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Like all great modern revolutions, Russia’s anti-Communist upheaval was precipitated by merciless moral self-scrutiny and a search for a more dignified, more honorable, and more moral life. There followed a wholesale rejection of the key norms and values of the ancien régime. The emerging new ideals became increasingly incompatible with the political and economic systems, which were gradually delegitimized and eventually collapsed.

Leon Aron was born in Moscow and came to the United States as a refugee from the Soviet Union in June 1978 at the age of twenty-four. In addition to writing Russian Outlook, AEI’s quarterly essay on the economic, political, social, and cultural aspects of Russia’s post-Soviet evolution, Mr. Aron has contributed numerous articles on Russian affairs to leading U.S. and Russian newspapers and magazines. Among the topics he has covered are the political, economic, and ideological factors shaping Russian foreign policy and U.S.-Russian relations, and the social, political, and economic facets of Vladimir Putin’s presidency and premiership. Mr. Aron’s frequent television and radio interviews have included CBS News’s 60 Minutes and NPR’s All Things Considered and Talk of the Nation. He is the author of the first full-length scholarly biography of Boris Yeltsin, Yeltsin: A Revolutionary Life (St. Martin’s, 2000), and Russia’s Revolution: Essays 1989–2006 (AEI Press, 2007). He is currently working on a book about the ideas and ideals that inspired and shaped the latest Russian revolution (1987 to 1991).


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