The article is devoted to the apology of Joseph Stalin and Stalinism in a number of post-Soviet literature textbooks. Their authors had a generally positive assessment of Stalin’s role, not only as the head of the Soviet state, but also as the “modera- tor” of the literary process in the Soviet Union. Stalin’s personal evaluation of con- crete writers and their literary efforts - as well as, to some degree, the attitudes of these authors towards this Father of Nations - became an important factor in theirinclusion into the classroom canon of textbooks or, on the contrary, discredited and excluded them from it. The authors of these books carefully selected and reinter- preted the facts to emphasize Stalin’s exceptional importance for the development of 20th century Russian literature. Thus, Stalin appeared as the most important fig-ure of the literary process of the Soviet period, and the single method of Soviet liter- ature which was being approved during his reign - “socialist realism” - as a natural extension and embodiment of humanistic traditions of Russian literary classics.In Soviet school textbooks, there is an attempt to create a concept of the history of the 20th century Russian literature on the ideological basis of the late Soviet “soil- bound” conservatism, and to conceptualize Stalinism as the natural continuation of pre-revolutionary political-ideological conservatism. Thus, the school subject “lit- erature” is used as an ideological tool to indoctrinate the younger generation witha “national-patriotic” spirit. Moreover, this ideological line persisted in textbooks throughout the 1990s and 2000s with almost no adjustment, while their distribution was preferentially maintained by government agencies.
Institutions affect investment decisions, including investments in human capital. Hence institutions are relevant for the allocation of talent. Good market-supporting institutions attract talent to productive value-creating activities, whereas poor ones raise the appeal of rent-seeking. We propose a theoretical model that predicts that more talented individuals are particularly sensitive in their career choices to the quality of institutions, and test these predictions on a sample of around 95 countries of the world. We find a strong positive association between the quality of institutions and graduation of college and university students in science, and an even stronger negative correlation with graduation in law. Our findings are robust to various specifications of empirical models, including smaller samples of former colonies and transition countries. The quality of human capital makes the distinction between educational choices under strong and weak institutions particularly sharp. We show that the allocation of talent is an important link between institutions and growth.