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Seminar 12

  • What made the Soviet Union so attractive for Western intellectuals?
  • Which role did intellectuals play in Soviet foreign propaganda?
  • How was the Soviet Union perceived in the 1930s?


Webb, Sydney and Beatrice, Soviet Communism: a new civilisation (1935), Excerpts

Koestler, Arthur; Silone, Ignazio; Gide André et. al., The God that Failed. Six Studies in Communism (London 1950) Excerpts: Please read the Arthur Koestler chapter.

Essential Reading

Corthorn, Paul, ‘Labour, the Left, and the Stalinist Purges of the Late 1930s’, The Historical Journal 48 (2005), pp. 179-207

David-Fox, Michael, ‘The Fellow Travelers Revisited: The “Cultured West” through Soviet Eyes’, Journal of Modern History 75 (2003), pp. 300-335

Additional Reading

David-Fox, Michael, Showcasing the Great Experiment. Cultural Diplomacy & Western Visitors to the Soviet Union 1921-1941 (Oxford 2012)

Gide, André, Return from the USSR (London 1937)

Webb, Sydney and Beatrice, Soviet Communism: dictatorship or democracy (London 1936)

Citrine, Walter, In search for truth in Russia (London 1936)

Hollander, Paul, Political Pilgrims: Western intellectuals in search of the good society. 4th edition (New Brunswick, NJ, London 1997)

Caute, David, Communism and the French intellectuals 1914-1960 (London 1964)

Wood, Neal, Communism and British Intellectuals (London 1959)

Koch, Stephen, Stalin, Willi Münzenberg and the seduction of the intellectuals (New York 2004)

Caute, David, The fellow-travellers: intellectual friends of communism (New Haven 1973)