The Soviet Union A Very Short Introduction

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The Soviet Union A Very Short Introduction

Author : Stephen Lovell
ISBN : 9780199238484
Genre : History
File Size : 88.46 MB
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Almost twenty years after the Soviet Union's end, what are we to make of its existence? Was it a heroic experiment, an unmitigated disaster, or a viable if flawed response to the modern world? What was the Soviet Union like? How did it evolve over seven decades? What was the relationship between the regime and the general population? This introduction blends political history with an investigation into the society and culture at the time. The author examines aspects of patriotism, mass culture, political violence, poverty, and ideology; and provides answers to some of the big questions about the Soviet experience.
Category: History

Russian History A Very Short Introduction

Author : Geoffrey Hosking
ISBN : 9780199580989
Genre : History
File Size : 88.11 MB
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A leading international authority discusses all aspects of Russian history, from the struggle by the state to control society to the transformation of the nation into a multi-ethnic empire, Russia's relations with the West and the post-Soviet era. Original.
Category: History

International Relations A Very Short Introduction

Author : Christian Reus-Smit
ISBN : 9780192590503
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 76.59 MB
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International relations affects everyone's lives: their security, economic well-being, rights and freedoms, and the environment they share. Recently we have seen the transformation from a world of empires to today's world of sovereign states, which are enmeshed in a complex array of international institutions, all exercising degrees of political authority. The new global organization of political authority has far-reaching consequences. This Very Short Introduction untangles this complex world, providing an accessible framework for understanding the contours of global political change. Christian Reus-Smit treats theory as an indispensable tool for grasping international relations, but demystifies theorizing, introducing it as an everyday human practice. He surveys a range of theories, from realism to feminism: reading them as contrasting perspectives on the global organization of political authority. Historically, such organization has been shaped by diverse social forces, four of which are discussed in detail: shifting patterns of warfare, changing economic conditions, struggles for rights, and the politics of culture. Reus-Smit concludes with a reflection on the future of international relations in an era of profound global change. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Political Science

Nazi Germany A Very Short Introduction

Author : Jane Caplan
ISBN : 9780191016905
Genre : History
File Size : 63.48 MB
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Any consideration of the 20th century would be incomplete without a discussion of Nazi Germany, an extraordinary regime which dominated European history for 12 years, and left a legacy that still echoes with us today. The incredible force of the destructive vision at the heart of Nazi Germany led to a second world war when the world was still aching from the first one, and an incomprehensible death count, both at home and abroad. In this Very Short Introduction, Jane Caplan's insightful analysis of Nazi Germany provides a highly relevant reminder of the fragility of democratic institutions, and the ways in which the exploitation of national fears, mass political movements, and frail political opposition can lead to the imposition of dictatorship. Considering the emergence and popular appeal of the Nazi party, she discusses the relationships between belief, consent, and terror in securing the regime, alongside the crucial role played by Hitler himself. Covering the full history of the regime, she includes an unflinching look at the dark stains of war, persecution, and genocide. At the same time, Caplan offers unexpected angles of vision and insights; asking readers to look behind the handful of over-used images of Nazi Germany we are familiar with, and to engage critically with a history that that is so abhorrent it risks seeming beyond interpretation. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: History

The European Union A Very Short Introduction

Author : John Pinder
ISBN : 9780191503948
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 33.69 MB
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Since the second edition of this popular Very Short Introduction published in 2007, the world has faced huge economic and political change. Showing how and why the EU has developed from 1950 to the present day, John Pinder and Simon Usherwood cover a range of topics, including the Union's early history, the workings of its institutions and what they do, the interplay between 'eurosceptics' and federalists, and the role of the Union beyond Europe in international affairs and as a peace-keeper. In this fully updated third edition, Pinder and Usherwood incorporate new material on the Lisbon treaty, the EU fiscal crisis, the state of the single Euro currency in its wake, and conclude by considering the future of the Union and the choices and challenges that may lie ahead. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Political Science

The Cold War A Very Short Introduction

Author : Robert J. McMahon
ISBN : 9780192801784
Genre : History
File Size : 42.34 MB
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How, when, and why did the Cold War begin? Why did it last so long? What impact did it have on the United States, the Soviet Union, Europe, and the Third World? Finally, what difference did it make to the broader history of the second half of the twentieth century? This clear and stimulating interpretive overview of the Cold War will both invite debate and encourage deeper investigation.
Category: History

