Catalogue


The Russian quest for peace and democracy /
Metta Spencer.
imprint
Lanham, MD. : Lexington Books, c2010.
description
vi, 340 p.
ISBN
0739144723 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780739144725 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Lanham, MD. : Lexington Books, c2010.
isbn
0739144723 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780739144725 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Termites and barking dogs -- Social capital and ideology -- Two scientists, two paths -- Foreign communists -- Three freelance diplomats -- A civil society : elite bears and doves -- Scientists and weaponeers -- In the hands of experts -- Do peace and democracy work? -- The Soviet peace movement at the time of the coup -- The end and the beginning -- From below and sideways -- Social traps : toward an explanation of totalitarianism -- Quest? What quest?
catalogue key
7340136
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Metta Spencer is editor-in-chief of Peace Magazine and professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Toronto.
Reviews
Review Quotes
Metta has an engaging style of writing, very like a personal conversation. The book is deeply interesting for its theoretical content, and fascinating for the cameos of extraordinary people who appear in the pages.
Spencer has an engaging style of writing, very like a personal conversation. The book is deeply interesting for its theoretical content and fascinating for the cameos of extraordinary people who appear in the pages.Spencer has an engaging style of writing, very like a personal conversation. The book is deeply interesting for its theoretical content and fascinating for the cameos of extraordinary people who appear in the pages.
[Spencer's] chronicle of the spirit and ingenuity of Russians and their ability to overcome the most unbreachable barriers is anything but discouraging. I look forward to the next chapter.
A very interesting and informative text, especially for readers who are interested in political sociology, social movements, and Russian history.
This brilliant work illuminates not only crucial developments in modern Russian history, but the profound influence transnational civil society has had on building a peaceful and democratic world.....
The Russian Quest for Peace and Democracy is a statement of faith in the human desire for peace and freedom, a longing that survives even in the most oppressive regimes, publicly in a courageous few, and more covertly in others.
Spencer's valuable account of this period in Eastern European socio-political history gives voice to those whose multifarious works ended the Cold War. She quotes at length from her extensive interviews covering some 28 years of work in the field shedding light not only on the accomplishments of individuals, but also on their characters.
A remarkable book on the transmission of ideas, in this case, ideas about peace.... Metta has an engaging style of writing, very like a personal conversation. The book is deeply interesting for its theoretical content, and fascinating for the cameos of extraordinary people who appear in the pages.
In this book, Metta Spencer tells the important but neglected story of the contacts between western peace activists and Soviet intellectuals (both official and dissident) through the words of those who took part. In so doing, she dispels the myths prevalent in Western policy-making circles that the West 'won' the Cold War through its military strength'myths which still have a distorting affect on policy. Anyone who wants to know how the Cold War ended will find this book immensely useful....
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
In The Russian Quest for Peace and Democracy, Metta Spencer recounts the political and military changes that have occurred in Russia up to mid-2010. Using hundreds of interviews she conducted with officials, dissidents, and liberal intellectuals, she describes the various groups, forces, and individuals that worked to liberalize the totalitarian Soviet Union and its fellow nations behind the Iron Curtain, and which ultimately brought about the dissolution of those repressive governments. Spencer identifies four political orientations to describe Soviet society: "Sheep," ordinary citizens who accepted the undemocratic regime they lived in without challenging it; "Dinosaurs," hard-line Communist officials; "Termites," including Mikhail Gorbachev and his advisers and government; and "Barking Dogs," a few hundred dissidents who made "a lot of noise" protesting, hoping to awaken a grass-roots demand for democracy. The strange rivalry between the Termites and Barking Dogs would ultimately doom perestroika. Spencer's research dispels the widely-held perception that US President Ronald Reagan "won" the Cold War by standing firm until the Soviet Union "blinked first." There are vitally important lessons to be learned from the Soviet period, about how to assist citizens of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes around the world. The irony is that transnational civil society organizations, major sources of the progress in Soviet Russia, are still needed today in authoritarian Russia, under Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, for totalitarianism remains a potential social trap. In The Russian Quest for Peace and Democracy, Metta Spencer suggests new ways of building urgently-needed social capital in today's Russia, where democracy has yet to flourish.
