Welcome to the final edition of the weekly digest for the fall of 2013. The meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor and Gorbachev’s anti-alcohol campaign led the way as the most popular topics for this last set of posts, but debates about female sexuality, the challenges of economic reform, the move for independence in the Baltic states, and the coup of August 1991 all inspired good posts that shed insight on the collapse of Soviet communism.
Your editorial team finds this “18th Moment” in Soviet History bittersweet. You all have made the mother blog a dynamic space and valuable resource this semester, and I’m very proud of what we accomplished together. I greatly appreciate your patience and perseverance with the bumps we encountered along the way, and especially cherish the sense of humor and creativity you brought to the class, your blogs, and even the last day of class. Doughnuts and kvass are an unlikely combination, but you all made it work!
As you know, commenting has been a key part of the blogging project. Blogmeister Ben and I enjoyed reading and taking part in the discussions, many of which were as valuable as the posts themselves. There are no official honors for commenting, but we wanted to recognize the author of Seeing Red as the “Stakhanovite of Soviet Blogging” (Ben’s term, not mine). While many people posted terrific comments and met or exceeded their “commenting quota,” Seeing Red nearly doubled hers.
Thanks everyone! / Всего хорошего!
We had fewer posts than usual this week (18 total), but they addressed an array of issues that highlight just how action-packed the supposedly “stagnant” Brezhnev era was. The invasion of Afghanistan and the 1980 Olympics garnered the most attention, but television, consumer culture, urbanization, Andrei Sakharov, and the environmental challenges facing Lake Baikal all got their due. The image for this post pays homage to Seventeen Moments In Spring, the wildly popular TV series for which Seventeen Moments in Soviet History is names. Thanks, Brandon, for offering such a thoughtful analysis of the legacy of World War II in the mass culture of the seventies.
This is the penultimate edition of the weekly digest. We’ll select a student choice award in the next couple of days. Stay tuned for the final digest next Wednesday (12/11/13).