Module 1 The Author and the Historical Context
Sheila Fitzpatrick's Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s is an exploration of urban life in the Soviet Union of the 1930s, and of the emergence of Homo Sovieticus. The text argues against looking at the Soviet Union simply as a totalitarian state that ruled through violence and threat. Fitzpatrick instead investigates the state's effect on the population and the ways in which citizens could operate within this state-imposed framework. Sheila Fitzpatrick's family and educational background affected her work in a variety of ways. She states that her father, Brian Fitzpatrick, was a nonacademic radical historian and activist. He supported the Russian Revolution of 1917, which led to the creation of the Soviet Union. Everyday Stalinism was published in 1999, at the end of a decade that had, in academic research terms, benefited greatly from the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).