Daily Life in the Soviet Union

Daily Life in the Soviet Union

by Katherine Eaton
     
 

Details what ordinary life was like during the extraordinary years of the reign of Soviet Union. Thirty-six illustrations, thematic chapters, a glossary, timeline, annotated multimedia bibliography, and detailed index make it a sound starting point for looking at this powerful nation's immediate past.

What was ordinary life like in the Soviet police state? The

Overview

Details what ordinary life was like during the extraordinary years of the reign of Soviet Union. Thirty-six illustrations, thematic chapters, a glossary, timeline, annotated multimedia bibliography, and detailed index make it a sound starting point for looking at this powerful nation's immediate past.

What was ordinary life like in the Soviet police state? The phrase daily life implies an orderly routine in a stable environment. However, many millions of Soviet citizens experienced repeated upheavals in their everyday lives. Soviet citizens were forced to endure revolution, civil war, two World Wars, forced collectivization, famine, massive deportations, mass terror campaigns perpetrated against them by their own leaders, and chronic material deprivations. Even the perpetrators often became victims. Many millions, of all ages, nationalities, and walks of life, did not survive these experiences. At the same time, millions managed to live tranquilly, work in factories, farm the fields, serve in the military, and even find joy in their existence.

Structured topically, this volume begins with an historical introduction to the Soviet period (1917-1991) and a timeline. Chapters that follow are devoted to such core topics as: government and law, the economy, the military, rural life, education, health care, housing, ethnic groups, religion, the media, leisure, popular culture, and the arts. The volume also has two maps, including a map of ethnic groups and languages, and over thirty photographs of people going about their lives in good times and bad. A glossary, a list of student-friendly books and multimedia sources for classroom and/or individual use, and an index round out the work, making it a valuable resource for high school as well as undergraduate courses on modern Russian and Soviet history. Copious chapter endnotes provide numerous starting points for students and teachers who want to delve more deeply.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 11 Up-Background chapters on the history, ethnic makeup, and government of the former Soviet Union are followed by an examination of how the economic system, class structure, education, health care, and the arts manifested themselves in people's daily lives. In each chapter, the author describes the historical circumstances that led to decisions in the Soviet era and their repercussions for average citizens. Eaton writes lucidly and has produced a masterful synthesis of research by historians and sociologists, autobiographies of Russian dissidents, and the work of journalists and writers, especially Solzhenitsyn. Much of her focus is on life in Russian urban centers, but throughout the work she often points out the more limited choices available for those in rural areas and includes an independent chapter on rural life. From time to time, she cites examples of similar or contrasting situations in other Soviet republics. The carefully footnoted chapters enable readers to access English sources on any specific topic. The black-and-white photographs from the Library of Congress are relevant, but the most recent ones were taken in 1967, and they tend to reinforce the grim side of Soviet life in some of its darkest periods as revealed in the text. Therefore, it is a relief to read in a chapter on leisure about some of the joyful times in the lives of Soviet citizens. This would be an ideal addition to libraries in high schools offering a course on Russian and Soviet history.-Elizabeth Talbot, University of Illinois, Champaign Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313316289
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
08/28/2004
Series:
Greenwood Press Daily Life Through History Series
Pages:
342
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.81(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

KATHERINE B. EATON was for many years professor of English at Tarrant County College in Forth Worth, Texas. She has twice been a Fulbright Lecturer in Iasi, Romania. She is the author of The Theater of Meyerhold and Brecht and the editor of Enemies of the People: The Destruction of Soviet Literary, Theater, and Film Arts in the 1930s. Dr. Eaton has also written journal and encyclopedia articles and book reviews on the subject of Soviet theater.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >