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The Last Empire Summary

5 min read ⌚ 

The Last Empire PDFThe Final Days of the Soviet Union

When the Roman Empire was at the height of its power, it was torn apart by corruption and hypocrisy.

Perhaps, the same thing happened here, but the Soviet Leadership had no courage to acknowledge their mistakes.

We encapsulate the events that shaped the course of history!

Who Should Read “The Last Empire”? And Why?

Who would have imagined that the World War 2 winner and the once Mighty Socialist State would collapse under the slogan – freedom of speech.

The Last Empire is much more than a political overview of the dissolution of the USSR. It signifies the birth of new life and the idea of embracing individuality.

We find it suitable for all history lovers, especially those who once felt the grip of the Communist Party.

About Serhii Plokhii

Serhii Plokhii

Serhii Plokhii is an American Historian of Ukrainian origins, born on 23rd May 1957 in Nizhniy Novgorod. He specialized in the Cold War and teaches Ukrainian History at Harvard University.

He has many of his works published such as Tsars and Cossacks, The Cossacks and Religion in Early Modern Ukraine, The Gates of Europe, Chernobyl, etc.

“The Last Empire PDF Summary”

Before we take the plot as far as the end of the 90s, it was pivotal to explain the first-ever October Revolution on November 7th, 1917. The mighty Russian Empire at the time, which was mainly an agricultural country, collapsed due to the Bolshevik Coup led by Vladimir Lenin.

The communist members and admirers overthrew Nicholas II and killed his family. In the following years, the new Social State remain focused on Counter-Revolutionary activities which were administered by the “Whites” – or the aristocracy.

The fear of both “Real” and “Fictional” enemies as the essence of Soviet Ideology was deeply embedded in the minds of the ordinary citizens. The Cheka – or the first ever Soviet Secret Police, which reported directly to Lenin, received orders to show no mercy in defeating the Whites.

Most of them fled the country, never to return again, and Stalin’s spies executed others in the years before the war. The Allied invasion in Normandy and the opening of the Western Front made Hitler’s Germany see its last summer.

In April 1945, Allies agreed to meet to decide the fate of Post-War Germany. The Potsdam Conference held at Cecilienhof can be labeled as the missing link in defeating Nazism. Allies agreed that Germany should be demilitarized, denazification, decentralization, decartelization and democratization.

All captured Nazis had to face justice, in the famous Nuremberg Trials. Germany was divided into Occupation Zones, Britain, France and the U.S. took the Western Areas, and the Soviets formed the Eastern Bloc. That marked the beginning of the Cold War.

It’s said that history is written by the winners. This book tells the whole story of the Soviet Collapse, and how American Administration reacted to the downfall of the Communist Bloc. It covers the period from August 1991, until Yeltsin’s rise to power.

Mikhail Gorbachev decision to dissolve the Soviet Union came as a shock to KGB and the other members of the Politburo, who refused to take part in such actions. The iron fist of the once mighty empire had turned into a trembling hand.

The plot to overthrow the Premier of the Soviet Union was devised by his closest inner circle called the Gang of Eight. The opposers to reforms received international support by the other Communist States, while Gorbachov had the trust of the European Union and President Bush.

In the following months, violence was bruising all across the Soviet Territory. The nation was decentralized, and the other Republics received growing support in creating their internal and foreign policies.

The rising tension and the strain between the newly established Russian society and the West was another thing to be worried about. Mikhail Gorbachev opened the curtain; putting an end to 50 years of rivalry between two opposing ideologies.

According to Plokhy, this period was, in fact, the toughest for the people of all republics. A transition economy followed by modified internal policies attempted to speed up the progress of the newly formed countries. The historical era of the Soviet Union remained in the past.

Several years after the disintegration, experts reveal shocking, detailed info regarding the complex events that took place in the midsts of Soviet Crisis. Serhii Plokhii tracks records and interprets documents that stand as a proof, of how the collapse emerged and what triggered it.

In this book, you’ll receive a full psychological and ideological profile of Soviet Leaders – Yeltsin and Gorbachev in particular. The author doesn’t sidestep other big players in the arena such as U.S. President George H. W. Bush and the cunning Ukrainian President and diplomat Leonid Kravchuk.

Their roles in the Coup are not exaggerated but rather accurately described so that people will finally get the big picture of what caused the breaking up from within.

In addition, the Bush administration wasn’t too fond of Soviet Dissolution. Although they announced victory in the Cold War, many experts feared that Soviet Nuclear Arsenal would fall into the hands of hostile individuals and groups who could pose a threat to the United States.

Therefore, they advocated for centralized Power, which would eventually lead to a gradual democratization of the state.

The efforts to preserve the Soviet Union were in vain. After months of struggle, much of the countries which formed the great Socialist State – voted for independence. The Russian Federation emerged from the ashes, ready to turn a new leaf in history.

Key Lessons from “The Last Empire”

1.      The new beginning of history
2.      Is democracy the only way?
3.      An ambiguous anecdote

The new beginning of history

According to European leaders, Putin is a modern dictator who doesn’t face any real opposition during elections. Some argue that these allegations are made only to destabilize the Russian Society.

Anyway, we can’t say for certain who is right or wrong, but it’s evident that Russian Economy is definitely showing signs of progression and expansion.

Is democracy the only way?

Aristotle also questioned democracy as a way of governing a country. Perhaps, some cultures are not equally adjustable to such way of life.

In our opinion, democracy is a way to impose foreign influence into a sovereign country. A state that has been proved on numerous occasions. The strong threatens the weak all in the hopes of peace and prosperity.

An ambiguous anecdote

It’s terrible when the wolf and the sheep decide what’s for lunch. In other words, if we campaign for such ideology, the social difference gap will continue to grow.

It’s best if we embrace some basic moral principles to improve the well-being of all people.

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

Our Critical Review

When writing about events which share an emotional and ideological value to the reader, you must remain impartial.

We followed the same logic while writing this amazing summary. We really hope you like it and learn something from it.

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