I technically had to read this for school, but I personally really enjoyed it. I was impressed with McCauley's writing style and pacing. While no non-fiction book could ever compare with Vietnam: A History since reading it last fall, I got just as much information and knowledge from The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union as Vietnam. I really appreciated learning about the years leading up to the formation of the Soviet Union as well as a more in-depth look into each Soviet leader, especially Stalin. I also really enjoyed McCauley's dry humor when writing about communism, socialism, fascism and its many failings. Understanding these ideologies, how they influenced Soviet leaders and what decisions they led the leaders to make was so helpful for me to truly comprehend the times and Russia a thousand times more than I did before. It really opened my eyes to the evils of communism and socialism and everything in between. I did not walk away from this book the same person I was before reading it.