The Revenge of the Past: Nationalism, Revolution, and the Collapse of the Soviet Union

Ronald Suny
1993
Stanford University Press

This timely work shows how and why the dramatic collapse of the Soviet Union was caused in large part by nationalism. Unified in their hostility to the Kremlin's authority, the fifteen constituent Union Republics, including the Russian Republic, declared their sovereignty and began to build state institutions of their own. The book has a dual purpose. The first is to explore the formation of nations within the Soviet Union, the policies of the Soviet Union toward non-Russian peoples, and the ultimate contradictions between those policies and the development of nations. The second, more general, purpose is to show how nations have grown in the twentieth century. The principle of nationality that buried the Soviet Union and destroyed its empire in Eastern Europe continues to shape and reshape the configuration of states and political movements among the new independent countries of the vast East European-Eurasian region.