Revolutions A Very Short Introduction

Author : Jack A. Goldstone
ISBN : 9780199858507
Genre : History
File Size : 45.44 MB
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This volume places recent events in Iraq and Afghanistan to Tunisia and Egypt in historical context. It provides a history of revolutions and insurgencies, an introduction to the way social scientists think about the causes and outcomes of revolutions, and an explanation of their significance in historical and political change. Jack A. Goldstone begins with a brief history of revolutions and insurgencies, from the revolutions that brought democracy to Greek city-states and led to thefounding of Rome through the major peasant revolts of the Middle Ages in Europe and China, and the Independence revolts in the Americas. He also touches upon the insurgencies in Latin America (Zapatistas and FARC) and Asia (in Malaysia and the Philippines), whose failure is instructive in understanding why revolts succeed or fail. The book then discusses types of revolutions and their causes; the radical social revolutions in France, Russia, and China; the revolutions for independence in Indiaand Algeria; revolutions against dictators in Mexico, Cuba, and Iran; and the so-called color revolutions in Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, and Georgia. Goldstone considers some of the key revolutionary leaders of history where they came from, what inspired them, and how they changed their societies. A diverse range of popular groups have carried revolutions: peasants, miners, urban craftsmen, professionals, students, and mothers, all treated here. A chapter on insurgency and counter-insurgencycovers Iraq and Afghanistan. Finally, Goldstone grapples with the outcomes of revolutions: whether they are associated with the rise of freedom and democracy, devastating ideological dictatorships, or something inconclusive. He examines the historical legacies of revolutions, in the areas of freedom, economic growth, women's rights, and minority rights. Revolutions have succeeded enough to feed dreams of freedom, but failed often enough to prompt caution.
Category: History

Communism A Very Short Introduction

Author : Leslie Holmes
ISBN : 9780191579158
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 40.40 MB
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The collapse of communism was one of the most defining moments of the twentieth century. At its peak, more than a third of the world's population had lived under communist power. What is communism? Where did the idea come from and what attracted people to it? What is the future for communism? This Very Short Introduction considers these questions and more in the search to explore and understand communism. Explaining the theory behind its ideology, and examining the history and mindset behind its political, economic and social structures, Leslie Holmes examines the highs and lows of communist power and its future in today's world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Political Science

Geopolitics A Very Short Introduction

Author : Klaus Dodds
ISBN : 9780191664472
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 46.53 MB
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Geopolitics is a way of looking at the world: one that considers the links between political power, geography, and cultural diversity. In certain places such as Iraq, Lebanon, or Israel, moving a few feet either side of a territorial boundary can be a matter of life or death, dramatically highlighting the connections between place and politics. Even far away from these 'danger zones' - in Europe or the US for example - geopolitics remains an important part of everyday life. For a country's location and size as well as its sovereignty and resources all affect how the people that live there understand and interact with the wider world. In this new edition Klaus Dodds takes into account several world developments that have occured since original publication, including the Arab Spring, the worldwide economic crisis, and the developing role of China in international politics. Using wide-ranging examples, from historical maps to James Bond films and the rhetoric of political leaders both past and present, this Very Short Introduction shows why, for a full understanding of contemporary global politics, it is not just smart - it is essential - to be geopolitical. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Political Science

Socialism A Very Short Introduction

Author : Michael Newman
ISBN : 9780191577895
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 68.13 MB
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What is socialism? Does it have a future, or has it become an outdated ideology in the 21st century? Michael Newman examines and explains the successes and failures of modern socialism by taking an international perspective — ranging from communism in Cuba to social democracy in Sweden. Discussing its evolution from the industrial towns of the 19th century to its response to the feminist, green, and anti-capitalist movements today, Newman concludes that, with its values of equality, solidarity, and cooperation, socialism remains as relevant as ever but that it needs to learn lessons from the past. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Political Science

