THE COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO SOVIET ORDERS AND MEDALS by McDANIEL and SCHMITT
This book is the collectors' Bible, and a must to have for any serious Soviet collector. With over 400 pages it is the most comprehensive book on Soviet awards ever published in English.
LENIN'S TOMB by David Remnick
My history Prof recommended this book and it is truly an interesting book. Remnick's book deals with the state of the Soviet Union in the 80's before its collapse and it gives a real detailed view into what life was like there. He actually lives in the former Soviet Union for a while, and travels all around the country talking to all different Russians from right- wing Party officials, to miners in the north. "Lenin's Tomb" really goes into the minds of the Russian people, showing how the state and Soviet system really took a grip on the country. The reader can see how the system was backwards, but the Party refused to give up. It also explains how Gorbachev's perestroika gained momentum and how he lost control of it, and actually sped up the collapse. I cannot sum all the interesting points in this book, and I highly recommend it to any Russian history or history buff alike.
RUSSIA'S WAR by Richard Overy
Richard Overy's book, "Russia's War" gives an interesting, broad view on the Soviet war effort. I found the chapters regarding the battles of Kursk, Stalingrad, and Leningrad very informative. Being a fairly new student of Soviet history, I found this book gave a very straightforward approach in explaining the struggle of the Russian people. The only fault I noticed is that sometimes it is a little too broad, and Overy does not really give any new and bold ideas about the time.
U.S.S.R. DECORATIONS and SOVIET ARMY INSIGNIA by M. Furlan
These two books are very basic, simple and inexepensive. They're good for beginner collectors, as well as hand books to bring to stores or antique shows for reference. The pictures are in black and white, and the descriptions are not too detailed. The medal book doesn't show the different types and gives a very brief description. The insignia book doesn't give a description, it bascially just gives the name of the pin or patch. They are useful though, and worth purchasing.
THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION edited by Martin Miller
There are nine readings in this book from different authors dealing with the Russian Revolution. This book was from my history of the USSR course, and I found the articles to be very interesting. Edward Acton, Orlando Figes and Shelia Fitzpatrick are a few key authors to note. The articles give first hand accounts and some different perspectives on the revolution. Worth reading for a detalied look at the events in 1917.