Being Soviet: Identity, Rumour, and Everyday Life under Stalin 1939-1953

Hardcover | September 18, 2011

byTimothy Johnston

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Being Soviet adopts a refreshing and innovative approach to the years between the Nazi-Soviet Pact and Stalin's death in the USSR. Timothy Johnston draws on newspapers, films, plays, and popular music in order to examine the changing nature of Soviet identity in this era. He pays particular attention to the evolution of Britain and America from wartime allies to Cold War enemies.Being Soviet then explores how ordinary citizens related to this official version of Soviet identity. It examines that question via the rumours, jazz music, hairstyles, jokes, anti-war campaigns, and sexual relationships of the time. Johnston argues that these 'everyday' activities defined Sovietidentity for the man on the street in the USSR.At the heart of the book is a sustained critique of the current emphasis on 'supporters' or 'resistors' of the regime. Johnston suggests that the shadow of Foucault looms too large in the history of Stalinism. The relationship between Soviet citizens and Soviet power was defined by the subtletactics of everyday living. For many, life was not defined by 'belief' or 'unbelief' but rather the constant struggle to stay fed, informed, and entertained. This more nuanced approach offers a rich and textured image of what it meant to be Soviet in Stalin's least years.

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Being Soviet adopts a refreshing and innovative approach to the years between the Nazi-Soviet Pact and Stalin's death in the USSR. Timothy Johnston draws on newspapers, films, plays, and popular music in order to examine the changing nature of Soviet identity in this era. He pays particular attention to the evolution of Britain and Ame...

Timothy Johnston is a former Junior Research Fellow in Modern European History of St. Peter's College, Oxford. This work is his first book and follows a number of well-received articles in Russian and English. He has left academia in order to pursue a career as a barrister but retains an active research interest in the Soviet Union un...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 1.46 inPublished:September 18, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199604037

ISBN - 13:9780199604036

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart 1: Being Soviet in the pre-war era1. The liberator state? The crisis of Official Soviet Identity during the Pact Period 1939-41Part 2: Being Soviet during the Great Patriotic War2. Perfidious allies? Britain, America, and Official Soviet Diplomatic Identity 1941-453. Patrons or Predators? Foreign servicemen, technology, and art within Official Soviet Cultural Identity 1941-45Part 3: Being Soviet in the post-war years4. Panics, peace, and pacifism: Official Soviet Diplomatic Identity in the late-Stalin years 1945-535. Subversive styles? Official Soviet Cultural Identity in the late-Stalin years 1945-53ConclusionAppendixBibilography