The Cultural Revolution A Very Short Introduction

Author : Richard Curt Kraus
ISBN : 9780199912940
Genre : History
File Size : 52.36 MB
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China's decade-long Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution shook the politics of China and the world. Even as we approach its fiftieth anniversary, the movement remains so contentious that the Chinese Communist Party still forbids fully open investigation of its origins, development, and conclusion. Drawing upon a vital trove of scholarship, memoirs, and popular culture, this Very Short Introduction illuminates this complex, often obscure, and still controversial movement. Moving beyond the figure of Mao Zedong, Richard Curt Kraus links Beijing's elite politics to broader aspects of society and culture, highlighting many changes in daily life, employment, and the economy. Kraus also situates this very nationalist outburst of Chinese radicalism within a global context, showing that the Cultural Revolution was mirrored in the radical youth movement that swept much of the world, and that had imagined or emotional links to China's red guards. Yet it was also during the Cultural Revolution that China and the United States tempered their long hostility, one of the innovations in this period that sowed the seeds for China's subsequent decades of spectacular economic growth.
Category: History

The Russian Revolution A Very Short Introduction

Author : S. A. Smith
ISBN : 9780191578366
Genre : History
File Size : 37.99 MB
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This Very Short Introduction provides an analytical narrative of the main events and developments in Soviet Russia between 1917 and 1936. It examines the impact of the revolution on society as a whole—on different classes, ethnic groups, the army, men and women, youth. Its central concern is to understand how one structure of domination was replaced by another. The book registers the primacy of politics, but situates political developments firmly in the context of massive economic, social, and cultural change. Since the fall of Communism there has been much reflection on the significance of the Russian Revolution. The book rejects the currently influential, liberal interpretation of the revolution in favour of one that sees it as rooted in the contradictions of a backward society which sought modernization and enlightenment and ended in political tyranny. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: History

Chinese Literature A Very Short Introduction

Author : Sabina Knight
ISBN : 9780199913138
Genre : History
File Size : 30.77 MB
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Perhaps nowhere else has literature been as conscious a collective endeavor as in China, and China's survival over three thousand years may owe more to its literary traditions than to its political history. This Very Short Introduction tells the story of Chinese literature from antiquity to the present, focusing on the key role literary culture played in supporting social and political concerns. Embracing traditional Chinese understandings of literature as encompassing history and philosophy as well as poetry and poetics, storytelling, drama, and the novel, Sabina Knight discusses the philosophical foundations of literary culture as well as literature's power to address historical trauma and cultivate moral and sensual passions. From ancient historical records through the modernization and globalization of Chinese literature, Knight draws on lively examples to underscore the close relationship between ethics and aesthetics, as well as the diversity of Chinese thought. Knight also illuminates the role of elite patronage; the ways literature has served the interests of specific groups; and questions of canonization, language, nationalism, and cross-cultural understanding. The book includes Chinese characters for names, titles, and key terms.
Category: History

Colonial Latin American Literature A Very Short Introduction

Author : Rolena Adorno
ISBN : 9780199912421
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 27.79 MB
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A vivid account of the literary culture of the Spanish-speaking Americas from the time of Columbus to Latin American Independence, this Very Short Introduction explores the origins of Latin American literature in Spanish and tells the story of how Spanish literary language developed and flourished in the New World. A leading scholar of colonial Latin American literature, Rolena Adorno examines the writings that debated the justice of the Spanish conquests, described the novelties of New World nature, expressed the creativity of Hispanic baroque culture in epic, lyric, and satirical poetry, and anticipated Latin American Independence. The works of Spanish, creole, and Amerindian authors highlighted here, including Bartolom? de las Casas, Felipe Guaman Poma, Sor Juana In?s de la Cruz, and Andr?s Bello, have been chosen for the merits of their writings, their participation in the larger literary and cultural debates of their times, and their resonance among readers today. About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.
Category: Literary Criticism

Work A Very Short Introduction

Author : Stephen Fineman
ISBN : 9780191642418
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 57.87 MB
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The image of a job captures our imagination from an early age, usually prompted by the question 'What do you want to be when you grow up?'. Work — paid, unpaid, voluntary, or obligatory — is woven into the fabric of all human societies. For many of us, it becomes part of our identity. For others it is a tedious necessity. Living is problematic without paid work, and for many it is catastrophic. Steve Fineman tells the fascinating story of work - how we strive for security, reward, and often, meaning. Looking at how we classify 'work'; the cultural and social factors that influence the way we work; the ethics of certain types of work; and the factors that will affect the future of work, from globalization to technology, this Very Short Introduction considers work as a concept and as a practical experience, drawing upon ideas from psychology, sociology, management, and social history. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Business & Economics

