chapter  7
Khrushchev and Soviet socialism: burying Stalin, reviving Lenin?
Pages 42

Stalin’s death evoked contradictory emotions among the Soviet people. Millions mourned. Many rejoiced. Most were merely fearful about the future. Undoubtedly, most people’s lives were profoundly affected by this event. But the scale and nature of the “change” wrought by Stalin’s death is more contested. In the area covered by this work-the nature of Soviet socialism-the question concerns the extent to which the regime after 1953 adapted the theory and practice of Soviet socialism. Viewing Khrushchev with the benefit of hindsight, and by comparison with his predecessor and successor, the period between 1956 and 1964 appears to be one of change, renewal, reform, of a more humane and liberal approach after the brutal horrors of Stalinism. Yet, there are significant continuities between the two eras as well. This chapter explores the relationship between the Khrushchevite view of socialism and the Stalinist view of socialism on the one hand, and the broader Soviet view of socialism on the other.