Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

The final chapter in the book attempts to answer the question posed in the preface: Why did the USSR collapse so quickly less than a generation after it had attained the pinnacle of international power? Mass unrest or organized political resistance did not cause the collapse. Its causes include systemic economic problems and policy mistakes by Gorbachev; the heavy military burden; secrecy that limited knowledge about the country even among those who needed it, and that helped undermine support for the system when the truth about its problems emerged; and the relaxation of repression, releasing political, ethnic, and social criticism that eroded the foundations of the system. The chapter ends with a discussion of the role of individual leaders in the collapse, including Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Reagan, and Bush.

This content is only available as PDF.
You do not currently have access to this chapter.
Don't already have an account? Register
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal