All Airplane! jokes aside, the first round-trip flight from New York to Moscow was a huge step forward for US/ Soviet foreign relations. Aeroflot and Pan Am were symbols of Soviet and American airline strongholds respectively. Both had previously operated exclusively for their country of origin, so the partnership between the two marked a remarkable change in the …
In 1960, Diafilm, a Soviet movie studio, released this filmstrip entitled “In the Year of 2017,” seen below. It shows images of what they believed the world would be like in 2017, after the Western imperialists were destroyed and the Soviet’s had perfected their knowledge of science and technology. There are atomic trains and flying… Continue reading Can Soviets Predict the Future? →
Cultural and social change rocked the Soviet Union in the years after Stalin’s death. This week’s posts address many aspects of the liberalization in politics and society signaled by Khrushchev’s “Secret Speech” in 1956.
Change was in the air as the sixties unfolded. Challenges in the sphere of foreign policy and changes in leadership marked the political sphere just as new forms of cultural expression and shifting social norms shaped Soviet society.
Why does owning a little country house in the Russian countryside mean so much? Because, who doesn’t want to tell all their friends that they are the proud owners of a dacha. While these houses long stood to symbolize privilege and wealth, under new Soviet leader Khrushchev, the homes became more available for broader… Continue reading Dachas Dot the Russian Countryside →
(The Symbol of Akademgorodok: a sigma representing the sum of Soviet science with a lightning bold symbolizing the new city springing into existince) Throughout the first half of its existence, much of the Soviet Union’s power had been focused on heavy industry and military might. However, after WWII and the death of Stalin, this focus … Continue reading →
A general theme in transitions of power is this, “out with the old, in with the new.” Following his ascension to First Secretary, Nikita Khrushchev pursued a policy of De-Stalinization and decentralization. These policies bolstered Khrushchev’s position within the party as well as dismantled Stalin’s lasting influence in Soviet politics. One controversial move by Khrushchev … Continue reading Crashing the Anti-Party
Following the death of Josef Stalin in March 1953, the member nations of the Warsaw Pact faced an existential crisis. … More
Well well, if it isn’t the youth making another noteworthy appearance on my blog. Pardon my language but we’re more than halfway through the 20th Century (and the spring semester) of studying Soviet history, and these youngins have a lot to say from their knowledge and experiences influenced by things outside the Stalinist USSR! I…
One of the most significant events to happen after Stalin’s death, was the release of prisoners from camps ran by the GULAG (Main Administration of Corrective Labor Camps). While the road of succession was full of challenges and awards, the release of prisoners created a new chapter for those who lost hope and faith in… Continue reading The Struggle for Freedom →