Entrepreneurship A Very Short Introduction

Author : Paul Westhead
ISBN : 9780191649493
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 55.16 MB
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There has been an explosion of interest in entrepreneurs in the popular media, as well as in business, policy, and education. But what do entrepreneurs do? What is entrepreneurship and why is it important? What is distinctive about entrepreneurs? And where do they come from? In this Very Short Introduction Paul Westhead and Mike Wright weave a pathway through the debates about entrepreneurship, providing a guide to the entrepreneurial process. They look at how the actions of entrepreneurs are shaped by the external environment and availability of resources, consider the types of organizations in which entrepreneurs can be found, and look at the diversity in their backgrounds, experience, and how they think and learn. Lastly, they consider the impact that entrepreneurs have on modern market economies and look at the future of entrepreneurship in our increasingly globalized world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Business & Economics

Nuclear Weapons A Very Short Introduction

Author : Joseph M. Siracusa
ISBN : 9780191578823
Genre : History
File Size : 55.20 MB
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Despite not having been used in anger since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Bomb is still the biggest threat that faces us in the 21st century. As Bill Clinton's first secretary of defence, Les Aspin, aptly put it: 'The Cold War is over, the Soviet Union is no more. But the post-Cold War world is decidedly not post-nuclear'. For all the effort to reduce nuclear stockpiles to zero, it seems that the Bomb is here to stay. This Very Short Introduction reveals why. The history, and politics of the bomb are explained: from the technology of nuclear weapons, to the revolutionary implications of the H-bomb, and the politics of nuclear deterrence. The issues are set against a backdrop of the changing international landscape, from the early days of development, through the Cold War, to the present-day controversy of George W. Bush's National Missile Defence, and the threat and role of nuclear weapons in the so-called Age of Terror. Joseph M. Siracusa provides a comprehensive, accessible, and at times chilling overview of the most deadly weapon ever invented. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: History

World War Ii A Very Short Introduction

Author : Gerhard L. Weinberg
ISBN : 9780191008764
Genre : History
File Size : 40.55 MB
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The enormous loss of life and physical destruction caused by the First World War led people to hope that there would never be another such catastrophe. How then did it come about that there was a Second World War causing twice the 30 million deaths and many times more destruction as had been caused in the previous conflict? In this Very Short Introduction, Gerhard L. Weinberg provides an introduction to the origins, course, and impact of the war on those who fought and the ordinary citizens who lived through it. Starting by looking at the inter-war years and the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, he examines how the war progressed by examining a number of key events, including the war in the West in 1940, Barbarossa, The German Invasion of the Soviet Union, the expansion of Japan's war with China, developments on the home front, and the Allied victory from 1944-45. Exploring the costs and effects of the war, Weinberg concludes by considering the long-lasting mark World War II has left on society today. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: History

Plate Tectonics A Very Short Introduction

Author : Peter Molnar
ISBN : 9780191043963
Genre : Science
File Size : 26.16 MB
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The 1960s revealed a new and revolutionary idea in geological thought: that the continents drift with respect to one another. After having been dismissed for decades as absurd, the concept gradually became part of geology's basic principles. We now know that the Earth's crust and upper mantle consist of a small number of rigid plates that move, and there are significant boundaries between pairs of plates, usually known as earthquake belts. Plate tectonics now explains much of the structure and phenomena we see today: how oceans form, widen, and disappear; why earthquakes and volcanoes are found in distinct zones which follow plate boundaries; how the great mountain ranges of the world were built. The impact of plate tectonics is studied closely as these processes continue: the Himalaya continues to grow, the Atlantic is widening, and new oceans are forming. In this Very Short Introduction Peter Molnar provides a succinct and authoritative account of the nature and mechanisms of plate tectonics and its impact on our understanding of Earth. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Science

International Relations A Very Short Introduction

Author : Paul Wilkinson
ISBN : 9780191577536
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 60.66 MB
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Of undoubtable relevance today, in a post-9-11 world of growing political tension and unease, this Very Short Introduction covers the topics essential to an understanding of modern international relations. Paul Wilkinson explains the theories and the practice that underlie the subject, and investigates issues ranging from foreign policy, arms control, and terrorism, to the environment and world poverty. He examines the role of organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union, as well as the influence of ethnic and religious movements and terrorist groups which also play a role in shaping the way states and governments interact. This up-to-date book is required reading for those seeking a new perspective to help untangle and decipher international events. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Political Science