Although 1989 and 1991 witnessed more spectacular events, 1990 was a year of embryonic change in Russia: Article 6 of the constitution was abolished, and with it the Party's monopoly on political power. This fascinating collection of documentary evidence crystalises the aspirations of the Russian people in the days before Communism finally fell.
It charts - among many other social developments - the appearance of new political parties and independent trade unions, the rapid evolution of mass media, the emergence of a new class of entrepreneurs, a new openness about sex and pornography and a sudden craze for hot-air ballooning, banned under the Communist regime.
1990 is a reminder of the confusion and aspirations of the year before Communism finally collapsed in Russia, and a tantalising glimpse of the paths that may have been taken if Yeltsin's coup had not forced the issue in 1991.
Irina Prokhorova is the editor-in-chief of the Russian magazine and publishing house New Literary Observer. She came to international prominence in 2012 when, with her brother Michael standing as president, she took part in a live presidential debate with a spokesman for Vladimir Putin. Arch Tait has translated 17 books, 35 short stories and 30 articles by most of the leading Russian writers of today, notably the work of the late Anna Politkovskaya.
List of illustrations. List of Contributors. Foreword by Bridget Kendall. Introduction by Irina Prokhorova. LATE 1989: A TIMELINE: 'If Lenin Were Alive Today, He Would Have Known What to Do' - Aleksey Yurchak. JANUARY: My Diary for January 1990 - Mark Kharitonov. FEBRUARY: The Year of Utopias Realised: Schools, Teachers and Educational Reformers in 1990 - Tamara Eydelman. MARCH: The Irrational in Society: Diagnoses of 1990 - Pavel Romanov and Yelena Yarskaya-Smirnova. APRIL: The Shock of Irrevocability - Hasan Guseynov. MAY: Ends and Means: Initial Ideas, Institutions That Win - Vitaliy Yelizarov. JUNE: The Beginning of the End: Notes of an Eyewitness, Edited by an Historian, Being the Same Person - Marietta Chudakova. JULY: Ideological Construction of a Party Spectrum: The False Start of 1990 - Vadim Goncharov. Free Flight: The Rebirth of Soviet Aeronautics - Svetlana Koroleva. Trade Unions in 1990: An Involved Observer's View - Sergey Khramov. AUGUST: The Funeral of Food, or The Soviet Shopping Basket in 1990 - Sergey Karnaukhov. SEPTEMBER: The Russian Orthodox Church in 1990 - Nikolai Mitrokhin. OCTOBER: An Interview with Vladimir Pozner. Frozen Experiences, or Local Television Reporting in 1990 - Pavel Pavlov. NOVEMBER: The Miners in 1989-1990: A Venture into National Politics - Sergey Turkin. DECEMBER: History as Economics, or A Journey from 1921 to 1906 via 1990 - Olesya Kirchik. Afterword: The Challenge of Recent History - Irina Prokhorova. Appendix: Illustration Source Notes. Index.