By Ian Goodale In an unpublished letter to the Soviet daily newspaper Izvestiia, Liudmila Chukovskaya wrote that “muteness has always been the support of despotism.” This quote is cited in the booklet, Czechoslovakia and Soviet Public, compiled by the Radio Liberty Committee in New York in August 1968 to analyze the coverage of the Soviet invasion of […]
By Peter Worger Tucked into the pages of Nikolai Punin’s diary is a sliver of silver paper made into the shape of a fish. Its scales have been drawn with what appears to be black marker or charcoal in an Impressionist style on one side and in a Cubist style on the other. The fish […]
By Natalie Cincotta When the Soviets launched their campaign, known as the hujum, against the veil in Uzbekistan in 1927, their goal was not just to liberate women. Without a class framework or a working class to build socialism in Uzbekistan, Soviet activists instead attempted to transform society through the liberation of women. Northrop argues that a woman’s behavior […]
By Clay Katsky Those who watch the television show The Americans share a secret with its protagonists: they are not a quintessential American couple living in the suburbs of D.C.; they are, in fact, spies for the Soviet Union. Set against the backdrop of a resurgent Cold War in the early 1980s, this serialized spy […]
by Rebecca Johnston On August 18, 1921, Anatoly Lunacharsky, the People’s Commissar of Enlightenment, wrote a letter to Jozef Unszlicht, a founding member of the Cheka, the Bolsheviks’ revolution-era secret police that eventually morphed into the KGB. As Commissar of Enlightenment, Lunacharsky was accountable for the educational, artistic, and creative development of all of Soviet […]
Recalling his formative years as an American baby boomer and the influence the Cold War and the Soviet Union had on his worldview, Donald Raleigh asks what life was like for people his age in the Soviet Union? What were their concerns about the future? How did they spend their time and what did Cold War ideological battles mean for their daily lives?
Lynne Viola’s The Unknown Gulag argues that the first and most heinous of Stalin’s notorious purges was the attack on wealthy or successful peasants known as kulaks, and their exile to desolate special settlements in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
“Through Labor – Freedom!” read a sign above the entrance to Solovetsky, just one of the 476 camps that comprised the Soviet gulag system.
It is Moscow in the early 1960s. In this transitional period, when Stalin’s death opened up new possibilities for private life in Soviet society, we meet three young men and a young woman who can almost bring themselves to believe that they are entitled to a life that will be individually meaningful.