This book examines the social and cultural impact of the 'thaw' in Cold War relations, decision-making and policy formation in the Soviet Union under Nikita Khrushchev. It highlights the fact that many of the reform initiatives generally associated with Khrushchev personally, and with his period of office more generally, often had their roots in the Stalin period both in their content and in the ways in which they were implemented. Individual case studies explore key aspects of Khrushchev's period of office, including the introduction of the 1961 Communist Party Programme and popular responses to it, housing policy, the opening up of the Soviet Union to the West during the 1957 youth festival, public consultation campaigns and policy implementation in education and family law, the boost given to voluntary organisations such as women's councils and the trade unions, the reshaping of the internal Soviet security apparatus, the emergence of political dissent and the nature of civil-military relations as reflected in the events of the workers' uprising in Novocherkassk in 1962. The findings offer an important new perspective on the Khrushchev era.
Table of Contents
Introduction Melanie Ilic 1. The 1961 Party Programme and the Fate of Khrushchev’s Reforms Alexander Titov 2. Khrushchev’s Promise to Eliminate the Urban Housing Shortage: Rights, Rationality and the Communist Future Mark B. Smith 3. The 1957 Moscow Youth Festival: Propagating a New, Peaceful Image of the Soviet Union Pia Koivunen 4. The Scientist, the Pedagogue and the Party Official: Interest Groups, Public Opinion and Decision-making in the 1958 Education Reform Laurent Coumel 5. Lone Mothers and Fatherless Children: Public Discourse on Marriage and Family Law Helene Carlbäck 6. What did Women Want? Khrushchev and the Revival of the Zhensovety Melanie Ilic 7. Dismantling Stalin’s Fortress: Soviet Trade Unions in the Khrushchev Era Junbae Jo 8. The Changing Face of Repression under Khrushchev Julie Elkner 9. Voicing Discontent: Political Dissent from the Secret Speech to Khrushchev’s Ouster Robert Hornsby 10. The Soviet Military at Novocherkassk: The Apex of Military Professionalism in the Khrushchev Era? Joshua Andy. Select Bibliography. Index
Melanie Ilic is Reader in History at the University of Gloucestershire and Research Fellow at the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, The University of Birmingham.
Jeremy Smith is Senior Lecturer in Russian History at the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, The University of Birmingham.
'This collected volume significantly advances the historiography on the Khrushchev era, and by further opening the curtain on important processes taking place within Soviet society and government, supplies a basis for further innovative work. It should be read by all interested in the USSR and more broadly post-World War II historical developments.' - H-Net, 2010