, from poverty toward prosperity, from dictatorship toward democracy.

I read it in the mid-seventies when Smith wrote it. I was just back from the USSR for the first time. I later went another four times. I ordered the book to read again recently. Smith's observations of the USSR in the Brezhnev years matches mine perfectly. He is a master observer of that place at that time.
Hedrick Smith's books on the Russians (and Soviets) gives a great overview of the Russian powers at work. His original book, The Russians, is almost a college course on the former Sovie
If you want to know, in all its details, what went wrong with Gorbachov's plans
to modify the economic structure of the USSR this is an interesting book.
It is well researched and written after exploring Russia and some of the Soviet
republics almost a quarter of a century ago.
This book was written by a person who has spent a lot of time in the country and has grown to know it well. It describes the break up of the Soviet Union and its aftermath. I also heartily recommend his first book - The Russians.
Beautifully written. Gets into the hearts and minds of the Russian people. A must read for anyone interested in how Russian culture has evolved.
nice smooth, no marks it is excellent, well written can't wait to finally engulf and read it looks great like his power game book
at Russia during its modern transition era. Hedrick Smith bequeathed two impressionist journals of his Russian/Soviet experience. His first, "The Russians," was a `70s eye-opener for Americans used to silly cold war stereotypes. Though better information had long been out there, only top correspondents like Smith or Harrison Salisbury could ever get their works funded before a wide audience. Along came Gorby, glasnost and perestroika, and Mr. Smith followed up with "The New Russians". As with so much of the optimistic reportage of the period, Smith could not know the phrase would become a sneer both at home and abroad.

Smith was (and remains) a cheerleader for this era of "democratic free market reform." Time has not done well by the hopes of the era nor the reformers he lauds therein. Not to become simplistic, but one example will suffice for the book's theme and tone. In Chapter 23, "City Hall: The New Political Entrepreneurs," he portrays Vadim Tumanov, a construction contractor, whose performance repairing a section of Moscow's Ring Road was touted as "a classic lesson in free-market productivity" (p. 547). Mr. Tumanov had been running an off-the-books "firm" for 35 years with the state looking the other way. This was, of course, not a start-up "entrepreneur," but an artel, a traditional contract-labor collective. Such arrangements were a functioning part of the unofficial gray economy throughout the USSR's economic history. Tumanov could not have survived so long without the highest government connections, so it was no wonder that he was recommended and awarded the Ring Road contract by Moscow's City Council.

Only, the city subsidized his trucks (with gasoline) and supplied his asphalt. Rather than a textbook Horatio Alger capitalist success story, we see a well-connected contractor receiving government subsidy. When "accused" of "making a profit," his shrugging reply was that "there is no secret" - and he was right: get some level of government to pay for your operating costs and reap the profits. This is not a failure of the capitalist model, of course, but how it really works in practice. There was indeed no ideological catchup with the West required. The reformers of Moscow and Leningrad City Hall were, however, much more candid than their Western counterparts in how they began their free-market kickback ventures. Said Deputy Mayor Sergei Stankevich: "We help create them [new independent enterprises] and give them a legal basis, and they give us part of the profits" (p. 549). It took the West a full decade to begin catching up to this pioneering contractor-outsourcing model, like a cold war space race.

Russia of the period was a Chicago School vanguard experiment, trying out its nostrums upon a crumbling Soviet economy that couldn't dare be pulled off at home without the direst political consequences. But this was the Communist USSR - so, in Strobe Talbott's memorable term, bring out the "wrecking ball." Of course, the consequences could not be avoided, even in Russia. The young midlevel government free market reformers allied with the ambitious Boris Yeltsin, to seize control of the Russian Republic out from under an increasingly entrapped Gorbachev. "You see the same kinds of things going on in other cities where democrats are in power," Stankevich is quoted further, trying to "control administrative buildings, local newspapers and establish radio stations." Once in power, they and Yeltsin were as single-minded as their Bolshevik predecessors, and so Russia embarked on one of the wildest eras of corruption in its history, ending in the Great Crash of '98 and the financial and political disgrace of the entire cadre of perestroika reformers whose "energy, new ideas, and noble objectives" Smith lauded in this book - up to and including Tzar Boris himself.

Smith and many others have bemoaned the rise of Putin as bringing these good times to an end. But those who didn't stuff dollars into foreign bank accounts had quite different experiences. Smith writes in conclusion that many rank-and-file workers regarded market reforms "as simply a means to line the pockets of a new Soviet bourgeoisie" (p. 551) which "saw openings to exploit" as it hammered away at the Soviet state and economy. Thus the reformers' popular support was not as pervasive as Smith wrote elsewhere, even in 1990. Hindsight demonstrated that those simplistic, Stalinoid Soviet workers had clearer insight into reality than - shock! - a veteran NYT foreign correspondent. It was exactly this kind of free-wheeling looting during the early NEP period of the 1920s that brought on the Stalinist backlash of Five Year Plan statism - and explains Putin's nagging hold on post-reform Russia.
I recently re-read both Smith's original "The Russians" and "The New Russians." The first book was a landmark, a riveting inside look at the USSR during the Brezhnev years, though Smith's conclusion (that the Soviet system would endure indefinitely) was dead wrong. (No shame in that. Predictions by NYT writers about the future of Russia are generally wrong.)
The second book, though written by the same man, using the same reporting techniques, is completely different. It is less about Russia (or the rest of the former USSR) than it is about Mikhail Gorbachev and the wonders he had performed and would surpass in the future. Gorbachev comes from Lincolnesque beginnings. Gorbachev does no wrong. Gorbachev has no antidemocratic side -- unless circumstances force him to act in such a way. Gorbachev is the driving force and visionary architect of the restructuring and opening of Russian society. It's as if one of Stalin's old apologists had been resurrected and put back to work -- with "Stalin" inked out and "Gorbachev" inked in.
"The New Russians" came ten years after "The Russians," and the Russian world had changed utterly in that decade. Ten years after "The New Russians" was published, the outlook for and course of the New Russia has altered radically from what Smith foresaw in 1991, and -- sadly -- not for the better.
An adolescent mash note to the last Soviet dictator when it was published, "The New Russians" is now a period piece. Read it for Smith's anecdotes and style, but look elsewhere for insight on the real New Russia.
The new Russians ebook
Hedrick Smith
Politics & Government
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Hutchinson; First edition (1990)
621 pages
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