Here is a pioneering account of everyday life under Stalin, written by a leading authority on modern Russian history. Focusing on the urban population, Fitzpatrick depicts a world of privation, overcrowding, endless lines, and broken homes, in which the regime's promises of future socialist abundance rang hollowly. We read of a government bureaucracy that often turned life into a nightmare, and of how ordinary citizens tried to circumvent it. We also read of the secret police, whose constant surveillance was endemic at this time, and the waves of terror, like the Great Purges of 1937, which periodically cast society into turmoil.
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||7.80(w) x 5.30(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Sheila Fitzpatrick teaches modern Russian history at the University of Chicago. A former President of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, and a co-editor of The Journal of Modern History, she is also the author of The Russian Revolution, Stalin's Peasants, and many other books and articles about Russia. She lives in Chicago.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I am not going to criticize the quality of the historical description, which was rich and very well written. However, to my taste, the book lacks a chronological sequence: it keeps jumping back and forth, not only between chapters, but also within a chapter. That makes you lose sight of where you are in time: is it late 20's, mid 30's or perhaps late 30's? Other than that, it is quite impressive, the way the modern "socialist/ communist" parties follow a very similar guideline while attempting (or achieving in some cases) to implement this regime in our modern world. I wonder if those who call themselves socialists, have ever read this book. They should.
Dr. Fitzpatrick is a very fine writer on Stalinist Russia, and I recommend all her other work on this topic (see my catalogue). The style is more clinical than outraged, and perhaps all the more illuminating because of it. She cites numerous letters, memoirs and documents, and presents a very intimate picture of what it was like to live in that time and place.