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Seminar 4

Industrialisation and Economic Planning

  • Why did Stalin turn against the old specialists?
  • How successful was Stalinist industrialisation? [debate]
  • How does a ‘mature’ plan economy function?



The Riutin platform (excerpt), Spring/Summer 1932; in J. Arch Getty and O.V. Naumov (eds), The Road to Terror: Stalin and the Self-Destruction of the Bolsheviks, 1932-1939 (New Haven, 1999), pp. 54-64. Link

Speeches of A.P. Smirnov, I.A. Akulov, M.F. Shkiriatov, Ya.E. Rudzutak, N.I. Bukharin, K.Ye Voroshilov at the Central Committee plenum of 7-12 January 1933; K. Radeks letter to Ya Rudzutak, January 1933, in Getty/ Naumov, The Road to Terror, pp. 74-102 [= Chapter 2: Party Discipline in 1932] Link: see above

Essential Reading

Schultz, Kurt S., ‘Building the Soviet Detroit: the Construction of the Nizhnii-Novgorod Automobile Factory, 1927-1932’, Slavic Review 49 (1990), pp. 200-212 (Read, The Stalin Years, pp. 70-86).

Suny, The Soviet Experiment, pp. 233 – 251 [= Chapter 10: ‘Stalin’s Industrial Revolution’] the 1998 edition can be borrowed for one hour here:

Recommended Reading

Kotkin, Magnetic Mountain, pp. 1-145.

Further Reading

Hosking, Geoffrey, A History of the Soviet Union, 1917-1991 (London, 1992), pp. 149-182.

OR The chapters on Stalin's revolution from above (1928-1933) in another good History of the Soviet Union, for example:


Kenez, Peter, A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End (Cambridge, 1999)


Read, Christopher, The Making and Breaking of the Soviet System: An Interpretation (Basingstoke, 2001)


Service, Robert, A History of Modern Russia, From Tsarism to the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge, Mass., 2009)

Allen, Robert C., Farm to Factory: A Reinterpretation of the Soviet Industrial Revolution (Princeton, 2003).

Filtzer, Donald, Soviet Workers and Stalinist Industrialization: The Formation of Modern Soviet Productions Relations, 1928-1941 (Armonk, NY, 1986).

Davies, R.W., The Industrialization of Soviet Russia, 3 vols (Cambridge, 1980-1991).

Kuromiya, Hiroaki, Stalin’s Industrial Revolution: Politics and Workers, 1928-32 (Cambridge, 1988).

Shearer, David R., Industry, State and Society in Stalin's Russia, 1926-1934 (Cornell University Press, 1997).