Beatles, Rolling Stones and rock and roll brought down the Soviet Union, says Russian historian

Historians in the News

Sergei Zhuk remembers the first time he heard rock and roll.

"I was six years old when my brother brought the record Rubber Soul from the Beatles," he said.

Zhuk grew up in the USSR in 1960s and 70s. He said everybody was obsessed with the Beatles and Rolling Stones back then.

"Because it was very unusual for our ears. It was sincere, with a lot of energy," Zhuk said.

Sergei Zhuk, who moved to the United States in the 1990s, is a professor of history at Ball State University in Indiana. He traces how this forbidden music slipped under the Iron Curtain, and hastened the demise of Soviet communism in his new book, "Rock and Roll in the Rocket City."

He has a provocative thesis.

"I would argue that rock music per se did not destroy Socialism, but the values and cultural practices related to obtaining this music contributed to the end of socialism," he said....

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