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Russia at the Barricades
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On August 19, 1991, eight high-ranking Soviet officials took over the government of the USSR and proclaimed themselves its new rulers. Less than seventy-two hours later, their coup had collapsed, but it would change the course of history in a way that no one - certainly not the plotters themselves - could have foreseen. The editor of this volume, who witnessed these momentous events, have assembled firsthand accounts of the attempted coup. They include testimonies from "junta" members and military officers, resistance leaders and ordinary citizens, Muscovites and residents of other locales, Russian and foreign journalists, foreign visitors and returning emigres, as well as Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin. Key documents and photographs complement the individual accounts. The provocative introduction to the volume places the August events in the larger context - from the early days of perestroika and glasnost to the second confrontation at the White House, in October 1993.
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What does Congress do? How does it do it? Is Congress up to the challenges ahead? This concise primer offers students and general readers a brief and systematic introduction to Congress and the role it plays in the U.S. political system. Drawing on his experience as a former Congressional staff member, the author explores the different political natures of the House and Senate, examines Congress's interaction with other branches of the Federal government, and looks ahead to the domestic and foreign challenges that are likely to drive the Congressional agenda for decades to come. The book provides revealing insights into the sometimes contradictory Congressional responsibilities of representation and lawmaking; oversight and appropriation; and managing and organizing the government. It includes a case study (on the formation of the Department of Homeland Security) that sheds light on Congress's often complicated procedures. The book also includes boxed features on Congressional action - highlighting such topics as file sharing and student loans - that show students how Congress's work affects their lives. Chapter-ending lists of web resources add to the book's usefulness.

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