SHEILA FITZPATRICK (Austin, Texas, U.S.A.) INTRODUCTION Social history has only recently come to the fore in ' Western Soviet studies. The bulk of the work so far is on 1917,. the Civil War, and the NEP period of the 1920s, for which social history sources are abundant and compar- atively accessible. The Stalin period presents greater difficulties (especially after the First Five-Year Plan years, 1929-32), since the sources are fewer than for the earlier period ar.d their contents more heavily censored. Until recently, Western scholars usually avoided this field, partly because of the data problems and partly be- cause their attention was focused on political and eco- nomic questions rather than social ones. In the past few years, however, serious research has begun on many aspects of the social hisiary of the Stalin period. There , are a number of recent dissertations and monographs on First Five-Year Plan period, in particular, but histo- rians are also pushing forward into the 1930s-and, in the process, acquiring expertise on different types of sources, confronting the specific problems of research in this area, and developing techniques and strategies for coping with them. It seems an appropriate time to pool our knowledge
Russian History – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1985
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