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Peasants, Political Police, and the Early Soviet State
 
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Peasants, Political Police, and the Early Soviet State
Surveillance and Accommodation under the New Economic Policy
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
 
15 Dec 2011
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£58.00
|Hardback In Stock
  
9780230338869
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

This book combines social and institutional histories of Russia, focusing on the secret police and their evolving relationship with the peasantry in the period leading up to collectivization. Based on an analysis of Cheka/OGPU reports, the book argues that the police did not initially respond to peasant resistance to Bolshevik demands simply with the gun - rather, they listened to peasant voices. The police argued that compromise was possible, and that the peasants could be convinced to work within the Bolshevik construct of state and society. As time went on, however, local police agents increasingly saw themselves engaged in a war with the peasantry over control of grain and domination of local organs of power. As the focus shifted from objective economic factors to the putative influence of the kulaks, the only solution became to break the peasantry.


Description

This book combines social and institutional histories of Russia, focusing on the secret police and their evolving relationship with the peasantry in the period leading up to collectivization. Based on an analysis of Cheka/OGPU reports, the book argues that the police did not initially respond to peasant resistance to Bolshevik demands simply with the gun - rather, they listened to peasant voices. The police argued that compromise was possible, and that the peasants could be convinced to work within the Bolshevik construct of state and society. As time went on, however, local police agents increasingly saw themselves engaged in a war with the peasantry over control of grain and domination of local organs of power. As the focus shifted from objective economic factors to the putative influence of the kulaks, the only solution became to break the peasantry.


Reviews

"This important volume illuminates how the political police described peasant grievances in the 1920s and how a change in central political attitudes shaped these descriptions. Hudson's close reading of reports shows that the Soviet state relied on mass surveillance of its population to better understand and control them." - The American Historical Review
 
'...the greatest contributions of Hudson's study are that it introduces a third actor into the story of peasant-state relations in the early Soviet period - the secret police - and that it suggests that, if the regime failed to reach an accommodation with the peasantry during NEP, it was not for a lack of trying.' - Colleen M. Moore, Indiana University, The NEP Era: Soviet Russia 1921-1928


Contents

State, Peasants, and Police to 1921 
Famine, Market Forces, and Ameliorative Actions, 1921-1923 
Lenin's Death, 'Face to the Countryside,' and Growing Police Fears, 1924 
Soviet Elections, Grain Crises, and Kulaks, 1925-1926 
Liquidation of Kulak Influence, War Panic, and the Elimination of the Kulaks as a Class, 1927-1929


Authors

HUGH HUDSON Professor of history at Georgia State University, USA. His publications include Modernization Through Resistance: War, Mir, Tsar, and Law in the World of the Pre-reform Russian Peasantry; Blueprints and Blood: The Stalinization of Soviet Architecture, 1917-1937; and The Rise of the Demidov Family and the Russian Iron Industry in the Eighteenth Century