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Beam Me Up/Out/Elsewhere, Tovarishch: Negotiating the Everyday in Late Socialism.

Juliane Furst and Josie McLellan, eds., Dropping out of Socialism: The Creation of Alternative Spheres in the Soviet Bloc. 352 pp. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2017. ISBN-13 978-1498525145. $100.00.

Anna Ivanova, Magaziny "Berezka": Paradoksy potrebleniia v pozdnem SSSR (The Berezka Shops: Paradoxes of Consumption in the Late Soviet Union). 304 pp. Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2017. ISBN-13 978-5444806456.

Cleb Tsipursky, Socialist Fun: Youth, Consumption, and State-Sponsored Popular Culture in the Soviet Union, 1945-1970. 366 pp. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016. ISBN-13 978-0822963967. $29.95.

For quite a while now it has been common knowledge that the Iron Curtain may have been iron, yet at the same time it provided huge holes to look through. (1) Recent rephrasings of the Iron Curtain include terms like "Nylon Curtain" or "semipermeable membrane." (2) Even as the notion of a transparent I would like to thank Nicholas Levy for his proofreading and his comments. curtain became prominent in new histories about the Eastern bloc, the transparency of the Iron Curtain seems to be more of a one-way street. This can be observed in how rarely present-day historians or political scientists interested in "Western history" engage with the East. As much as postcolonial history, global history, or transnational history have gained in popularity in the last decade or two, these global perspectives often end where the iron curtain used to be. (3) Until the 1930s, the East provided the place where "Western" people went to search for their Utopian dream, but this situation dramatically changed with the onset of the Cold War. (4) The "imaginary West" (to quote Alexei Yurchak) was omnipresent and informed consumption practices and lifestyles among all social strata of the socialist bloc during late Stalinism. The same cannot be argued for an "imaginary East." There were hardly consumption practices or lifestyles that made it into the capitalist West. The "imaginary East" was perceived as the land of gray and did not provide anything to be copied or hoped for (even hardboiled Western Communists had trouble finding anything desirable in the East other than rather abstract ideas).

The notion of an "imaginary West" in the postwar socialist bloc, however, not only was extremely vibrant but essentially provided a utopia people longed for. (5) The "West," both "imaginary" and "real," is an important reference in all three books under review. Although since Yurchak's intervention it seems fair to assume that a Komsomol teenage youth leader could wear blue jeans and listen to the Beatles without meaning to challenge the system he/she lived in, some doubt still lingers when, for instance, Michael DavidFox considers Western influences to be "fateful." (6) A similar perspective is brought forward in many research areas as consumption and leisure, dissent or grassroots activism. The assumption of many scholars dealing with late socialism seems to be that practices that by themselves on an individual level were not threatening, and certainly not tor an entire political system, those practices on a larger scale gained momentum. At one point the situation had to flip--and it did flip. The books under review implicitly all deal with this flipping moment, the moment in which late socialism turned from being forever into being no more. (7)

Anna Ivanova's book explores the paradoxes of Soviet consumer culture. Once a suspect notion among historians of the Soviet Union it has become common knowledge that there was not only consumption in the Soviet Union but indeed a consumer culture. (8) While many books in recent years have looked at Soviet consumer culture by focusing on items that transformed from luxury to almost everyday use (cars, dachas, refrigerators), Ivanova decidedly studies shopping options. Her topic of interest are berezki, closed stores under the auspices of the Soviet government, which sold rare or foreign products for either hard currency or certificates. Consequently, the group of customers in berezki was privileged per se. Western tourists could shop for foreign currency in a chain of stores around the Soviet Union. Those Soviet citizens who either had access to foreign currency (the use of which within the Soviet Union most of the time was prohibited) or worked in foreign countries, as did diplomats or soldiers, were issued certificates for berezki.

