Courseworks

Russia in the 1930s. New York: Oxford UP, 1999.

The book I chose to read showcases the daily life and challenges to those living in large cities after Stalin’s rise to power. The main point of this book was to explain life for the point of view of the poor urbanities of the 1930s. Describing the economic crisis, overcrowding, and general fear experienced by lower class during this time, this book does an excellent job of showing how policy works at the common level. An interesting point shown by this book was that while many feared the system many were corrupted by the party and its politics, supporting and in turn benefiting from, the party.Instead of a Stalin bashing historical piece, as is typical, this work focuses less on big politics and more on the intrigues of the party elites and the effect that their disagreements and underhanded maneuvers had on the classes below them. The advancement in culture and literacy is outlined quite well in this book.I chose this particular book because it seemed interesting to learn about something other than simply the politics of a time period. The research is very well done; the author is clear and concise in her writing. There isn’t a lot of repetition or bias. The author tends to stay neutral throughout this book, which is refreshing. Fitzpatrick lays everything out on the table and lets the reader create their own opinion. This is very endearing. When reading about history it is always nice to find a clear, unbiased statement of fact as opposed to an opinion laden work constantly pointing out why their outlook is the correct one.All in all this was a very enlightening book. I would recommend Everyday Stalinism. Although this is no light reading the understanding and knowledge gained from this work was well worth the effort.

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