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There Is No Freedom Without Bread!

There Is No Freedom Without Bread!

1989 and the Civil War That Brought Down Communism

Constantine Pleshakov



The conventional story of the end of the Cold War is simple: Ronald Reagan waged an aggressive campaign against communism, outspent his opponent, and forced Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall."

In There Is No Freedom Without Bread!, Russian-born historian Constantine Pleshakov proposes a different interpretation. The revolutions that took place in 1989 were the result of politicking, tensions between Moscow and local governments, compromise between revolutionary leaders and communist old-timers, and the will and anger of the people. In a dramatic narrative culminating in that whirlwind year, Pleshakov challenges the received wisdom and argues that 1989 was as much about national civil wars and internal struggles for power as it was about the Eastern Europeans throwing off the yoke of Moscow.

Praise for There Is No Freedom Without Bread!

“Clear and beautifully lyrical . . . Of all the books that mark this anniversary, [There Is No Freedom Without Bread] is one that must be read. Pleshakov writes history with a human face.” —Gerard DeGroot, The Washington Post

“A savvier, richer take than the usual hymns to national liberation.” —Publishers Weekly

“Pleshakov embeds original perspectives into a lively narrative . . . The human factor comes out in this readable rendition of the end of communism.” —Gilbert Taylor, Booklist

Reviews from Goodreads

Constantine Pleshakov

Constantine Pleshakov is the author of several works of history, including Stalin's Folly, The Tsar's Last Armada, The Flight of the Romanovs, and Inside the Kremlin's Cold War. He teaches at Mount Holyoke College and lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.


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