Everyday Stalinism : Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s, Paperback Book

Everyday Stalinism : Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s Paperback

Part of the The Macat Library series

Description

How was the Soviet Union like a soup kitchen? In this important and highly revisionist work, historian Sheila Fitzpatrick explains that a reimagining of the Communist state as a provider of goods for the `deserving poor' can be seen as a powerful metaphor for understanding Soviet life as a whole.

By positioning the state both as a provider and as a relief agency, Fitzpatrick establishes it as not so much a prison (the metaphor favoured by many of her predecessors), but more the agency that made possible a way of life.

Fitzpatrick's real claim to originality, however, is to look at the relationship between the all-powerful totalitarian government and its own people from both sides - and to demonstrate that the Soviet people were not totally devoid of either agency or resources.

Rather, they successfully developed practices that helped them to navigate everyday life at a time of considerable danger and multiple shortages.

For many, Fitzpatrick shows, becoming an informer and reporting fellow citizens - even family and friends - to the state was a successful survival strategy.

Fitzpatrick's work is noted mainly as an example of the critical thinking skill of reasoning; she marshals evidence and arguments to deliver a highly persuasive revisionist description of everyday life in Soviet time.

However, her book has been criticized for the way in which it deals with possible counter-arguments, not least the charge that many of the interviewees on whose experiences she bases much of her analysis were not typical products of the Soviet system.

Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 92 pages
  • Publisher: Macat International Limited
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Humamities
  • ISBN: 9781912128105

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