Revolution what ultimately led to their failure and destruction.

Revolution 1989 The Fall of The Soviet Empire summarizes the totality of the Soviet Union’s decline and eventual end along with the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is a book about the struggle against communism throughout Eurasia for most of the second half of the twentieth century. Ultimately, the narrative is split into four sections; the cold war, the rise of Mikhail Gorbachev and his process to revolutionize Russia, the actual revolution of 1989, and then the peace spread after the fall of the Berlin wall and its push towards the end of twentieth-century communism. Despite Gorbachev and other Warsaw Pact allies, the Soviet Union’s inability to get their act together its what ultimately led to their failure and destruction. The novel relates to Russian communist ideologies discussed in class and the global effects during and after the Soviet destruction/ the destruction of the iron curtain. All this said, Sebestyen bores the readers with an abundance of information and facts rather than a storyline. He was a scene reporter for the London Evening Standard during the Soviet Union’s destruction. This gave him a unique first-hand experience during the event that he did not use to its full worth. Throughout the book Revolution 1989 the Fall of the Soviet Empire, the author gives a very in-depth summary of how the Soviet Union’s ultimate annihilation occurred. To do so, he utilizes a multiplicity of sources to put together a wholesome story.Victor begins the book with a particularly optimistic point of view. He writes an introduction that gives a generalized overview of 1989 and the happiness spread with the fall of the Berlin wall and the sudden downfall of the Soviet Union. He then transitions into an intriguing prologue about the trial and execution of Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena Ceausescu in. Nicolae was the president of Romania from 1965 to 1989. He was accused of genocide, rebellion of the state, destruction of public assets and property, sabotage of the country, and embezzlement of state funds. Victor goes into fine detail about the trial and the actions taken during and after the final execution.As previously stated, Victor does a good job indicating sections of the downfall/revolution that are relative to each other. The first part of the narrative is called the “Cold War”. He starts the first chapter of the book during the middle of the cold war when the German Democratic Republic began trading humans with West Germany. The German Democratic Republic quickly learned that they could trade prisoners and criminals across the wall to make money to increase their income for supplies and necessities. With this topic starting part one of the book, it lays the format for the rest of the section. Chapters two through ten discuss the multiple issues occurring during the Cold War which includes arising political complications between the NATO states and the Warsaw Pact states and the United States attempting to intimidate Russia.  The second part of the book is called “The Thaw” and it starts at chapter eleven, talking about the election of Mikhail Gorbachev. The chapter begins with the death of the Soviet Union’s Red Tsar, Konstantin Chernenko. That leaves a new position in the U.S.S.R. that needed to be filled, which was Gorbachev’s cue. Gorbachev had already been acting in Chernenko’s position while he was sick so the committee that chooses political seats already had him in thought to officially take over the job. Chapters twelve through twenty-five then discuss how Gorbachev helps the soviet union take the intensity out of the cold war and enforces his new policies of glasnost and perestroika. They also talk about how he leads the country to impending doom by opening up the government and attempting to get rid of irremovable corruption. Finally, The third section of the book is called “Revolution” and it begins at chapter twenty-six discussing how Romania and Hungary began having issues with each other even though they were Warsaw Pact allies. This worried the U.S.S.R. because it was one of the first signs of their downfall in January of 1989. All the way to the end of the book, Sebestyen discusses the interconnectivity of the allies and their final fight against the communist regime. He writes about the miscommunication that actually determined the collapse of the Iron Curtain and how everyone showed up at the wall to cross over to their friends and family to break the almost thirty-year separation. The book was certainly monotone and difficult to read if the reader has a lack of knowledge on the subject. As Revolution 1989 was very informative of the events leading up to the Soviet downfall through a multiplicity of perspectives, it did not appeal to an entertaining read. Revolution 1989 was not captivating due to the lack of dramatic effects, however, one can not change history and how it occurs. People who are interested in a deeply descriptive narrative, on the deletion of twentieth-century communism, would be intrigued by this adequately written story.The major themes of Revolution 1989 include leadership, hope, and perseverance. Leadership is proven an abundance of times throughout Sebestyen’s narrative by major figureheads such as Mikhail Gorbachev and George Bush and even nobody’s who became powerful in the political game such as the romanian poet who became the vice president of the free Romania. Hope was also a primary theme during the story because the allies were holding on to it praying for the communism to come to an end and for the Berlin Wall to fall to its destruction. Lastly, perseverance was shown a tremendous amount of times both by the NATO allies and the soviet union with their Warsaw Pact allies. Both sides had to fight for what they believed in and neither was going to give up. Some would say that perseverance is what prolonged the Cold War from 1947-1991 because neither the United States nor the Soviet Union was going to give in.All the steps leading up to and after the fall of the Soviet Union were important and significant but they did not include much engaging material. The author wrote the book as if it was a news report or a documentary where he gathered information from a plethora of sources and put it together without his own review. With this, he did not do a good job analyzing the series of events. Instead, he used the interviews and knowledge provided to him by his abundance of sources while vaguely describing what he did not know. The book did, however, teach its readers a lot about the mid-to-late twentieth century. He defines the east and west sides of the Berlin wall in thorough detail which made it easier to understand the upbringing of conflicts such as the wars, mass arguments, or even political elections. Victor explains in detail that East Germany was the cause of the Berlin Wall, or “Iron Curtain”, and that the German Democratic Republic was in reality, communist while West Germany was the Federal Republic of Germany which was run by the allies. He also teaches his readers East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria were apart of the Warsaw Pact while Ireland, Britain, France, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Denmark, Greece, Norway, and West Germany were all NATO members and allies. This being said he talked about how overpowered the U.S.S.R. was from the beginning and how the United States really ran most of the show.     Revolution 1989 connected a lot to the Russian unit that was taught in class. The entire book revolved around the Soviet Union’s ultimate downfall and how the collapse of the Berlin Wall helped the process along which is a little of what was taught in class. During class, the Cold War and major Russian politics were a large unit and this book deeply discusses those topics. Victor wrote about the death of Konstantin Chernenko and how Mikhail Gorbachev came to power to help organize the Soviet Union with his glasnost and perestroika. Much like what was taught in class, the book spoke about glasnost and perestroika and how they ultimately destroyed the Soviet Union because it allowed the public to have an opinion and open up the government. Victor also explained how Gorbachev wanted to get rid of the mass corruption in the Russian government but it was not effective and Sebestyen talked about it in the second and third parts of the book. Conclusively, had the Soviet Union not used Mikhail’s reconstructive policies and if the Warsaw allies had not argued over fixable issues, they may have been able to prolong their empire. Overall, the book has its strengths and weaknesses but it was very informative and well written. Even though it was boring to read and very complexed, Sebestyen taught his readers more about the totality of the event than anyone could gather off the internet. Anyone who reads this book will be impressed by the amount of information Victor was able to pull together to create this masterpiece.

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