In order to overcome the deep conflict dividing contemporary social scientists, The Soviet Union: Internal and External Perspectives on Soviet Society analyzes Soviet society as a “hard reality” with many objective traits such as the omnipresent state, political repression, and the state monopoly on the economy, education, and culture. While emphasizing the existence of objective social reality and the possibility of its absolute depiction, the authors also explore the relative value of social knowledge and assign equal value to multiple perceptions and interpretations. The authors also show the different perceptions of Soviet society in the Soviet Union and in the United States. Ultimately the book seeks to prove that the most accurate depictions of Soviet reality were the ones most critical in nature. At the same time the authors demonstrate that the praises and glorifications of the Soviet Union are useful for the better understanding of this fascinating society.