This study is the first of its kind: a street-level inside account of what Stalinism meant to the masses of ordinary people who lived it. Stephen Kotkin was the. Kotkin argues that Stalinism offered itself as an opportunity for enlightenment. Thematically organized and closely focused, Magnetic Mountain signals the. This study is a street-level inside account of what Stalinism meant to the masses of ordinary people who lived it. Stephen Kotkin was the first American in

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Magnetic mountain: Stalinism as a civilization

Open Preview See a Problem? From onwards the Party engaged in numerous internal “purges” and “verification” campaigns which aimed to expel corrupt party officials or merely those with a false “worker” pedigree, and which spread to failures in state production and soon involved the NKVD the “state” system which tended to enforce party dictates.

Taking advantage of the full range of published and unpublished Soviet sources, he details what everyday life looked like to people living unde In this book Stephen Kotkin does what might seem impossible. This is a phenomenal study of a Soviet built industrial town. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.

Account Options Sign in. Return to Book Page. Other editions – View all Magnetic Mountain: The utopia it proffered, socialism, would be a new civilization based on the repudiation of capitalism.

Second part is much better than the first, but the writing style is overly complicated. Kotkin graduated from the University of Rochester in with a B. Kotkin shows that the division between an elite Communist Party, whose job was to maintain ideological uniformity and place personnel in appropriate “nomenklatura” positions, and an actual state system, which did the work of running factories and homes and police and so on, led to irreconcilable conflicts.


oktkin Oct 23, Albert rated it it was amazing Shelves: My library Help Advanced Book Search. Jul 03, Nathan rated it really liked it. Apr 08, Tessa rated it did not like it. This book is what happens when you are one of the first historians allowed into the archives after the fall of the “iron curtain. His writing is very effective as well.

He studied Russian and Soviet history under Reginald E.

No trivia or quizzes yet. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Matt rated it really liked it Jan 26, Oct 19, Shane Mountxin rated it it was amazing Shelves: Interesting, but a bit pretentious. A highly detailed yet broadly conceived study of Magnitogorsk, a Soviet steel complex and city created on the steppes of Russia as both a model socialist community and an industrial powerhouse.

Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as a Civilization

Kotkin depicts a whole range of life: Kotkin spent some pages saying what he could have said in it’s thick with repetition and half of the book was also endnotes pages Mike Kktkin rated it it was amazing Oct 06, Apr 04, Moutnain rated it liked it.


This study is the first of its kind: Kotkin tells it deftly, with a remarkable understanding of the social and political system, as well as a keen instinct for the details of everyday life.

It deserves more than 5 stars. Stalinism as a Civilization. This study is a street-level inside account of what Stalinism meant to the masses of ordinary people who lived it. I’m not too big on Stalinist history anyway, so perhaps that was a problem as well. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. He is also a W. By detailing everything from the shrine-like “Red Corners” in the city barracks to the Magnit Cinema showing movies such as mqgnetic Card” and of course Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times” to the craze over “French Wrestling” at the local circus, Kotkin enriches our view of life and politics in an otherworldly time and place.

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For instance, he shows how much of the economy was really a “shadow” economy, where purloined factory parts or cloth went to either independently fulfill the impossible plans of Moscow or into private production that was mountxin in the official “markets” or even by door-to-door peddling.

Stalinism as a Civilization Stephen Kotkin No preview available –