A Much Needed Reminder About Life in the Soviet Union: The Strange World of Ivan Ivanov

by Ethan Yang
The American Institute for Economic Research

With all the crazy stuff in the news these days, the Cold War and the Soviet Union may seem like ancient history. In the midst of lockdowns, civil unrest, and hyperpolarization, the fact is that just under 30 years ago in 1991, a bitter competition between Capitalism and Communism was won. The political scientist Francis Fukuyama declared in his famous book The End of History and the Last Man the triumph of liberal democracy, as the Soviet Union collapsed. The system exemplified by the United States of America, one of individual liberty, limited government, and free enterprise was crowned the heavyweight champion over the incompetent, lumbering tyranny of Communism.

This seemingly hyperbolic and nationalistic statement is by no means an exaggeration of the significance of that contest between Capitalism and Communism and is captured in vivid detail in the late G. Warren Nutter’s book The Strange World of Ivan Ivanov. In his book, he challenges and dispels the myths surrounding the Soviet Union peddled by propagandists and apologists alike.

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