From New Socialist Cities to Thaw Experimentation in Arctic Townscapes: Leningrad Architects Attempt to Modernise the Soviet North
The article examines a crucial shift in models of domestication of the Soviet Far North during the Thaw period. The closure of the Gulag system and the social transformations of the 1950s caused changes in the social space of the Soviet North and in the role of expert knowledge in the USSR. By focusing on modernist urban projects for the Soviet Arctic, I analyse how urban specialists during the Thaw attempted to formulate a new conception of the North as a place for ‘ordinary life’ and therefore transform a peripheral region into an ‘average’ Soviet space.
Studies of post-war Soviet historiography are heavily concentrated around the issues of party control in and resistance of intellectuals. Giving an account of the historical periodicals author seeks to correct this approach in the perspective of the history of science, sociology of culture and cultural policy studies . The article addresses 1) the problem of definition and characteristics of the transformation of the corpus of historical periodicals in the 1950s - 1960s, and 2) interrelation of the new political, economical and media conditions and changes in the management practices and communication strategies of the academic periodicals .
In 1937 Fedor Modorov `painted a portrait of he Spanish teacher Abilia Peraita Gómez. The paper offers a documental basd biography of the portait's main character who came to the Soviet Union as a member of the Spanish delegation for the 1st May celebrations in 1937. A tragic fate was reserved for her after homecoming: Republicans' defeat in the Spanish Civil War; exile; separation from her family; concentration camp in France; Second World War and the French Resistance.
This is a review of two recent books on Leon Trotsky, one of the most prominent Russian revolutionary leaders and an ardent critic of Stalin. The review analyses the main arguments of both books as well as their contribution to the study of Trotsky's personality and political legacy.
A major contribution to the growing literature on Soviet nationality policy. David Brandenberger frames his study with a large and important question: the generation of a Russian/Soviet national identity during the Stalinist years. He tells the important story of the production of a more nationalist world view and how it was received, moving from elites to the masses. Focusing on history and historians, Brandenberger links historiography with nation-making and state building. This work should be widely read, not least because it clearly and eloquently illuminates the painful process of forging national identity. (Ronald Grigor Suny, University of Chicago) Brandenberger alters our understanding of how Soviet culture was created and how it held Soviet society together. Perhaps the greatest strength of the book is the foundation of documents on which it rests. Clearly the result of years of gathering, these documents show us Stalinism as received, as a set of social practices and discourses in constant revision and misuse. National Bolshevism illuminates broader debates about the functioning of Soviet society, the origins of national consciousness, and the formation of the subject with the modern state, and will be a widely read contribution to the field. (James von Geldern, Macalester College)
The paper explores a symbolic appropriation of Saimaa Canal by Soviet media after it became part of the USSR in the 1940s.