World War II and the Soviet Hero Myth

The hero myth surrounding the soviet veterans of WWII was created by a well-oiled machine of propaganda, the Sovinformburo and the memories of soldiers and civilians alike in the decades following the end of a war that claimed 27 million soviet lives.[1]  The myth of these heroes sought to describe soldiers of the Red Army … Continue reading World War II and the Soviet Hero Myth

Holocaust By Bullets

Although I had a prior understanding of the nature of the Holocaust on the Eastern front and how much it differed from what thoughts of the death camp typically entail, I have to admit that I found Desbois’ book chilling and haunting on every level, and I was not prepared for the scale and the … Continue reading Holocaust By Bullets

Lynn Viola and the Ecosystem of Violence

In describing the ideologies, historiographical schools of thought and the arbitrary cycle of both victims and perpetrators in Stalin’s Great Terror of 1937-1938, Viola describes an ecosystem of violence – one that came from many directions and grew almost of its own volition across the Soviet State as a whole.[1]  Viola carefully describes the subjective … Continue reading Lynn Viola and the Ecosystem of Violence


Despite the soviet government’s attempt to portray society as cohesive and progressive in the 1920s and 1930s, their claims could not be further from the truth.  In two informative and influential works, authors Lynne Viola and Wendy Goldman shine a light on the often-ignored side of soviet history, highlighting the fractures between the party and … Continue reading POLICY, RESISTANCE AND REBELLION UNDER SOVIET POLICY

Was Peasant Rebellion Irrational?

As the Soviet government pushed peasants towards collectivism throughout the countryside, resistance from the peasants was inevitable.  Collectivization forced peasants into socialized farms, threatening not only their culture and their way of life, but threatening their very survival as well.  Soviet authorities relied on the ability to classify peasant resistance as illogical and irrational thereby … Continue reading Was Peasant Rebellion Irrational?

Agricultural Collectivism and Protest: The Babii Bunt

Out of all the examples Viola provided in her incredibly interesting account of peasant protest, the one that surprised me the most and that I found the most interesting was the babii bunt.  Chapter six is almost entirely devoted to the practice of babii bunt in which the women of the villages took control and … Continue reading Agricultural Collectivism and Protest: The Babii Bunt

Wendy Goldman and the Grotesque Hybrid

In the conclusion of her compelling and intricate work on women’s issues throughout the early years of the Soviet system, Goldberg describes the family policy as a ‘grotesque hybrid” – a system that originated in an idealized socialist system that crashed headlong into poverty and the economic and social realities that women faced throughout the … Continue reading Wendy Goldman and the Grotesque Hybrid

Soviet Family Code of 1918 – Divorce

When the Central Executive Committee ratified the code on Marriage, the Family and Guardianship in October of 1918, it was under the banner of liberation, women’s equality and the inevitable belief that the family unit would ultimately wither away as a socialist society became firmly planted and took root.[1]  Under Soviet idealism, the family unit … Continue reading Soviet Family Code of 1918 – Divorce