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By Timothy Johnston

Being Soviet adopts a clean and cutting edge method of the an important years among 1939 and 1953 within the USSR. It addresses of the most important fresh debates bearing on Stalinism: 'what was once the common sense and language of Soviet power?' and 'how did usual voters relate to Soviet power?' on the subject of the 1st debate, Timothy Johnston shifts the point of interest clear of Russian nationalism onto Soviet id which, on the subject of the skin international, supplied a robust body of reference within the late-Stalin years. 'Sovietness' is explored through the newspapers, motion pictures, performs, and well known track of the period. Johnston's most important contribution lies in his novel solution to the query 'How did usual voters relate to Soviet power?' He avoids the present Foucault-inspired emphasis on 'supporters' and 'resistors' of the regime. in its place, he argues that almost all Soviet electorate didn't healthy simply into both type. Their courting with Soviet energy was once outlined by means of a sequence of sophisticated 'tactics of the habitat' (Kotkin) that enabled them to stick fed, knowledgeable, and entertained in those tough instances. Being Soviet deals a wealthy and textured dialogue of these daily survival recommendations through the rumours, jokes, hairstyles, tune tastes, sexual relationships, and political campaigns of the period. every one bankruptcy finishes by way of exploring what this daily behaviour tells us in regards to the collective mentalite of Stalin-era society. Being Soviet specializes in where of england and the US inside of Soviet identification; their evolution from wartime allies to chilly struggle enemies performed a necessary function in redefining what it intended to be Soviet in Stalin's final years.

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Extra resources for Being Soviet: Identity, Rumour, and Everyday Life under Stalin, 1939-53 (Oxford Historical Monographs)

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107 J. J. , 2005), 2–7. Introduction xli living within the Stalin-era system. 108 My ‘tactics of the habitat’ are less influenced by Foucault’s notions of all-embracing discourse and owe rather more to de Certeau’s notion of everyday creativity. 109 Official Soviet Identity played a key role in shaping the landscape within which these ‘tactics’ were deployed. 110 A binary model of ordinary people, subsumed by official discourse or rebelling against it, obscures the complexities of life in the Stalin-era USSR.

75 Rumours are distinct from other word-of-mouth media in the emphasis they place on communication rather than entertainment or scandal. Gossip is the transmission of often verified information about a third party for the purpose of passing comment on it. 76 The Stalin-era Soviet Union was also inundated with tips. Shortages of basic necessities, such as food, as well as luxury goods like cinema tickets, made oral information a vital medium through which Soviet citizens found out about where and when to buy goods.

Scientific links with the outside world were sharply curtailed. 62 Domestic achievements in aeronautics and Arctic exploration were touted as symbols of the strength of Soviet civilization. ’64 These ideas about Western civilization, in combination with official narratives about international diplomacy defined what it meant to be Soviet in relation to the outside world before 1939. This book offers a distinctive approach to the second key question within the post-1991 historiography of the USSR: how did ordinary people engage with Soviet power in Stalin’s later years?

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