Thawing Out

Iurii Annenkov: Portrait of the Poet Boris Pasternak (1921)

Iurii Annenkov: Portrait of the Poet Boris Pasternak (1921)

Change was the watchword of the Soviet fifties, and this weeks’ posts speak eloquently to that fact. A record number of Red Star and Comrades’ Corner posts speak to the often contradictory, and sometimes staggering social, cultural and political transitions following Stalin’s death in 1953. While many wonderful submissions continued to rely on the bounty of resources available on the open web, others tapped the riches of the Current Digest of the Soviet Press to add analytical depth to engaging narratives. Visitors to the site are encouraged to peruse posts featuring the journal Novyi Mir’s rejection of Boris Pasternak’s Nobel prize-winning novel, Doctor Zhivago, as well as discussions of De-Stalinization using newspaper coverage of the re-habilitation of political prisoners in Lithuania, and Khrushchev’s 1962 interview with an American publisherHungry in Hungary and A Chink in the Armour: Revolution in Hungary make good use articles from the Soviet press to highlight the trauma and contradictions of the Soviet intervention in 1956.

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A. Nelson

I am a historian of Russia with expertise in cultural history and emerging interests in animal studies and environmental history. My current research projects include studies of the Soviet space dogs, the significance of the Belyaev fox domestication project, and the cultural implications of domestication, particularly in Eurasia. 

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