Through Zoom, the Russian Center and the Department of Government and Public Administration presented a lecture from Moscow on Wednesday afternoon May 12, 2021. Prof. Vladislav Zubok, a noted historian specializing in the Cold War and Recent Soviet history, spoke on the sudden and unexpected collapse of the Soviet Union, which occurred from 1989 to 1991, and is the subject of his forthcoming book coming out this summer by Yale University.

Prof. Zubok, was born and educated in Moscow, went to the United States to teach most recently there at Temple University in Philadelphia. Today he is a full professor of International History at the London School of Economics, and the Director of LSE’s think tank IDEAS. Zubok has published several books on the history of the Cold War and twentieth century Russia based on newly discovered documents from the Russian Archives.

Zubok’s talk was very well attended with both faculty and students, undergraduate and postgraduate, from the University of Macau. Zubok’s novel interpretation noted there has been little understanding of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms, Perestroika (economic restructuring) and Glasnost (political openness). Gorbachev’s reforms were contradictory and unsuccessful, planting the seeds of the self-destruction of the central economy, without any new developed economy to replace it.