Shopping in the Soviet Union was first and foremost a question of time. Queues were omnipresent, depending on what was on sale. The purchasing power of the ruble was disputable. Shopping was to a large extent a matter of stock and networks and less a matter of the nominal value of rubles. Once you had the desired object, consuming might have been fun in the Soviet Union--"shopping" in regular stores was definitely less fun. The berezka, however, succeeded in providing a shopping experience in which the customer came, saw, and bought. In berezka stores, shoppers could buy items that--if they were produced at all--required long waiting periods in regular trade. Along with imported goods like jeans, eyeliners, or plastic bags, Soviet apartments and cars could be purchased for certificates. The buying power of the ruble was limited to the standard Soviet products and queuing time, whereas foreign currency or its substitute, certificates, could potentially buy everything immediately. Although the Soviet Union constantly criticized Western capitalism and its inherent greed for money, it established the very same greed for foreign currency or its equivalent (certificates) on its own territory. Thus the Soviet Union conceded that its own money was not of much value. Moreover, it acknowledged that its own production was inferior to Western products. Ideologically, not only did this reality undermine the performance of the Soviet economy, but it also dealt a heavy blow to everybody's work. Against all slogans of the Soviet Union overtaking the West, the berezki symbolized its lagging behind as well as the failures of the Soviet planned economy--in quantity and quality.

Anna Ivanova stresses the paradoxical implications of a "shopping" privilege in a society which at least claimed to strive for equality. Ivanova suggests that the many paradoxes accompanying the introduction of berezki in the early 1960s resulted from the "problem of the correlation of economy and morality" (11). She identifies three problems that arose from this general tension between socialist morality and the Soviet economy: relations with the West, consumption, and social hierarchy. Ivanova claims that the Soviet government knowingly embraced these paradoxes as it relied on the influx of foreign currencies. In terms of social hierarchies, the berezki turned the existing order within Soviet society topsy-turvy. Those who had access either to foreign currencies or certificates were not necessarily party and state elites or Soviet pop stars. Whereas shopping in berezki was intended less as a privilege for those who earned their money in foreign countries than as a means for the government to acquire hard currencies, those shopping options were definitely not designed for their "antipodes" (227), such as political dissenters or shady criminal figures. Ivanova repeatedly stresses the paradox that dissidents who earned Western money for publishing tamizdatwzte. able to buy exquisite goods in berezki. Sometimes the dissidents went shopping for their imprisoned peers and thus delivered Western products right into the zona. Thus disloyal or openly anti-Soviet people managed to lead a lifestyle desired by many. In this sense--as with so many other so-called plans in the Soviet Union--the planned privileges for the state and party elite took on a life of their own. Eventually, according to Ivanova, berezki helped form a Soviet middle class, a sociological phenomenon that to a large extent is determined by questions of consumption and shopping.

With her book, Ivanova adds an interesting idea to the ongoing discussion as to why the Soviet Union eventually failed. Often consumption in socialist states is treated as inherently problematic, as a "Pandoras box" (quoting Ulf Brunnbauer). (9) The underlying assumption in such an understanding is that Eastern Europe's planned economies were simply unfit to satisfy consumer demand, which then shattered people's beliefs in the system itself. Ivanova's idea is different. She distinguishes the existence of consumption per se as a lesser problem than the stratification of Soviet society accompanying consumption, which according to Ivanova is crucial in determining disenchantment with Soviet socialism. The possibility of ill-gotten, privileged consumer access to berezki shattered fundamental (and widely shared) Soviet notions of equality and justice.

The edited volume by Juliane Furst and Josie McLellan on "dropping out" has a similar perspective. The end of socialism is framed as a question of legitimacy that grew more serious with the withdrawal of progressively larger segments of the population from officially sanctioned social engagement. Active participation, the volume argues, was crucial, which is why socialism simply "slipped away, when people left the socialist stage" (17). This volume introduces a plethora of nonmainstream phenomena across the entire Eastern bloc; "normal" people in this volume are by definition absent. (10) Here we meet predominantly young people "who lived outside the norm yet possessed their own normative frameworks, and who rejected socialist norms but also perpetuated them by accepting and fostering their social exclusion" (2). We learn about Romanian yogis, Soviet hippies, German Democratic Republic (GDR) squatters, and Polish computer nerds--that is, we read about lifestyles emerging globally in the 1970s. (11) As much as the commonalities between Western and Eastern dropouts are striking and raise questions about the existence of bloc boundaries, the volume's central claim is that Eastern people nevertheless dropped out differently. In the East, dropping out was arguably less politically motivated. Rather than having a decidedly political agenda dropouts were eager for a spatial, emotional, or social segregation from mainstream society. In this sense, dropping out of socialism could be achieved quite easily: by style, manner, and performance. This was obvious for punks (Jeff Hayton, Evgenyi Kazakov) and hippies (Juliane Furst and Terje Toomistu), who already by their appearance marked their difference.

