"This remarkable collection of documents from the Soviet Union in the 1930s provides a wide-angle lens on the decade's dizzying events. Through citizens' letters to newspapers and party officials, the reader is made aware of the confused and often contradictory nature of Russian politics and society under Stalin."Leonard Benardo, New York Times Book Review; "Siegelbaum provides an excellent introduction as well as informative commentary throughout the book."Harold J. Goldberg, History; "An extremely valuable contribution to the study of Stalinism"Slavic Review
Author Biography: Lewis Siegelbaum is professor and chair of the Department of History at Michigan State University. Andrei Sokolov is main researcher and department head of the Institute of Russian History at the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Selected by Choice as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2001; Annals of Communism Series
Though the voices from below were very faint in the Stalinist Soviet Union, the 157 documents from that period compiled for the present volume speak very loudly indeed. Letters, petitions, denunciations, despairing descriptions of lives and living conditions--each one is "a cry from the heart." They are taken from the 1930s, the decade of forced collectivization, the Stalin Constitution, and the dictator's horrific Great Terror. The tone of the documents is somber, yet there is also evidence of patriotism as well as pride in Soviet achievements. In uncovering these primary materials from Soviet archives, editors Siegelbaum (history, Michigan State Univ.) and Sokolov (history, Inst. of Russian History at the Russian Academy of Sciences) have given us a treasure trove of great usefulness to historians of Stalinist Russia. They note that "initiative, enterprise, [and] personal judgment became extremely dangerous qualities" in the USSR, qualities that are also in desperately short supply in contemporary post-Soviet Russia. Strongly recommended for academic libraries and as a valuable source for students of communism and Soviet history.--Robert H. Johnston, McMaster Univ., Hamilton, ON Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.