MEMOIR WALTER M. PINTNER (Valley Center, CA, USA) A YEAR IN THE "PROMISED LAND" In these post-Stalin, post-Soviet, post-Cold War, post-Yeltsin days, it is hard to recapture the feelings one had in the late forties and early fifties as someone interested in Russia and contemplating a career in Russian stud- ies. The Soviet Union then was almost totally isolated and inaccessible to outsiders to a degree that seems all but impossible now. Our sources of in- formation about Russia were restricted to the Soviet press (Pravda and Iz- vestiia, and a few other magazines and newspapers), reports from the handful of Western newsmen in Moscow (about a dozen, I think) who were extremely restricted in whom they could speak to and where they could go. The only other Westerners in Russia were diplomats (only in Moscow) who were strictly controlled and unable to mingle with the local population. * We could, of course, read the great works of pre-revolutionary Russian writers and Soviet literature as well, but since the early thirties little of real power had appeared. How was one to evaluate the Socialist Realist novels without the possibility of seeing "real Russia"? Anyone who actually had been
The Soviet and Post Soviet Review – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2000
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