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By Juliane Furst

"Stalin's final iteration" was once the final iteration to come back of age below Stalin, but it used to be additionally the 1st new release to be socialized within the post-war interval. Its younger contributors grew up in an international that also carried some of the hallmarks of the Soviet Union's innovative interval, but their atmosphere already confirmed the 1st symptoms of deterioration, stagnation, and disintegration. Stalin's final new release nonetheless knew how one can communicate "Bolshevik," nonetheless believed within the energy of Soviet heroes and nonetheless needed to build socialism, but in addition they loved to bop and get dressed in Western types, they knew find out how to dodge uninteresting lectures and classes in Marxism-Leninism, and so they have been willing to forge identities that have been extra person than these provided by means of the kingdom. during this ebook, Juliane Furst creates an in depth photograph of past due Stalinist adolescence and formative years tradition, kids from quite a few views: as youngsters of the struggle, as recipients and creators of propaganda, as perpetrators of crime, as representatives of fledgling subcultures, as believers, as critics, and as drop-outs. within the strategy, she illuminates not just the advanced courting among the Soviet nation and its formative years, but additionally offers a brand new interpretative framework for figuring out overdue Stalinism -- the effect of which on Soviet society's next improvement has hitherto been underestimated, together with its function within the final loss of life of the USSR.

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Extra resources for Stalin's Last Generation: Soviet Post-War Youth and the Emergence of Mature Socialism

Sample text

Spontaneity versus control, disorganization versus rigidity, mass socialization versus radical avant-gardism were dilemmas familiar to the 1920s and ’30s as well as to the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s. The decisive factor, however, proved to be the Great Fatherland War. The war had paradoxically two major consequences, which on first sight seem contradictory to each other, but which proved to further the same outcome. The war was in many ways the bulwark that stopped the Soviet Union’s aging process for a moment.

On the contrary, scarcity and deprivation became defining features of post-war youths and childhoods. The one bottle of vodka shared by MGU students on the day of victory was representative of the lack of food and consumer items in the years to come. The immediate post-war years brought little respite from the hardship of war nor did they do much to heal people’s physical and mental wounds. Mikhail Gorbachev’s choice of description of a war that burned itself into a generation betrays a strong sense of severe damage and irreversible trauma.

Children of the war tended to be shorter in height, live less long, and suffer from ill-health. Studies of children’s physical development after the Leningrad siege demonstrate that those 9. Naselenie Sovetskaia Soiuza 1922–1991 (Moscow, 1993), p. 75. 10. ), Late Stalinist Russia: Society between Reconstruction and Reinvention (London, 2006), p. 82. 11. On child spies see Ne svolochi: Deti-razvedchiki v tylu vraga (Moscow, 2006). On child mascots embedded into regiments see ‘Deti na voine’, Istochnik, 1 (1994): 54–5.

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