Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War by Stephen F. Cohen.
This is the second book I recommend if you want to better understand Russia and its relationship to the world.
My first book-recommendation, “Full Spectrum Dominance” by F. William Engdahl, describes how the global cabal running the US government (and the EU) aim for conquering Russia.
Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives by the Americans scholar Stephen Cohen, tells you from where Russia is coming into today's conflict over Ukraine.
Here are some testimonials about Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives from Amazon.com…
Written for specialists and general readers, Cohen's essays are framed by a chronological narrative that focuses on key turning points and lost alternatives. Beginning with Stalin's preeminent challenger and victim, Nikolai Bukharin, and the unexpected return of millions of survivors of Stalin's terror under Nikita Khrushchev, Cohen shows how their tragic fates shaped the latter-day Soviet Union. Turning to more recent events, he examines the political fates of the Soviet system's greatest reformer, Mikhail Gorbachev, and his leading conservative rival, Yegor Ligachev. Through these figures, Cohen raises even more provocative issues, including his argument that the Soviet Union was capable of reform and that its breakup was not inevitable. Most urgently, in two concluding chapters Cohen argues that Washington was the first to squander the opportunity for a fundamentally new U.S.-Russian relationship after the Cold War, and he presents a radically new approach for achieving a necessary partnership with today's Russia.
Cohen offers us a lesson, and a solution that is at once simple and of priceless value.
Stephen F. Cohen is far and away the most original, creative, informed, and insightful observer writing on Russian affairs today. A pioneering historian and a fine political scientist and journalist with a tireless commitment to ferreting out elusive evidence, Cohen has had extensive, first-hand experience in both Soviet and post-Soviet Russia, close contacts among contemporary Russian leaders, and a unique following among Russian intellectuals. Known for his bold, independent, passionately held, and often provocative ideas, he is respected even by many who strongly disagree with him. Cohen writes with clarity, elegance, and power.
Note – if you are short of time and not really interested in the history of the USSR, it is enough to read Chapter 7 in Stephen Cohen's book “Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives” to get the full background of today's conflict between Russia and “the West”.