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The Thaw

Leningrad, 1950s
Leningrad, 1950s

The Soviet population reacted little to events in Hungary. The press portrayed the uprising as a 'counter-revolution' by 'fascists' with the backing of the West. But many people did not believe this. The thaw had made it easier to access information from abroad.

The thaw began in literature, a surrogate of politics throughout Russian history. Once the hand of Stalinist conformity had been removed, writers moved away from the public themes and heroes of Socialist Realism and strived to portray Soviet life with more sincerity and honesty.

EXTRACT FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY. Orlando Figes, Revolutionary Russia, 1891-1991(Pelican, 2014), pp. 358-62.

...From Khrushchev to Gorbachev, one of the revolution's biggest challenges was how to engage this young generation in its system of values and beliefs. The October Revolution was becoming old, an ever more remote historical event, to which a declining proportion of the Soviet people could relate at all... [FULL TEXT 967 WORDS]

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