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ERIC Number: EJ771401
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jul-6
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Yale U. Press Strikes Deal with Russian Archive to Open Stalin's Papers to Scholars
MacWilliams, Bryon
Chronicle of Higher Education, v53 n44 pA13 Jul 2007
At some point in 1938, Joseph Stalin sat down, alone, and literally rewrote history -- marking up a draft of "The History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union", which would be published by the party's Central Committee in 1939. First, the Soviet leader used a gray pencil. Then he switched to quill and indigo ink. He scribbled in the margins and wrote over text, deleting words and entire phrases by drawing lines through them. Scholars say that Stalin's annotations reveal a great deal about the dictator, who ruled the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. The marked-up manuscript is part of Stalin's personal library, which was recently declassified by Russian authorities. Since Stalin apparently did not keep a diary or other personal documents, his library provides a rare window into his mind. The Russian archive and Yale University Press have struck a deal to digitize that library and some 440,000 other documents. The press will also publish books -- in both Russian and English -- featuring research gleaned from the library. The archive includes Stalin's copies of books by Lenin, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and Leon Trotsky. The collection also includes correspondence between Stalin and important party functionaries from 1919 through 1952 -- a period that covers the height of the Great Terror of the 1930s, World War II, and the germination of the Cold War. Researchers will find letters from Stalin to foreign leaders, such as U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the American ambassador to the Soviet Union, Averell Harriman. The first documents will probably be made available for study in 2009. As the Cold War recedes into memory, avenues to publishing scholarship on the era may be shrinking. The opening of once-closed Russian archives may jump-start that research. The Stalin collection demonstrates how the dictator personally orchestrated Soviet life at every level -- from the price of sausage and the allocation of nails among factories to matters concerning atomic energy and intercontinental ballistic missiles.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: USSR