Long Description
In The Russian Quest for Peace and Democracy, Metta Spencer recounts the political and military changes that have occurred in Russia up to mid-2010. Using hundreds of interviews she conducted with officials, dissidents, and liberal intellectuals, she describes the various groups, forces, and individuals that worked to liberalize the totalitarian Soviet Union and its fellow nations behind the Iron Curtain, and which ultimately brought about the dissolution of those repressive governments. Spencer identifies four political orientations to describe Soviet society: _Sheep,_ ordinary citizens who accepted the undemocratic regime they lived in without challenging it; _Dinosaurs,_ hard-line Communist officials; _Termites,_ including Mikhail Gorbachev and his advisers and government; and _Barking Dogs,_ a few hundred dissidents who made _a lot of noise_ protesting, hoping to awaken a grass-roots demand for democracy. The strange rivalry between the Termites and Barking Dogs would ultimately doom perestroika. Spencer's research dispels the widely-held perception that US President Ronald Reagan _won_ the Cold War by standing firm until the Soviet Union _blinked first._ There are vitally important lessons to be learned from the Soviet period, about how to assist citizens of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes around the world. The irony is that transnational civil society organizations, major sources of the progress in Soviet Russia, are still needed today in authoritarian Russia, under Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, for totalitarianism remains a potential social trap. In The Russian Quest for Peace and Democracy, Metta Spencer suggests new ways of building urgently-needed social capital in today's Russia, where democracy has yet to flourish.
Long Description
In The Russian Quest for Peace and Democracy, Metta Spencer recounts the political and military changes that have occurred in Russia up to mid-2010. Using hundreds of interviews she conducted with officials, dissidents, and liberal intellectuals, she describes the various groups, forces, and individuals that worked to liberalize the totalitarian Soviet Union and its fellow nations behind the Iron Curtain, and which ultimately brought about the dissolution of those repressive governments. Spencer identifies four political orientations to describe Soviet society: 'Sheep,' ordinary citizens who accepted the undemocratic regime they lived in without challenging it; 'Dinosaurs,' hard-line Communist officials; 'Termites,' including Mikhail Gorbachev and his advisers and government; and 'Barking Dogs,' a few hundred dissidents who made 'a lot of noise' protesting, hoping to awaken a grass-roots demand for democracy. The strange rivalry between the Termites and Barking Dogs would ultimately doom perestroika. Spencer's research dispels the widely-held perception that US President Ronald Reagan 'won' the Cold War by standing firm until the Soviet Union 'blinked first.' There are vitally important lessons to be learned from the Soviet period, about how to assist citizens of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes around the world. The irony is that transnational civil society organizations, major sources of the progress in Soviet Russia, are still needed today in authoritarian Russia, under Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, for totalitarianism remains a potential social trap. In The Russian Quest for Peace and Democracy, Metta Spencer suggests new ways of building urgently-needed social capital in today's Russia, where democracy has yet to flourish.
Table of Contents
Table of Contentp. v
Introductionp. 1
Termites and Barking Dogsp. 5
Social Capital and Ideologyp. 35
Two Scientists, Two Pathsp. 57
Foreign Communistsp. 67
Three Freelance Diplomatsp. 87
A Civil Society: Elite Bears and Dovesp. 103
Scientists and Weaponeersp. 119
In the Hands of Expertsp. 137
Do Peace and Democracy Work?p. 171
The Soviet Peace Movement at the Time of the Coupp. 205
The End and the Beginningp. 219
From Below and Sidewaysp. 249
Social Traps-Toward an Explanation of Totalitarianismp. 283
Quest? What Quest?p. 297
Conclusionp. 307
Acknowledgmentsp. 317
Bibliographyp. 319
RussianPeaceAndDemocracy.comp. 328
Indexp. 329
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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