Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire Summary & Study Guide

David Remnick
This Study Guide consists of approximately 46 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Lenin's Tomb.
This section contains 498 words
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Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire Summary & Study Guide Description

Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire by David Remnick.

David Remnick, a journalist with the Washington Post arrives in the Soviet Union in January 1988. Little does he know that, during the four years that he is assigned to Moscow, the country will experience tremendous change, and the Soviet Empire will crumble. Remnick is an eyewitness to a remarkable struggle between the forces of the past and the vision of future. Remnick's Russian heritage, command of the language, and role as a journalist enables him to explore the past, present and future in a way that few Westerners ever could. Remnick lives in Moscow and develops a social network with Soviet friends and colleagues. Through this network, he is able to provide the reader a glimpse of the life of average Soviet people. As a journalist, he interviews some of the most influential figures in the modern Soviet Union and some of the most despised remnants of the Stalin era.

From the early days of the Bolshevik movement, corruption permeates the government and the Communist Party. From its infancy under Vladimir Lenin, the Communist Party employs terror and violence as a means of controlling the population and protecting themselves. During the notorious Stalin era, the art of terror is taken to new heights. Millions of Soviets are brutally murdered and imprisoned in labor camps in Siberia. During the years that follow Stalin's reign, some details about Stalin's campaign of terror begin to surface among the general public but, for the most part, average Soviet citizens remain in the dark about their own tragic history.

After a few years in power, Mikhail Gorbachev begins to show his liberal side and there are signs that the situation in the Soviet Union will improve. Urging glasnost and perestroika, his two most famous reform policies aimed at economic improvement and openness in government, Gorbachev becomes a hero of the common Soviet. As time passes and progress is slow, the hero begins to lose his luster in the eyes of the people, who are hoping for radical change. Wedged between the democratic movement and the old Communist Party, Gorbachev makes serious errors in judgment and nearly destroys any advancements the country has experienced during his term. The internal struggle between the Communists and the democrats in the Soviet Union comes to a head in August 1990, when Gorbachev's own inner circle attempts a coup d'etat to end the era of glasnost and return the Soviet Union to its previous way of life.

In the end, the coup fails and the Soviet Union is dismantled. Although there are various factors that contribute to the Empire's collapse, the most significant factor is the Soviet people themselves. After years of blind obedience and misery, the Soviet people seem to awaken from a miserable dream in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This awakening gives the strength and the courage to face not only their past, but their future. To witness this transformation through Remnick's eyes and words is a remarkable lesson in the power of the human spirit.

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This section contains 498 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire Study Guide
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