Jeff Hayton analyzes the world of GDR punks who were rebelling not against the absence of any future but against "too much future" (207). The regular life cycle of GDR citizens (and to be sure most other citizens of the First and Second Worlds) seemed too dull for them to bear: birth, school, work, retirement, grave. By examining punks, Jeff Hayton wants "to shed light on the limits of dictatorship" to understand "to what extent dropping out was possible under state socialism" (208). His contribution focuses on the do-it-yourself (DIY) culture of GDR punks, the ingredients of which were mostly clothes and music, organizing concerts and appropriating alternative spaces. According to Hayton, those alternative spaces would have been impossible without relying to some extent on state organizations or administration. One claim he puts forward is that the socialist economy and particularly "the generous subsidies of the socialist state" (213) fostered punk culture. By guaranteeing a minimum wage, the state itself provided the possibility for a dropout lifestyle, with a simple standard of living in exchange for a huge amount of free time. (12) Another type of help involved infiltrating the punk scene by recruiting members as informants. Those punks received money or access to deficit goods (cassettes) that were necessary for the DIY scene. Hayton contends that basically every GDR punk band had at least one member working for the Stasi. However, he carefully avoids the narrative of the omnipresent Stasi controlling every fibre of GDR society. Instead, he demonstrates the ambiguity of the relationship between the Stasi and punks, as in many cases it is not quite clear who helped whom. Irina Costache provides a similar perspective in her discussion of the Romanian yogi Gregorian Bivolaru, for whom "spiritual discovery and police surveillance became indistinguishable experiences which were distilled into the guru's philosophy" (24).

With the stress on individual life stories throughout the volume, it sometimes becomes hard to distinguish East European dropout experiences and their accompanying problems from experiences in West Berlin or New York's East End. Particularly because those youth cultures were a global phenomenon, points of meaningful distinction gain in importance. To that end, contributions to the volume repeatedly stress the role of an omnipresent socialist state. Analyzing hippies in Estonia, Terje Toomistu argues that stagnation helped "the burgeoning of youth culture that deliberately distanced itself from Soviet ideology, prevailing societal norms, and the approved practices of youth culture" (43). Relying on Foucauldian notions of will and power, Toomistu argues that as much as the hippies did not want to interfere with the state and indeed tried to become invisible to the omnipresent eye, they were a product of exactly the power they wanted to evade. Following the volume's general assumption, she describes being a hippie as an emotional practice rather than a political movement, because the Estonian hippies formed a "community of shared affect" (47). In the context of a material world so thoroughly defined by the state, spirituality and otherworldliness provided the only recourse for dropouts. Although the state is depicted in similar terms in Maria-Alina Asavei's analysis of the role of (state) psychiatry in art, her findings ultimately stand in contrast to other contributions. Asavei argues that "mad artists" like Miroslav Tichy or Ctefan Bartalan effectively used the repressive stance of socialist societies for their own purposes by opting to drop out into the psychiatry ward. Those artists feigned madness, which they used as a conscious "strategy of re-individualization and dis-identification from collective identification with the communist regime" (64). A second point of disagreement with the general line of the volumes arguments is Asavei's interpretation of the withdrawal from the outside world into psychiatric institutions as a decisive act of "political resistance" and "an expression of existential rebellion" (63).

Although Juliane Furst, in her contribution about a hippie commune in Leningrad in the late 1970s, would be hesitant to frame her hippies' experience as political, she echoes Asavei's statement on the question of existentiality. Furst's contribution focuses on seven to eight people who decided to live together in a wooden house on the outskirts of Leningrad. In their commune they tried to implement a form of living that resembled cooperative ideas of the 1920s (and thus Chernyshevsky's Chto delat' [What Is to Be Done]) as much as contemporary Western ideas of the 1970s. Even though all the communards were Leningrad University students and some of them even Komsomol members, essentially very different people with various mindsets and particular needs ended up living together in somewhat constrained circumstances: not enough space, not enough money, plus surveillance. Furst interprets dropping out in a socialist society as an "existential question," as this "could turn into a question of life or prison" (202). Thus the state and its repressive organs added a particular precariousness or even danger to the experience of dropping out in late socialism. (13) According to Furst, dropping out in socialism was much easier than dropping out from capitalism as socialism wanted active participation of its citizens. The simple "refusal to participate" (3) was already distancing yourself from the mainstream, as she explains in her introduction to the volume. As soon as active participation dwindled, socialism dwindled too. Unlike the phenomenon of subculture, Furst asserts that "dropping out does require agency and subjective intention" (6). Both in her introduction and in her article on the Leningrad hippie commune Furst engages in rereading agency and subjectivity in late socialism. She challenges Yurchak's living vne "as a static state of existence," which allegedly turned "its subjects' non-conformism into ciphers of the period rather than [into] an act of agency" (181). Instead she claims that living vne was "constantly debated, probed and discussed" (182).

