Grand Theater

Grand Theater examines bureaucracy not as a readily identifiable structure but rather as a process of day-to-day operation.

Grand Theater

Grand Theater examines bureaucracy not as a readily identifiable structure but rather as a process of day-to-day operation. Thus it is concerned with how agencies of both the communist party and the state apparatus not only implemented directives from above but also responded to perceived successes and failures, chose to produce, share, and conceal information, and reacted when common citizens injected themselves into governance by making demands and complaints. It concentrates on the 1930s as a seminal period when Stalin's regime established a hypercentralized system that dominated the Soviet Union until its collapse and the Russian Federation since then. It also focuses on the administration of schools as the primary window through which to examine governance because of the importance of education to Soviet authorities, most notably Stalin himself, and the accessibility of archival documents in this field, one not classified as particularly sensitive. Grand Theater provides novel insights into the functioning of Stalinist bureaucracy, brings to the forefront a new understanding of center-periphery relations, and reveals the important role of individuals in what has heretofore been largely regarded, when beyond the Kremlin's inner circle, as a highly impersonal system. It also examines in unprecedented ways the reciprocal relationship between ideology and policy formation, on the one hand, and actual administrative practices, on the other, a relationship that more often than not had negative and dysfunctional consequences for both the governed and governing. Holmes argues that the Soviet administrative system during the 1930s was much like grand theater. The documents produced for and by that system were the script for a discursive theatrical reality that inspired neither a careful appraisal of problems nor a dispassionate search for workable solutions.

More Books:

Grand Theater
Language: en
Pages: 294
Authors: Larry E. Holmes
Categories: History
Type: BOOK - Published: 2009-06-16 - Publisher: Lexington Books

Grand Theater examines bureaucracy not as a readily identifiable structure but rather as a process of day-to-day operation. Thus it is concerned with how agencies of both the communist party and the state apparatus not only implemented directives from above but also responded to perceived successes and failures, chose to
Separate Schools
Language: en
Pages: 418
Authors: E. Thomas Ewing
Categories: History
Type: BOOK - Published: 2010-11-01 - Publisher: Northern Illinois University Press

Starting in 1943, millions of children were separated into boys' and girls' schools in cities across the Soviet Union. The government sought to reinforce gender roles in a wartime context and to strengthen discipline and order by separating boys and girls into different classrooms. The program was a failure. Discipline
Revising the Revolution
Language: en
Pages: 220
Authors: Larry E. Holmes
Categories: History
Type: BOOK - Published: 2021-06-01 - Publisher: Indiana University Press

The clash between scholarship and politics—between truth and propaganda—was ruthless for historians in Istpart, the Russian Communist Central Committee's official historical department. Istpart was tasked with preserving the documentary record, compiling memoirs, and upholding ideological conformism within the national narrative of the 1917 revolution. In Revising the Revolution, Larry E.
Stalin’s Constitution: Soviet Participatory Politics and the Discussion of the 1936 Draft Constitution
Language: en
Pages: 178
Authors: Samantha Lomb
Categories: History
Type: BOOK - Published: 2017-11-09 - Publisher: Routledge

Upon its adoption in December 1936, Soviet leaders hailed the new so-called Stalin Constitution as the most democratic in the world. Scholars have long scoffed at this claim, noting that the mass repression of 1937–1938 that followed rendered it a hollow document. This study does not address these competing claims,
War, Evacuation, and the Exercise of Power
Language: en
Pages: 274
Authors: Larry E. Holmes
Categories: History
Type: BOOK - Published: 2012-05-31 - Publisher: Lexington Books

War, Evacuation, and the Exercise of Power examines the history of the Pedagogical Institute, located in the USSR's Kirov region from 1941 to 1952. Holmes reveals a tangled and complex relationship of local, regional, and national agencies. While it recognizes the immense strength of the center, it emphasizes a contentious