4 Pages

Module 8 Place in the Author’s Work

WithVictor Petrov, Riley Quinn

Sheila Fitzpatrick's Everyday Stalinism reflects many of the concerns of her earlier career, and expands on a number of the cultural themes that she investigated from her very first book, The Commissariat of Enlightenment. Fitzpatrick's book charted the rise of commissariat's bureaucracy and its attempts to spread a certain philosophy among the population, and the effects this had on social mobility in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Continuing to work on culture, Fitzpatrick introduced the discussion of 1920s and Stalinism as a cultural transformation rather than just a time of political and social change. Everyday Stalinism anticipates her later work, in 2000s, on how citizens created new identities and presented themselves at a time of revolutionary change. Fitzpatrick's earlier works dealt with education policies, social mobility, and the widespread cultural changes that Stalinism brought about. In all of these, she was interested in how the experience of industrialization, urbanization, and utopian project of socialism affected the people involved.