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Making the Soviet Intelligentsia
Universities and Intellectual Life under Stalin and Khrushchev

$41.99 (C)

Part of New Studies in European History

  • Date Published: November 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107595347

$ 41.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Making the Soviet Intelligentsia explores the formation of educated elites in Russian and Ukrainian universities during the early Cold War. In the postwar period, universities emerged as training grounds for the military-industrial complex, showcases of Soviet cultural and economic accomplishments and valued tools in international cultural diplomacy. However, these fêted Soviet institutions also generated conflicts about the place of intellectuals and higher learning under socialism. Disruptive party initiatives in higher education - from the xenophobia and anti-Semitic campaigns of late Stalinism to the rewriting of history and the opening of the USSR to the outside world under Khrushchev - encouraged students and professors to interpret their commitments as intellectuals in the Soviet system in varied and sometimes contradictory ways. In the process, the social construct of intelligentsia took on divisive social, political and national meanings for educated society in the postwar Soviet state.

    • Offers a new approach to understanding the Soviet intelligentsia as a contested category of society
    • Draws on significant new archival research and oral history interviews to provide a compelling account of university life
    • Focus on higher learning provides a new explanation for the rise of ethnic nationalism in Russia and the Ukraine
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "… [a] wide-ranging and clearly argued work … Making the Soviet Intelligentsia raises important questions about how we understand the link between state policy and the 'life of the mind'."
    Claire Shaw, The Russian Review

    "This welcome study effectively shows the ambiguity of learning and its practitioners … Recommended."
    P. W. Knoll, Choice

    "… the two decades on which Making the Soviet Intelligentsia focuses are among the most interesting and eventful in the entire history of Soviet higher education. This thorough and elegant study does them justice and should remain a key work on the subject for many years to come."
    Polly Jones, The Journal of Modern History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107595347
    • length: 310 pages
    • dimensions: 90 x 60 x 4 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Universities and Postwar Soviet Society:
    1. Youth and timelessness in the Palaces of Science
    2. University learning in the Soviet social imagination
    Part II. The Emergence of Stalin's Intelligentsia, 1948–56:
    3. Making intellectuals cosmopolitan: Stalinist patriotism, anti-Semitism and the intelligentsia
    4. Stalinist science and the fracturing of academic authority
    5. De-Stalinization and intellectual salvationism
    Part III. Revolutionary Dreaming and Intelligentsia Divisions, 1957–64:
    6. Back to the future: populist social engineering under Khrushchev
    7. Uncertain terrain: the intelligentsia and the thaw
    8. Higher learning and the nationalization of the thaw
    Conclusion: intellectuals and Soviet socialism
    Note on oral history interviews

  • Author

    Benjamin Tromly, University of Puget Sound, Washington
    Benjamin Tromly is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Puget Sound. His research focuses on higher learning in the Soviet Union after the Second World War.

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