Download Closer to the Masses: Stalinist Culture, Social Revolution, by Matthew Lenoe PDF

By Matthew Lenoe

during this provocative publication, Matthew Lenoe strains the origins of Stalinist mass tradition to newspaper journalism within the past due Twenties. In reading the transformation of Soviet newspapers through the New monetary coverage and the 1st 5 yr Plan, Lenoe tells a dramatic tale of purges, political intrigues, and social upheaval.

stressed from the get together management to mobilize society for the enormous activity of industrialization, newshounds formed a grasp narrative for Soviet heritage and helped create a Bolshevik identification for thousands of latest communists. daily exertions turned an epic conflict to modernize the USSR, a struggle not just opposed to imperialists from outdoors, yet opposed to shirkers and saboteurs inside of. Soviet newspapermen mobilized occasion activists by means of supplying them with an id as warrior heroes fighting for socialism. but in the framework of propaganda directives, the rank-and-file reporters improvised in ways in which finally contributed to the construction of a tradition. the pictures and metaphors crafted by way of Soviet newshounds grew to become the middle of Stalinist tradition within the mid-1930s, and prompted the improvement of socialist realism.

Deeply researched and lucidly written, this ebook is an immense contribution to the literature on Soviet tradition and society.

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Additional info for Closer to the Masses: Stalinist Culture, Social Revolution, and Soviet Newspapers (Russian Research Center Studies)

Sample text

In the spring of 1922 he challenged Old Bolsheviks Konstantin S. Eremeev and Viacheslav Karpinskii's plan for the Central Committee's new mass worker newspaper, Rabochii (Worker, later renamed The Worker Gazette). " Their orientation was propagandistic. The new paper would consist almost entirely of worker letters and "be a large, serious popular organ of propaganda and agitation, and not an agitational broadsheet of the type of the first years of the proletarian revolution. "49 Although the Eleventh Party Congress approved Eremeev and Karpinskii's plan for Worker on April 1, 1922, Stalin had already secured the Central Committee Orgburo's approval of an alternative project, which ordered the editors to model Worker on the "militant" Civil War newspapers Bednota (poor Peasant) and Gudok (The Siren).

It also instructed the local committees that "by collecting facts about local construction, summing up and describing experience in local work, the province or county (uezd) paper should inculcate in the masses a can-do feeling, it should offer them practical, business-like aid in overcoming obstacles and achieving positive results in local socialist construction. The agitation of general, abstract judgments should be replaced by an agitation of facts. "42 In the first years of the NEP the CC Press Department regularly cautioned leading party organs such as Pravda to avoid the simplistic agitation of Civil War journalism.

The shock campaign was supposed to mobilize the masses, to get them to close ranks around the party and undertake some task, such as Agitation, Propaganda, and the NEP Mass Enlightenment Project 39 raising productivity or paying the agricultural tax. In theory at least it involved every part of the party's agitprop apparatus, and not just the newspapers. Local activists might organize discussion groups and exhibits, collect funds, teach adult education classes, and distribute pamphlets or even "agit-toys," which taught children lessons about class struggle.

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