The Washington Post published its Holiday Guide yesterday, featuring the Best Books of 2008. Included in “The World” section is Vladislav Zubok’s A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev.
At the beginning of the year, Richard Rhodes reviewed Zubok’s book along with Melvyn Leffler’s For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War. Rhodes praised the richness of the “new information and fresh perspective” Zubok brings to the history of the Cold War.
The American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies has also recognized Zubok’s excellent book by awarding it the 2008 Marshall Shulman Book Prize. The prize committee writes:
Vladislav Zubok has written the most thorough, clear, and engaging account of the Soviet side of the cold war to appear yet in English. . . . Zubok’s chapter on Gorbachev is the most detailed, balanced and persuasive account of what was happening and why in this crucial period that we have seen. After examining the contending explanations for the end of the cold war, Zubok provides a fascinating, close-up look at the ways in which Gorbachev’s policies and personality led to the end of the cold war and the collapse of the USSR.
The book is currently available in hardcover. A new paperback edition will be published in February 2009 and will include a new preface in which Zubok discusses the new players at the helm in present-day Russia.