Roads to the Temple Truth, Memory, Ideas, and Ideals in the Making of the Russian Revolution, 1987-1991 Leon Aron

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
13 Jun 2012
ISBN:
9780300118445
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
496 pages: 235 x 156 x 33mm

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Leon Aron considers the “mystery of the Soviet collapse” and finds answers in the intellectual and moral self-scrutiny of glasnost that brought about a profound shift in values. Reviewing the entire output of the key glasnost outlets in 1987-1991, he elucidates and documents key themes in this national soul-searching and the “ultimate” questions that sparked moral awakening of a great nation: “Who are we? How do we live honorably? What is a dignified relationship between man and state? How do we atone for the moral breakdown of Stalinism?”    
 
Contributing both to the theory of revolutions and history of ideas, Aron presents a thorough and original narrative about new ideas’ dissemination through the various media of the former Soviet Union. Aron shows how, reaching every corner of the nation, these ideas destroyed the moral foundation of the Soviet state, de-legitimized it and made its collapse inevitable.  

 

Leon Aron is Director of Russian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. He is the author of Yeltsin: A Revolutionary Life and Russia's Revolution: Essays, 1989–2006.

"This is an outstanding work. No such extraordinary work on the ideas of perestroika and glasnost will be written."--Anders Aslund, Peterson Institute for International Economics

"Leon Aron has written a book about the moral foundation of perestroika and the colossal reassessment of values, which brought about an unprecedented and, for many, unexpected shift in Russian history. These were the years when we tried to bring together politics and morality. Today, when Russia is again facing a crucial choice, it is very important to remember that time and the people who moved forward this difficult but necessary process of intellectual and then political transformation."—Mikhail Gorbachev

"Human beings forget luminescent moments when the pursuit of human dignity lights up our world. Leon Aron does not allow us to forget the remarkable Soviet revolution of 1987-1991, a moment of moral clarity increasingly submerged in a miasma of deception."—Blair Ruble, Director, Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson Center

"From America's most insightful chronicler of Russian affairs comes a vividly drawn portrait of a country coming awake. Both erudite and gripping, passionate and yet rigorous, Roads to the Temple is a masterpiece of cultural and intellectual history."—Daniel Treisman, author of The Return: Russia's Journey from Gorbachev to Medvedev

"Leon Aron's book is an indispensible guide to the forces that shaped Russia's years of glasnost and revolution, a work of intellectual history that is brimming with fresh insights and points the way to the great challenges facing Russian democracy today."—David E. Hoffman, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy

"A stunning portrait of the intellectual and moral revolution that burst forth between 1987 and 1991... Aron skillfully captures the vastness and intensity of this transfiguration of ideas." - Foreign Affairs Review