Perestroika. Glasnost’. Acceleration. Democracy (1985)
As the Pizza Hut ad we watched today suggested, Mikhail Gorbachev’s leadership ushered in an era of increased freedom, opportunity, and hope for Soviet citizens, even as it fostered economic uncertainty, political instability, and the threat of chaos. For your final blog post, please choose a topic that gives you some insight on the collapse of Soviet communism and the social transformation that accompanied it.
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Brezhnev in Kishinev (1976) Celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Moldavian SSR
The 1980 Olympics, black market consumer goods, railroads, rock-n-roll, and most of all, the invasion of Afghanistan captured our attention this week. While few posts mentioned the Soviet leader most closely associated with the long Soviet seventies, they all speak to the contradictory and wide-reaching policies and practices of the Brezhnev era. Far from being an insular, stagnant system, Soviet society in these years played a major role in shaping and responding to the political, social and economic dynamics of a globalizing world.
We have a bumper crop of red star and comrades’ corner posts this week and encourage visitors to explore and comment on these reflections on late Soviet life. The weekly digest will take a break over the Thanksgiving holiday and be back for its final edition in early December. Until then, всего хорошего!
Image source: Soviet Life. Washington: Embassy of the Soviet Union in the USA. 1965. (from Seventeen Moments in Soviet History)