Zhdanovism

After WWII ended and the Soviet regime was victorious, they quickly realized that they had a problem.  Multitudes of former soldiers, refugees and citizens were no longer isolated from Western ideals or standards of living.  For Stalin and Andrei Zhdanov, this was a problem that needed to be immediately addressed and corrected before Western influence … Continue reading Zhdanovism

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Bodies and Souls

There is no comparable word for the middle class in the Russian language.[1]  The closest word that can come close to describing a middle class in post-World War II Russia is the term “meshchanstsvo.”[2]  Even in broad terms, this term does not equitably describe the soviet middle class, but it does describe many of their … Continue reading Bodies and Souls

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

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

POLICY, RESISTANCE AND REBELLION UNDER SOVIET POLICY

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