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Seminar 15

The Great Patriotic War and Stalinist Society

  • How did the Bolsheviks mobilise the Soviet people for the war?
  • Why did the home front hold?
  • Did the Soviet Union win the war because of Stalin or in spite of Stalin? [debate]
  • What role did the Great Patriotic War play in post-war Soviet society?

Stalin, J.V., War Speeches, Orders of the Day and Answers to Foreign Correspondents During the Great Patriotic War, 3rd July 1941 – 2nd June 1945 (London, 1946), Radio Broadcast 3rd July 1941, Toast to the Russian People at a Reception in Honour of Red Army Commanders Given by the Soviet Government in the Kremlin on Thursday, May 24, 1945

Essential Reading

Suny, The Soviet Experiment, pp. 309-336.

Brandenberger, David, ‘”… It is Imperative to Advance Russian Nationalism as the First Priority”’, in Suny, A State of Nations, pp. 275-299. Electronic copy in library

Merridale, Catherine, Ivan’s War. (London, 2006), as much as you can, but definitely pp. 321-335.

Weiner, Amir, ‘The Making of a Dominant Myth: The Second World War and the Construction of Political Identities within the Soviet Polity’, Russian Review, 55 (1996), pp. 638-660.

Additional Reading

Erickson, John, ‘Soviet Women at War’, in Read, The Stalin Years, pp. 148-168.

Erickson, John, The Road to Stalingrad (New York, 1975)

Erickson, John, The Road to Berlin (Boulder, Colo., 1989)

Werth Alexander, Russia at War (New York, 1964)

Stites, Richard (ed.), Culture and Entertainment in Wartime Russia (Bloomington, Ind., 1995)

Barber, John and Mark Harrison, The Soviet Home Front, 1941-1945: A Social and Economic History of the USSR in World War II (London, 1991).

Overy, Richard, Russia’s War (London, 1999).

Weiner, Amir, Making Sense of War. The Second World War and the Fate of the Bolshevik Revolution (Princeton, Oxford, 2001).