Pros and Cons of the Soviet Life

soviet union opposing viewpoints

The Soviet Union
Opposing Viewpoints
Bender and Leone, ed.

All of a sudden I have a bunch of Soviet Union material from the 1980s. The Opposing Viewpoints series of books is practically a staple of youth/teen nonfiction collections. In 1988, this would have been a great choice. The Cold War dominated news of the 1970s and 1980s. Brezhnev’s death in 1982 marked the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union. So this little book was published at one of  the most interesting times in history. For the most part, there is a discussion on policies such as human rights, women’s equality, and government.

As this is a collection of essays exploring the pros and cons of Soviet life and government, curated for young people, it doesn’t need to be sitting in a modern youth collection. It might have some value to researchers, but it is not original source material, so the information could be culled from other sources. Also, the condition of this book isn’t so great. It is already on life support. I think it is time to go. Actually, it probably should have left in the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union.


soviet union back cover

why consider opposing viewpoints

human rights

comparison of costs


  1. One of my cringe-worthy weeding moments from a few years ago (maybe 2017 or so) was when I found a book in the 900’s with the title: “Modern Russia: Life in the Soviet Union.”

  2. Glad to say we don’t have this in my system. However we do have The Breakup of the Soviet Union: Opposing Viewpoints by William Barbour and it’s from 1994. I don’t know if I should mention anything or not to the owning branch that they might consider something more modern.

    1. You should mention it. It’s about as outdated as this book; the countries that used to be the USSR have re-organized themselves fairly often since 1994.

      Meanwhile, in further blasts from the past, I made tuna noodle casserole as we discussed here. I had to substitute a few items (luckily with healthier versions) but I used the Campbell’s recipe. Came out fine, if a little bland. I’d do it again, but add enough spices to give a 60s housewife the screaming fantods.

      1. Ah, yes, the blandness of yesterday’s food. Maybe that’s why we were all so skinny back then. Food is much more interesting now. I was in graduate school before I discovered garlic and black pepper, and it was onward from there!

    1. A chessboard would make sense, what with all the East v. West chess matches back then — but it’s the wrong color.

        1. “Chessboards on covers routinely had Red Squares during the Cold War”?

          Great Soviet chess players ? You bet ! Boris Spassky, Garry Kasparov …

    2. Maybe it’s a chessboard? Political symbolism? Also a shoutout to all the great Russian chess masters?

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