Similarly to Furst, Toomistu probes the limits of Yurchak's ideas in arguing that "Soviet hippie subjectivity was deeply ingrained with a craving for the imaginary elsewhere" (48), which she introduces as an attempt to expand Alexei Yurchak's notion of the "imaginary West." (14) Her idea of the "imaginary elsewhere" tries to reflect the longing for spirituality, the wish for altered states of consciousness that hippies were trying to achieve mostly through meditation, psychedelic music, or drugs. Hippies desired a bodily experience, which contradicted the regulated and disciplined Soviet body politics. This quest for spirituality is analyzed in many of the volume's contributions as a form of escaping socialist reality that was shared among yogis, hippies, and followers of Islam (Madigan Andrea Fichter). As the definition of dropping out in this volume is the refusal of active participation, basically everybody dropped out once in a while. The question then recurs: "Where did all the normal people go?" If some of Furst's hippies were Komsomol members or Hayton's punks often worked together with the Stasi, then maybe we have to acknowledge that being nonconformist in late socialist societies was nothing extraordinary? Socialist societies produced many reasons for "nonconformist" behavior--not only among youth. Trying to get things done by using networks and blat, organizing things through the second economy, shopping semilegally in berezki--all these phenomena were deeply ingrained in the socialist everyday. So crucial were they for living socialism that socialist economies (and thus states) depended on the fonction of those unofficial mechanisms. The authorities turned a blind eye to all those sore spots and sometimes even actively encouraged nonconformist behavior as a way of regaining control--as shown, for instance, in the case of Haytons GDR punks.

Perhaps unintentionally, some of the volume's contributions seem to reanimate the idea of an omnipresent or even totalitarian state simply by their focus on dropping out in socialism and trying to understand the differences to Western dropout cultures. If in the East the refusal to participate was tantamount to dropping out and dropping out was a question of life and prison, we end up with ideas of a socialist state that effectively resemble traditional totalitarian notions. A somewhat similar pitfall is present in Anna Ivanova's book. In her very last paragraph she muses that the lessening of control by the security organs led the Soviet Union to gradually march to its end. More surveillance and more control might have prevented this. It is ironic that such a reading not only fuels notions of a state these cultural and social historians claim to have overcome but also enforces the notion of one monolithic state. The competing factions within socialist states as well as the many faces of state agency are sidelined by a binary reading of state vs. society or state vs. dropouts, which often sneaks its way back into the texts and--frankly--our minds, too.

Deconstructing this binary between state and society is the explicit aim of Gleb Tsipursky's book on "socialist fun" among Russian/Soviet youth. He analyzes mass cultural entertainment organized by Komsomol and trade union organizations at the local level in Saratov and Moscow. Although his title claims to cover the period from 1945 to 1970, five of the eight chapters stay within the 1953-64 timeframe. His periodization of Soviet history remains relatively conventional when he interprets the year 1953 as a "substantial break." He clearly distinguishes the repressive postwar years of late Stalinism from an open and experimental Thaw and the gray and stale years of stagnation. Rather apodictically Tsipursky calls for an end to discussion when he requests "that historians must revise their understanding of Thawera cultural innovations" (77). (15)

Contrary to the volume on dropping out, Tsipursky decidedly looks at "ordinary youth" (7) and their modes of entertainment. His central claim is "that many Soviet youngsters saw no contradiction between a full commitment to building communism and an appreciation for certain elements of western culture." They liked "both communism and jazz ... Khrushchev as well as Coltrane" (8). Many of Tsipursky's examples come from the Soviet jazz scene, to date interpreted mostly as being strongly pro-Western and pro-American. (16) Tsipursky, however, wants to demonstrate the extent to which ordinary citizens and club administrators were able to follow their own eclectic cultural agenda. Sometimes they were in line with official politics, and sometimes they were not. Tsipursky emphasizes the pluralism within the Soviet bureaucratic system, which knew many factions and open conflicts among the bureaucracy. He stresses flexibility and room to maneuver in relations between party organizations and youth culture, with both sides adapting and compromising. As a consequence, Soviet youth had serious--indeed socialist, but nevertheless genuine--fun.

