Stalinism’s Impact on the Soviet Union

The Second Five-Year Plan (January 1933-December 1937) was Stalin’s next attempt at transforming the Soviet Union. The main objectives of the Plan centered around improving the nation’s industry.  When first drafted, the plans followed the “same ‘great leap forward’ psychology” that was present in the First Plan. This mentality did not last, however, as the …

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The Story of the Bashkir Switchman

This picture, taken in 1910, showcases a Bashkir switch operator and guard next to train tracks located near Ust-Katav in the southern Ural Mountains. While the image may seem simple upon first glance, the deeper aesthetic, cultural, and political elements within present a much more interesting view. To start with the picture’s aesthetic value, the …

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