Research Programs: Summer Stipends

Period of Performance

6/1/2007 - 8/31/2007

Funding Totals

$5,000.00 (approved)
$5,000.00 (awarded)

Stalin's Search for a Usable Past: Ideology, Indoctrination and Terror in the USSR, 1929-1939

FAIN: FT-55023-07

David L. Brandenberger
University of Richmond (Richmond, VA 23173-0001)

The party's failure to promote a popular sense of communist identity in the USSR remains today one of the greatest paradoxes in modern Russian history. What can account for such a shortcoming in a society organized along Marxist-Leninist lines? My book manuscript, "Stalin's Search for a Usable Past," analyses this underappreciated weakness at the core of the Soviet "experiment" by examining the construction of party ideology on high, its dissemination within society, and its reception on the popular level. An investigation of the effectiveness of Stalin-era propaganda, this project also considers the ramifications of the party's ideological impotence for the USSR in the years following the dictator’s death.