The number of scholars cited as well as the broad range of sources is breathtaking. Tsipursky conducted more than 50 interviews for his book and tackles a wide range of topics. He reconsiders the gap between the provinces and the cities; he claims that in Saratov the Thaw lasted longer; he engages in emotional history; he calls enthusiasm the "hallmark emotion of the early Thaw" (131); he takes issue with Cold War studies; he wants to reset our understanding of cultural diplomacy; he muses about the limits and scopes of agency in the postwar Soviet Union--and that is far from all. (17) Music (mostly jazz), the 1957 International Youth Festival, and youth clubs provide the stage from which Tsipursky draws his conclusions. In his fifth chapter, which is the core chapter of the book, he introduces the reader to three types of youth clubs, in which young people could pursue their hobbies, attend discussions, or organize concerts. These clubs were initiated from above but enthusiastically adopted from below right after Stalin's death. Tsipursky interprets the state's framing of youth culture and the response by young people as a tradeoff. On the one hand, the state benefited from its youth investing a lot of energy and ideas in "socialist time" (78)--leisure time that was lived collectively (and thus presumably under control). On the other hand, youth organized their own activities and gained a certain degree of freedom. As a result, the "young generation powerfully influenced state-sponsored popular culture" (101). Tsipursky understands most of the activities in those clubs as "grassroots activism" (103), although the majority of these "grassroots" were already under the guise of official organs like the Komsomol.

Tsipursky follows the many zigzags and changes in policing youth that were so typical of the Thaw era. The 1957 International Youth Festival allowed the Soviet jazz scene to flourish, because the Komsomol supported jazz for a few months "for the sake of public diplomacy" (144-45). Yet already in November 1957--that is, a mere four months after the event--the jazz scene witnessed assaults by Komsomol organizations and club management. Consequently, jazz musicians changed their repertoires, and many jazz ensembles ceased to exist. Thus the age of freedom for jazz enthusiasts seems to have been pretty short. Tsipursky claims that the age of possibilities lasted for the entire period of the Thaw, although he himself describes the integration of jazz into the Soviet canon as a way of streamlining it into a rather conservative music culture.

Tsipursky goes further, claiming that the Soviet Union provided more agency for its youth than Western democracies (131). This bold notion is probably the result of Tsipursky's aim to de-demonize socialist culture, a concern he definitely shares with many other scholars working on late socialism--among them Juliane Furst. However, this shared agenda produces very different conclusions. In Tsipursky's reading, post-Stalin socialism appears so flexible and inclusive that there simply was no need for dropping out--at least not during the Thaw. Furst, in contrast, sets the bar for dropping out so low that being young was all but synonymous with dropping out--at least during the 1970s. These conflicting notions are as much a matter of chronology as a matter of framing the socialist experiment in the first place. Both readings--the Thaw as an era of socialist fervor and the 1970s as an era of dropping out--take a bottom-up perspective, yet both readings risk overemphasizing the role of the state in either providing agency or limiting freedom.

In all three books under review the socialist state is a constant presence. Whether socialist policies are interpreted as flexible or restrictive, limiting or encouraging, there is basically no notion of living vne in the sense that the state could be avoided. The edited volume advances a reading of late socialism in which you certainly could drop out in socialism but not drop out 0/socialism. Research often tends to focus on state-society relations in the sense that individual movements or phenomena are often considered as first and foremost a certain relationship between state/party and society. Consequently, intrasocietal relations are less often considered. We tend to create a picture of socialist societies in which we have separate groups of workers, dissidents, punks, apparatchiks, religious believers, or jazz lovers. All these different groups seem to be constantly engaging with state or party organs, yet less with their immediate neighbors, their companions in misfortune on their daily commute, or their colleagues at the workplace. We tend to reinforce a reading of late socialism where the state looms large as the entity that defines the constraints of adequate behavior, legality and illegality, and--particularly important in socialist countries--the many gray areas in between. When it comes to the question of legality and illegality, this is certainly the state's business. Yet when it comes to adequate behavior, it was first and foremost socialist citizens who peppered daily life (not only of youth) with constant reprimands and comments. To overcome the binary of state and society, it is necessary to take a closer look at all the different relations within society. (18) As much as socialist states were intrusive, socialist societies were too.

