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Thoroughly revised and updated, this new edition offers a comprehensive and accessible exploration of the Soviet system, from its rise in 1919 to its collapse in 1991. The book is divided into five parts, which focus on key aspects of Soviet politics: historical perspectives from the Tsarist regime to Gorbachev, local and national government institutions, theoretical approaches to Soviet politics, key foreign and domestic policy areas, and an evaluation of Soviet rule and the reasons for its collapse. Providing key texts and bibliographies, this book offers the complete history and politics of the Soviet period in a single volume.