Witnessing the Soviet Twilight

Accounts of Americans in the U.S.S.R. on the Eve of Its Collapse

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About the Book

More than 20 years have passed since the fall of the Soviet empire. This book provides an intimate look at how Americans resident in the Soviet Union in its final days described this unprecedented moment in history. North American scholars from the disciplines of philosophy, sociology, psychology, women’s studies, criminal justice, labor relations, religion and education present their insights into the dramatic events that marked the collapse of the Soviet Union and the transition to the Commonwealth of Independent States.
As glasnost and perestroika developed, many Russians grew critical of traditional beliefs and confused about their identity and role in society. As Marxism-Leninism slipped away, still others lamented the passing of a system rich in social protection and opportunities for education and professional advancement. In this crisis thoughtful people shared with the contributors to this book assessments of their national history, its successes and failures, its triumphs, its crimes and brutalities. Accounts range from concrete portrayals of individuals to theoretical discussions of ideology, economy, gender equality, capitalism and socialism, producing a multifaceted portrait of a changing nation.

About the Author(s)

Dorothy S. McClellan is a professor of criminal justice and regents professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. She lives in Corpus Christi.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Dorothy S. McClellan
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 252
Bibliographic Info: notes, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7944-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1496-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Introduction 1

Dorothy S. McClellan

State of the Soviet Union: View from the Ivory Tower 11

Dorothy S. McClellan and James E. McClellan, Jr.

Moral and Spiritual Changes (Howard L. Parsons) 34

Coaching Soviet Baseball: Excerpts from a Sociologist’s Journal (William J. Byrne III) 62

Perestroika and Ideology (John J. Neumaier) 95

Russia Between the Union and the Commonwealth: New Carpetbaggers and Old Dreams (Carla ­Lipsig-Mummé) 118

Worker ­Self-Management in Soviet Theory and Practice (Aaron Bindman) 126

The Crisis of Soviet Legitimacy (Herman Schwendinger and Julia Schwendinger) 137

Moscow Memoir: On the Status of Women (Freda Casner) 155

Perestroika and the Internationalization of Russian Higher Education: The Summer of 1990 (Donald A. Biggs with Robert J. Colesante) 167

Perestroika in Philosophy: Report from Moscow State University (Dorothy S. McClellan and James E. McClellan, Jr.) 187

Why, When and How We Lost Russia (James E. McClellan, Jr.) 203

The Universality of Liberal Capitalism and the Possibility of Renewed Socialism: Reflections on the Soviet Coup of August 1991 (James Lawler) 215

About the Contributors 233

Index 237

Book Reviews & Awards

“an interesting look at the Soviet Union during its transitional and final phases. The essays, are a sober and personally honest assessment of the period that changed the Soviet Union and the world”—The Russian Review.