Forschungstelle Osteuropa

Universitat Bremen

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oberlaendera@uni-bremen.de

(1) Simo Mikkonen and Pia Koivunen, eds., Beyond the Divide: Entangled Histories of Cold War Europe (New York: Berghahn Books, 2015); Sari Autio-Sarasmo and Katalin Miklossy, eds., Reassessing Cold War Europe (New York: Routledge, 2011); Gyorgy Peteri, ed., Imagining the West in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010).

(2) Gyorgy Peteri, ed., Nylon Curtain: Transnational and Tmnssystemic Tendencies in the Cultural Life of State-Socialist Russia and East-Central Europe (Trondheim: Program on East European Cultures and Societies, 2006); Michael David-Fox, "The Iron Curtain as Semipermeable Membrane: Origins and Demise of the Stalinist Superiority Complex," in Cold War Crossings: International Travel and Exchange across the Soviet Bloc, 1940s-1960s, ed. Patryk Babiracki and Kenyon Zimmer (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2014), 14-39.

(3) Notable exceptions are the conference on "New Subjectivities, New Emotions, New Politics: Oppositional Politics and Counter Cultures across the Iron Curtain during the Long 1970s," Frankfurt an der Oder, 12-13 June 2015; for the conference report, see http://www.hsozukult.de/conferencereport/id/tagungsberichte-6315, organized by Joachim C. Haberlen. See also Haberlens incisive conclusion to the edited volume under review: "Conclusion: Dropping out of Socialism? A Western Perspective," 303-18.

(4) Michael David-Fox, Showcasingthe Great Experiment: Cultural Diplomacy and Western Visitors to the Soviet Union, 1921-1941 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012). See Matthias Heeke, Reisen zu den Sowjets: Der ausl-andische Tourismus in Russland 1921-1941 (Miinster: Lit, 2003). Not much has been published as yet on the late Soviet Union. See Alex Hazanov, "Foreign Visitors in the Late Soviet Union: The KGB and the Limits of Surveillance," paper presented at the Penn DCC Graduate Workshop on States of Surveillance, 11 November 2015 (https://www.sas.upenn.edu/andrea-mitchell-center/event/graduate-workshop-states-surveillance).

(5) Peteri, Imagining the West; Donald Raleigh, "On the Other Side of the Wall, Things Are Even Better: Travel and the Opening of the Soviet Union. The Oral Evidence," Ah Imperio, no. 4 (2012): 373-99; Alexei Yurchak, Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006).

(6) David-Fox, "Iron Curtain as Semipermeable Membrane," 35.

(7) To name that moment as a question of an ongoing debate, see Manfred Zeller, "Before and after the End of the World: Rethinking the Soviet Collapse," Kritika 18, 3 (2017): 591-601.

(8) On consumption, see Natalya Chernyshova, Soviet Consumer Culture in the Brezhnev Era (London: Routledge, 2013); Paulina Bren and Mary Neuburger, eds., Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012); Larissa Zakharova, "Soviet Fashion in the 1950s-60s: Regimentation, Western Influences, and Consumption Strategies," in The Thaw: Soviet Society and Culture during the 1950s and 1960s, ed. Denis Kozlov and Eleonory Gilburd (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013), 40235; David Crowley and Susan Reid, Pleasures in Socialism: Leisure and Luxury in the Eastern Bloc (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2010); Reid, "Cold War in the Kitchen: Gender and De-Stalinization of Consumer Taste in the Soviet Union under Khrushchev," Slavic Review 61, 2 (2002): 211-52; Lewis Siegelbaum, Cars for Comrades: The Life of the Soviet Automobile (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2008); and Anne Gorsuch and Diane Koenker, eds., Turizm: Ihe Russian and East European Tourist under Capitalism and Socialism (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2006).

