The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union (UK Edition)

October 31, 2020
The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union (UK Edition)

BY THE AUTHOR OF CHERNOBYL: HISTORY OF A TRAGEDY, WINNEROF THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE 2018On Christmas Day 1991 Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as president ofthe Soviet Union. By the next day the USSR was officially no moreand the USA had emerged as the world's sole superpower.Award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy presents a page-turningaccount of the preceding five months of drama, filled with failedcoups d'état and political intrigue.Honing in on this previously disregarded but crucial period andusing recently declassified documents and original interviews withkey participants, he shatters the established myths of 1991 andpresents a bold new interpretation of the Soviet Union's finalmonths. Plokhy argues that contrary to the triumphalist Westernnarrative, George H. W. Bush desperately wanted to preserve theSoviet Union and keep Gorbachev in power, and that it was Ukraineand not the US that played the key role in the collapse of theSoviet Union. The consequences of those five months and themyth-making that has since surrounded them are still being felt inCrimea, Russia, the US, and Europe today.With its spellbinding narrative and strikingly freshperspective, The Last Empire is the essential account ofone of the most important watershed periods in world history, andis indispensable reading for anyone seeking to make sense ofinternational politics today.This 2015 UK edition includes a new foreword with an overview ofRusso-Ukrainian relations since 1991 and the ongoing war.