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G. E. Snow
"Gorsuch gives an excellent scholarly gloss on a period and subject previously only brought to life through literature—notably Anatoli Rybakov's Children of the Arbat (CH, Oct'88). She argues convincingly from the outset that in moving away from war communism to the more moderate policy of making a new communist society through cultural enlightenment and purification during the New Economic Policy (NEP), it was necessary for the Soviet Union's leaders to transform young people. Since there existed a deep disjunction between idealized Soviet youth and the persistently noncommunist cultures shared by many of these young people, and since Bolshevik moralists were inclined to see almost all nonconformist behavior as delinquent and a threat to the larger issue of revolutionary societal transformation, the stage was set for a real kulturkampf. In a series of absolutely first-rate social histories, the author discusses fashions, drinking, social hygiene, the role of gender and generation, the goals of Soviet moralists, and, in perhaps the most spectacularly interesting chapter of all, flappers and foxtrotters. Based on a wealth of archival materials, periodical literature, and primary sources, this is a must read for Soviet and twentieth-century European social historians of all levels. All collections and levels." —G. E. Snow, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, 2001apr CHOICE.