(9) Ulf Brunnbauer, "Der Mythos vom Ruckzug ins Private," in "Entwickeker Sozialismus" in Osteuropa: Arbeit, Konsum und Offentlichkeit, ed. Nada Boskovska, Angelika Strobel, and Daniel Ursprung (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 2016), 44; Anna Ivanova, "Socialist Consumption and Brezhnevs Stagnation: A Reappraisal of Late Communist Everyday Life," Kritika 17, 3 (2016): 665-78.

(10) Juliane Furst, "Where Did All the Normal People Go? Another Look at the Soviet 1970s," Kritika 14, 3 (2013): 621-40.

(11) See also Cathleen M. Giustino, Catherine J. Plum, and Alexander Vari, eds., Socialist Escapes: Breaking away from Ideology and Everyday Routine in Eastern Europe, 1945-1989 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2013).

(12) This phenomenon is well known throughout the Eastern bloc. The "generation of janitors and watchmen" is eternalized in a number of songs, novels, and movies. On that phenomenon, see also Danuta Kneipp, "Friedhofsgartner, Nachtwachter, Heizer: Berufliche Ausgrenzung und widerstandige Handlungsraume in der Ara Honecker," in Zeithistorische Forschungen 3 (2007) (http://www.zeithistorische-forschungen.de/3-2007/id=4556). A similar "privilege" existed in West European welfare states until roughly the 1990s. Dropouts often opted for a relatively poor living standard with the help of social services, providing them with loads of time on their hands. This way of living basically vanished in 1989/91 as the so-called globalized labor market left its mark on former welfare states. See Sven Reichhardt, Authentizitat und Gemeinschaft: Linksakernatives Leben in den siebziger undfriihen achtziger Jahren (Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2014).

(13) Indeed, many of the contributions rely on material collected by the security organs.

(14) Yurchak, Everything Was Forever. On the role of the West in youth culture, see also Sergei Zhuk, Rock and Roll in the Rocket City: 'Ihe West, Identity, and Ideology in Soviet Dnepropetrovsk 1960-1985 (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2010).

(15) See Kozlov and Gilburd, Thaw; Polly Jones, Myth, Memory, Trauma: Rethinking the Stalinist Past in the Soviet Union, 1953-70 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013); Juliane Furst, Stalin's Last Generation: Soviet Post-War Youth and the Emergence of Mature Socialism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010); Miriam Dobson, Khrushchev's Cold Summer: Gulag Returnees, Crime, and the Fate of Reform after Stalin (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2009); and Stephen V. Bittner, The Many Lives of Khrushchev's Thaw: Experience and Memory in Moscow's Arhat (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2008).

(16) Gertrud Pickhan and Rudiger Ritter, eds., Jazz behind the Iron Curtain (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2000). A perspective similar to Tsipursky's motivates Michel A'oefeer, "Staging a Cultured Community: Soviet Jazz after 1953," in De-Stalinisation Reconsidered: Persistence and Change in the Soviet Union, ed. Thomas M. Bohn, Ray Einax, and Abefeer (New York: Campus, 2014), 223-38.

(17) On enthusiasm, see Alissa Klots and Maria Romashova, "Lenin's Cohort: The First Mass Generation of Soviet Pensioners and Public Activism in the Khrushchev Era" (forthcoming in the next issue of Kritikd).

(18) See, e.g., Edward Cohn, The High Title of a Communist: Postwar Party Discipline and the Values of the Soviet Regime (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2015); Brian LaPierre, Hooligans in Khrushchev's Russia: Defining, Policing, and Producing Deviance during the Thaw (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2012); Dobson, Khrushchev's Cold Summer; and Marc Edele, "Strange Young Men in Stalin's Moscow: The Birth and Life of the Stiliagi, 19451953," Jahrbucher fur Geschichte Osteuropas 50, 1 (2002): 37-61.
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Title Annotation:Dropping Out of Socialism: The Creation of Alternative Spheres in the Soviet Bloc; Magaziny "Berezka": Paradoksy potrebleniia v pozdnem SSSR; Socialist Fun: Youth, Consumption, and State-Sponsored Popular Culture in the Soviet Union, 1945-1970
Author:Oberlander, Alexandra
Publication:Kritika
Article Type:Book review
Date:Mar 22, 2018
Words:5307
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