Making Sense of War: The Second World War and the Fate of the Bolshevik Revolution

Making Sense of War: The Second World War and the Fate of the Bolshevik Revolution

by Amir Weiner
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691095434

ISBN-13: 9780691095431

Pub. Date: 03/25/2002

Publisher: Princeton University Press

In Making Sense of War, Amir Weiner reconceptualizes the entire historical experience of the Soviet Union from a new perspective, that of World War II. Breaking with the conventional interpretation that views World War II as a post-revolutionary addendum, Weiner situates this event at the crux of the development of the Soviet--not just the Stalinist--system.

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Overview

In Making Sense of War, Amir Weiner reconceptualizes the entire historical experience of the Soviet Union from a new perspective, that of World War II. Breaking with the conventional interpretation that views World War II as a post-revolutionary addendum, Weiner situates this event at the crux of the development of the Soviet--not just the Stalinist--system. Through a richly detailed look at Soviet society as a whole, and at one Ukrainian region in particular, the author shows how World War II came to define the ways in which members of the political elite as well as ordinary citizens viewed the world and acted upon their beliefs and ideologies.

The book explores the creation of the myth of the war against the historiography of modern schemes for social engineering, the Holocaust, ethnic deportations, collaboration, and postwar settlements. For communist true believers, World War II was the purgatory of the revolution, the final cleansing of Soviet society of the remaining elusive "human weeds" who intruded upon socialist harmony, and it brought the polity to the brink of communism. Those ridden with doubts turned to the war as a redemption for past wrongs of the regime, while others hoped it would be the death blow to an evil enterprise. For all, it was the Armageddon of the Bolshevik Revolution. The result of Weiner's inquiry is a bold, compelling new picture of a Soviet Union both reinforced and enfeebled by the experience of total war.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691095431
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
03/25/2002
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations ix

List of Tables xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction: Making Sense of War 7

PART I: DELINEATING THE BODY POLITIC 41

One Myth and Power: The Making of a Postwar Elite 43

Two "Living Up to the Calling of a Communist": Purification of the Rank and File 82

PART II: DELINEATING THE BODY SOCIOETHNIC 127

Three Excising Evil 129

Four Memory of Excision, Excisionary Memory 191

PART III: THE MAKING OF A POSTWAR SOVIET NATION 237

Five Integral Nationalism in the Trial of War 239

Six Peasants to Soviets, Peasants to Ukrainians 298

Afterword: A Soviet World without Soviet Power, a Myth of War without War 364

Bibliography 387

Index 411

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