Essays about the Soviet Union

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The State Bank of the USSR
Article from the website of the Bank of Russia on the monetary policy of the State Bank of the USSR in the Soviet Union.
English original - pdf 6 pages

As good as gold? - Barnett,Vincent
A note on the chervonets - a gold-backed currency which replaced the rou-ble during the New Economic Policy in the Soviet Union, and of which Bul-gakov wondered whether «it was real money or a stage prop».
English original - pdf 8 pages

Russian Collectivization - Beers, George
Beers argues that collectivization in the Soviet Union did not lead to agri-cultural production but rather to a famine that killed millions and the terror unnecessarily imposed on the Kulaks.
English original - pdf 6 pages

The Bullitt Mission to Russia - Bullit, William C.
Testimony before the Committee on Foreign Relations United States Se-nate of William C. Bullitt on September 12, 1919. Two days later the United States would close down the American Embassy in Moscow. Much later, in 1933, William C. Bullitt was installed as the new U.S. ambassador in Mos-cow.
English original - pdf 96 pages

The Samizdat Archipelago - Eichwede, Wolfgang
Eichwede explains that samizdat was not possible under totalitarianism, but only started when society was under pressure to modernize and the power of the government was decreasing.
English original - pdf 12 pages

Everyday Stalinism - Fitzpatrick, Sheila
Sheila Fitzpatrick describes the Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: the everyday practices and social identity of the citizens in Soviet Russia in the 1930s.
English original - pdf 274 pages

Laughter in the Dark: Humour under Stalin - Lauchlan, Iain
Iain Lauchlan of the University of Stirling, United Kingdom, argues that, in the Soviet Union, State-approved merriment was an act of complicity with the Soviet tyranny because it signified a belief in the beautiful lie, a state of blissful ignorance. Meanwhile genuine comedy was repressed because it was a malcontent’s expression of the ugly truth.
English original - pdf 15 pages

What Is To Be Done? - Lenin, Vladimir
Lenin's pamphlet from 1902 on what needs to be done to organize a communist society. This English translation has some differences with the Dutch translation, which you can also find in the archives.
English translation - pdf 107 pages

Vilified, Venerated, Forbidden: Jazz in the Stalinist Era - Lücke, Martin
Martin Lücke is the chairman of the Music Management Department of the Macromedia Hochschule für Medien und Kommunikation in Berlin. His essay on the jazz music in the Stalin era has been translated into English by Anita Ip.
English translation - pdf 11 pages

A dangerous occupation - Medvedev, Zhores
Early life and education in Soviet Russia during the second world war and immediate post-war years, and the influence of Trofim Lysenko on Soviet science. This essay was published in the Mill Hill Essays 2010.
English original - pdf 11 pages

Between right and left - Oppenheim, Samuel A.
Samuel Oppenheim writes about Grigorii Yakovlevich Sokolnikov and the development of the Soviet state between 1921 and 1929, looking forward and backward.
English original - pdf 23 pages

The Official and the Unofficial in Soviet culture 1950-80 - Savitsky, Stanislav
Savitsky studies the concepts «official» and «non official» and shows the re-lation of both using the novel Pushkin's House by Andrei Bitov from 1978.
English original - pdf 9 pages

I Speak For The Silent - Tchernavin, Vladimir Vyacheslavovich
The subtitle of this book is Prisoners of the Soviets. Professor Vladimir Chernavin, a contemporary of Bulgakov, succeeded in escaping with his wife and his son from a camp and published his memoirs. He relates the interrogations by the GPU and the treatment of the prisoners in the camps. His wife published her memoirs under the title Escape from the Gulag where she describes the prisons for women in the USSR.
English original - pdf 398 pages

Bears in the Caviar - Thayer, Charles
Charles Thayer was an collaborator of William C. Bullitt, who was the American ambassador in Moscow in the '30s. In Bears in the Caviar he writes in an entertaining way about the eccentric receptions at the Spaso House which inspired Mikhail Bulgakov for Woland's Ball in The Master and Margarita.
English original - pdf 13 pages

Chervontsi or roubles - does it matter? - Vanhellemont, Jan
In The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov used several times the word chervonets. According to webmaster Jan Vanhellemont it’s a pity that the English, French and Dutch translators of Bulgakov’s masterpiece translated this word as ten-rouble bill. He argues that, by doing so, they missed a part of Bulgakov's satire on the subject of money in the Soviet Union era.
English original - pdf 6 pages


La production des biens culturels en URSS - Kiriya, Ilya
Kyriya explains in this article that the Soviet culture answered a main need: the ideological need. However, the organization of this culture required to be industrial in order to attain a maximum of consumers and by doing so, to reinforce the Soviet ideology.
French original - pdf 11 pages


Wat te doen? - Lenin, Vladimir
Lenin's pamphlet from 1902 on what needs to be done to organize a communist society. This Dutch translation has some differences with the English translation, which you can also find in the archives.
Dutch translation - pdf 120 pages


Редакция N 6 - N.N.
Internal note of the Kremlin - Structure of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation. This note stated that the Kremlin had to follow two tracks: an open policy and a secret policy. The latter should be used «to retain and consolidate power».
Russian original - pdf 9 pages

Задания кремлеботам на Савушкина, 55 - N.N.
Detailed information for the Kremlin trolls on the themes that they had to deal with during their activities on social networks. These instructions were valid for the week of February 28 to March 7, 2015.
Russian original - pdf 119 pages

Путин. Война. - Nemtsov, Boris
The report written by opposition leader Boris Nemtsov on the role of Russia in the war in Ukraine, which could have been the reason why he's got killed on Friday, February 27, 2015.
Russian original - pdf 65 pages

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