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TWILIGHT OF EMPIRE: Inside the Crumbling Soviet Bloc

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by Robert Cullen (1991)

Robert Cullen, a former Moscow Bureau Chief for Newsweek and reporter on Eastern European and Soviet affairs for the New Yorker, the Atlantic, and other magazines, has written a captivating firsthand account of the unrest at the edge of the Soviet Empire in the age of Gorbachev.

Like a shoal that emerges at low tide, the deterioration of the Warsaw Pact and the stirrings of independence in the provinces measure the ebb of imperial Russian strength. Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians have seized glasnost to proclaim again their nationhood. The Caucasus looks like Russia's own piece of the Middle East, with the Armenians and Azerbaijanis killing one another over religion. The Eastern Bloc has crumbled in a heap of confusion, disarray, and in places violence. The question for the Soviet Union was can the center hold and if so under what conditions.