ABSTRACT

All Soviet citizens were born and bred in a political culture that revered Lenin and all that he stood for, so it is not surprising that there has been some resistance to simply writing him off. Perhaps most significantly, even Gorbachev seemed to have had some trouble letting go of Lenin. During the period when Gorbachev was formulating the key principles of new thinking that contradicted Lenin, Gorbachev simultanously tried to portray new thinking as continuous with Lenin. This equivocation, presumably, reflected a resistance in the larger Soviet society. Right up to the collapse of the coup in 1991 there were statements by prominent officials showing the persistence of Leninist thinking. And our interviews show that for many Soviets this process of ideological transformation has been marked by inner conflict and emotional pain.