Academic analysis has not always kept pace with the dramatic changes that have occurred in the USSR since Stalin’s time, for objective study has often been overshadowed—especially in the 1980s—by publicity concerning the negative aspects of the “Evil Empire.” Recently, however, because of reforms initiated by Gorbachev, the dynamics of the Soviet system have come into sharper focus. This book provides a wide-ranging, detailed view of economic, social, ideological, and literary aspects of the Soviet system leading up to the Gorbachev era. The essays include both historical and contemporary perspectives on the sources of stability (and stagnation) in the post-Stalin years. Examining the intricate fabric of Soviet society, the contributors provide insights into the social and cultural motivations for Gorbachev’s “restructuring” policies. Their themes echo the work of Vera S. Dunham, who for more than four decades has focused on diverse aspects of Soviet society and culture, particularly on the noncoercive means of social control that have often been overlooked but that are a vital component of the Soviet system.

part One|105 pages

Trends in Soviet Society

chapter 1|17 pages

The Little Deal: Brezhnev’s Contribution to Acquisitive Socialism

ByJames R. Millar

chapter 2|19 pages

“Middle-class Values” and Soviet Life in the 1930s

BySheila Fitzpatrick

chapter 3|19 pages

Cell Mutation in Soviet Society: The Family

ByPeter H. Juviler

chapter 5|19 pages

Shifting Strata: Ethnicity, Gender, and Work in Soviet Central Asia

ByMichael Paul Sacks

part Two|71 pages

Literary Perspectives

chapter 6|15 pages

Trifonov: The Historian as Artist

ByEdward J. Brown

chapter 7|38 pages

The Transformations of Babi Yar

ByRichard Sheldon

chapter 8|16 pages

Abram Tertz: Dissidence, Diffidence, and Russian Literary Tradition

ByDonald Fanger, Gordon Cohen

part Three|57 pages

The Language of Ideology

chapter 9|14 pages

The Uses and Abuses of Russian History

ByAlexander Dallin

chapter 11|30 pages

Developed Socialism: Brezhnev’s Contribution to Soviet Ideology

ByTerry L. Thompson

part Four|35 pages

Sources of Soviet Stability

chapter 13|18 pages

The Conditions of Stability in the Soviet Union

BySeweryn Bialer