Being Soviet: Identity, Rumour, and Everyday Life under by Timothy Johnston

By Timothy Johnston

Being Soviet adopts a fresh and cutting edge method of the the most important years among 1939 and 1953 within the USSR. It addresses of the major fresh debates bearing on Stalinism: 'what was once the common sense and language of Soviet power?' and 'how did traditional voters relate to Soviet power?' with regards to the 1st debate, Timothy Johnston shifts the focal point clear of Russian nationalism onto Soviet id which, relating to the surface international, supplied a strong body of reference within the late-Stalin years. 'Sovietness' is explored through the newspapers, movies, performs, and renowned song of the period. Johnston's most important contribution lies in his novel resolution to the query 'How did traditional voters relate to Soviet power?' He avoids the present Foucault-inspired emphasis on 'supporters' and 'resistors' of the regime. as an alternative, he argues that almost all Soviet voters didn't healthy simply into both class. Their courting with Soviet energy used to be outlined through a sequence of sophisticated 'tactics of the habitat' (Kotkin) that enabled them to stick fed, proficient, and entertained in those tricky instances. Being Soviet deals a wealthy and textured dialogue of these daily survival recommendations through the rumours, jokes, hairstyles, song tastes, sexual relationships, and political campaigns of the period. every one bankruptcy finishes through exploring what this daily behaviour tells us concerning the collective mentalite of Stalin-era society. Being Soviet specializes in where of england and the US inside of Soviet id; their evolution from wartime allies to chilly battle 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)

Example text

1, d. 2550, l. 38, respectively. 124 Tsentral’nyi Derzhavnyi Arkhiv Hromads’kykh Obiednan’ Ukrainy, henceforth TsDAHOU f. 1, op. 23, d. 1449, l. 25. 125 A series of ideologized abuse categories had been added to the rumours that were entirely the invention of Litvin, the recipient of the first report and sender of the second report. Nonetheless, svodki can play a role, as part of a constituent picture, in illustrating how ordinary Soviet citizens deployed the ‘tactics of the habitat’ in this period.

276–8; RGALI f. R3005, op. 1, d. 82, l. 187. 55 Ball, Imagining America, 102. 56 F. Starr, Red and Hot: The Fate of Jazz in the Soviet Union 1917–1980 (Oxford, 1983), 107–25; Uvarova, Russkaia sovetskaia Estrada, 290–301. 57 Starr, Red and Hot, 111–14. 58 J. Brooks, ‘The Press and its Message: Images of America in the 1920s and 30s’, in S. Fitzpatrick, A. Rabinowitch, and R. , Russia in the Era of NEP: Explorations in Soviet Society and Culture (Bloomington, 1991), 239–40; Ball, Imagining America, 24–5.

To describe them as resistance is to stretch that term beyond its usefulness. Even when they were dodging Soviet power, Stalin-era citizens often did so in a distinctively Soviet manner. Performance, reappropriation, bricolage, and avoidance embedded Soviet citizens within the habitat of Soviet power. 107 They were everyday strategies of 103 Fitzpatrick, Stalin’s Peasants, 286–95; Viola, Peasant Rebels, 48–63; Davies, Popular Opinion in Stalin’s Russia, 92–100. 104 See: Johnston, ‘Subversive Tales’.

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Being Soviet: Identity, Rumour, and Everyday Life under by Timothy Johnston
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