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Publisher's Summary

In 1999's Everyday Stalinism, historian Sheila Fitzpatrick rejects the common practice of simplistically treating the Soviet Union as a totalitarian government that tightly controlled its citizens. She takes advantage of vast archives that were released after the Cold War to examine Soviet society "from below" - looking at how ordinary citizens coped with shortages and the general sense of fear created by the state. Despite government efforts to mold its citizens into perfect reflections of communist ideology, in practice everyday people found ways to live everyday lives. Their coping mechanisms played an important role in how major events unfolded, including forced industrialization and the Great Purge, in which hundreds of thousands of people were killed by the state.

Fitzpatrick's influence on our modern understanding of Soviet society goes beyond her own works. Everyday Stalinism has inspired younger historians to dig deeper into Soviet social life, exploring the mindset of average citizens as they tried to lead ordinary lives in what were undoubtedly extraordinary times.

©2016 Macat Inc (P)2016 Macat Inc

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don't buy this book

the title and contents have nothing to do with Stalinist Russia. what the narrative does is repeat the forward in different ways . a big rip off

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  • I. A. Wright
  • 01-18-18

Disappointing

This book seemed, to me, somewhat scrambled. I couldn't easily relate the Macat sections to those of Fitzpatrick's book. The too-frequent repetition of the complete title of 'Everyday Stalinism' was noise, interference. Such back-references as 'the book', 'Everyday Stalinism', and the like would have been more natural.

Fitzpatrick contradicts Orlando Figes' assertion, in his book 'The Whisperers', that the years of The Terror saw the state-sanctioned murder of 20 million to an unattested 40 million Soviet citizens, not the few hundred thousand mentioned in 'Everyday Stalinism'.

I recommend Figes' book, which treats on The Terror and several decades before and after it.

The reader seemed less engaged than necessary to hold my attention.