By Matthew Lenoe

during this provocative ebook, Matthew Lenoe strains the origins of Stalinist mass tradition to newspaper journalism within the overdue Twenties. In analyzing the transformation of Soviet newspapers through the New financial coverage and the 1st 5 yr Plan, Lenoe tells a dramatic tale of purges, political intrigues, and social upheaval.

stressed from the social gathering management to mobilize society for the enormous activity of industrialization, reporters formed a grasp narrative for Soviet background and helped create a Bolshevik id for thousands of latest communists. daily hard work turned an epic conflict to modernize the USSR, a struggle not just opposed to imperialists from open air, yet opposed to shirkers and saboteurs inside. Soviet newspapermen mobilized celebration activists by means of offering them with an identification as warrior heroes scuffling with for socialism. but in the framework of propaganda directives, the rank-and-file newshounds improvised in ways in which eventually contributed to the construction of a tradition. the photographs and metaphors crafted via Soviet reporters turned the middle of Stalinist tradition within the mid-1930s, and inspired the advance of socialist realism.

Deeply researched and lucidly written, this booklet is an incredible contribution to the literature on Soviet tradition and society.


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Extra resources for Closer to the Masses: Stalinist Culture, Social Revolution, and Soviet Newspapers (Russian Research Center Studies)

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This network could then be used to carry out other revolutionary tasks. In the prerevolutionary context of a secret, conspiratorial party, the organizational function of the press had quite a different meaning from that which it took on once the Bolsheviks governed Russia. After the Bolsheviks came to power, their propagandists (including Lenin himself) redefined the press's organizational function to mean the mobilization of labor to increase economic productivity. The years of the First Five-Year Plan found newspapermen visiting the shop floor to organize "socialist competitions," "production reviews," and "production meetings," to elicit denunciations of shirkers and incompetents, and to collect workers' ideas for increasing efficiency.

Articles on monetary reform, the alliance between proletariat and peasantry, state wage policy, and like topics cited a complex range of causes for economic difficulties. Behind the efforts of Soviet journalists to educate and indoctrinate the masses lay a sincere conviction that Soviet Power was a benevolent power, and that the masses would understand this if the press simply "illuminated" the political and economic situation properly. The peasant or "backward" worker was an intelligent human being.

In January 1928 the Orgburo and Politburo confirmed TASS's monopoly on the production of international news and extended it to the area of domestic Soviet (or "allUnion") news. TASS was supposed to serve as the clearinghouse for all published information above the local level, although in practice the major central newspapers had their own correspondents in the provinces and abroad. 25 The top CC organs had the authority to hire and fire editors at any newspaper in the USSR, and they had to approve editorial appointments down to the level of provincial papers and sometimes below.

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