Taking measure of the unlamented socialist paradise, twenty years after its demise.
The Red Flag:
A History of Communism
by David Priestland
$30.00 List Price
ON MAY 1, 1997, A SCANT HALF-DOZEN YEARS after the collapse of the Soviet Union, I found myself in the Russian capital with a day off from my teaching duties at Moscow State University and decided to head over to Red Square to see what a May Day parade looked like on its home grounds. It proved to be nothing like the televised versions I remembered from the evening news during cold-war days. One of the most sacred and extravagantly celebrated rites of the official Soviet calendar had become a scruffy protest march by a few thousand pensioners. Onlookers reacted to the sight of this aging rabble, carrying their red flags and portraits of Stalin, with what appeared to be a mixture of disdain, embarrassment, and amusement. On reaching Red Square, the marchers devoted the next hour or so to shouting insults at the
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