Rulers and Victims: The Russians in the Soviet Union by Geoffrey Hosking - review by Donald Rayfield

Donald Rayfield

No Room for Russians?

Rulers and Victims: The Russians in the Soviet Union


Harvard University Press 484pp £25 order from our bookshop

Imagine the English roused from apathy to fury by another rant from John Reid or Gordon Brown: they would realise that all three UK political parties are in the hands of men with Scots surnames, accents or backgrounds, from a country that has its own legislature in which the English have no say. Would the English not demand their own legislature in which the Scots, the Welsh and the Northern Irish would have no part, and would they not happily let the rest of the United Kingdom find its own way to perdition?

An unlikely scenario for this country, but one that Geoffrey Hosking rather persuasively puts forward for Russia in his latest study of Russians and the USSR. The key to this book is a quotation from a wonderful article by Iuri Slezkine, ‘The USSR as a Communal Apartment’: ‘each

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