Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as a Civilization / Edition 1

Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as a Civilization / Edition 1

by Stephen Kotkin
     
 

ISBN-10: 0520208234

ISBN-13: 9780520208230

Pub. Date: 02/27/1997

Publisher: University of California Press


This study is the first of its kind: a street-level inside account of what Stalinism meant to the masses of ordinary people who lived it. Stephen Kotkin was the first American in 45 years to be allowed into Magnitogorsk, a city built in response to Stalin's decision to transform the predominantly agricultural nation into a "country of metal." With unique…  See more details below

Overview


This study is the first of its kind: a street-level inside account of what Stalinism meant to the masses of ordinary people who lived it. Stephen Kotkin was the first American in 45 years to be allowed into Magnitogorsk, a city built in response to Stalin's decision to transform the predominantly agricultural nation into a "country of metal." With unique access to previously untapped archives and interviews, Kotkin forges a vivid and compelling account of the impact of industrialization on a single urban community.

Kotkin argues that Stalinism offered itself as an opportunity for enlightenment. The utopia it proffered, socialism, would be a new civilization based on the repudiation of capitalism. The extent to which the citizenry participated in this scheme and the relationship of the state's ambitions to the dreams of ordinary people form the substance of this fascinating story. Kotkin tells it deftly, with a remarkable understanding of the social and political system, as well as a keen instinct for the details of everyday life.

Kotkin depicts a whole range of life: from the blast furnace workers who labored in the enormous iron and steel plant, to the families who struggled with the shortage of housing and services. Thematically organized and closely focused, Magnetic Mountain signals the beginning of a new stage in the writing of Soviet social history.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520208230
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
02/27/1997
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
728
Sales rank:
444,503
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.75(d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations and Tables
Acknowledgments
USSR Organizational Structure, 1930s
Note on Translation
Introduction: Understanding the Russian Revolution1
IBuilding Socialism: The Grand Strategies of the State27
1On the March for Metal37
2Peopling a Shock Construction Site72
3The Idiocy of Urban Life106
IILiving Socialism: The Little Tactics of the Habitat147
4Living Space and the Stranger's Gaze157
5Speaking Bolshevik198
6Bread and a Circus238
7Dizzy with Success280
Afterword: Stalinism as a Civilization355
Note on Sources367
Notes375
Select Bibliography599
Photograph Credits609
Index611

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