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After breaking free from the Bolsheviks in 1918, Estonia enjoyed independence until 1940, when the country was subsumed by the Soviet Union. Not until 1991 was Estonia able to make its next successful bid for sovereignty. In this book, Rein Taagepera traces the evolution of Estonia from prehistory to the present, when a radical turn of events in the former Soviet Union once again altered the destiny of this Baltic nation. The author explores in depth the remarkable changes in Estonia since 1980, framing his analysis within the larger picture of the Soviet Union and its demise. He also examines the issue of ethnic tensions between Estonians and Russian colonists and speculates on how unrest will affect the future of the country. Throughout his analysis, the author weaves in such key questions as: Why did Sovietization fail? How did Estonia's quest for autonomy affect Soviet dissolution? What role will the country play on the global stage? What will Estonia's future hold?