Russians are the world's heaviest drinkers. The consumption of alcohol permeates family life, shapes the economy, and plays an occasional but striking role in the political leadership. It was in Russia in the 1980s that the most sustained attempt of its kind was made to eliminate alcohol abuse, and even drinking itself. Drawing upon a wide range of original sources, including interviews, surveys and the local press, Stephen White provides the first full-length study of this extraordinary campaign. He traces the profound influence of alcohol through Russian history, and charts the campaign from its initiation under Mikhail Gorbachev to its disappointing aftermath in the post-communist 1990s. Attractively written and fully illustrated, Russia Goes Dry, first published in 1995, is an entertaining as well as instructive guide to a changing society and a classic case study of the limitations of politically directed social reform.
1. Russia, alcohol and politics; 2. A drunken society; 3. The campaign is launched; 4. The campaign advances; 5. The campaign retreats; 6. The impact of the campaign; 7. Russia, alcohol and the policy process.