Carol AnyApr 28, 2021
The Soviet Writers' Union and Its Leaders
Identity and Authority Under Stalin
Northwestern University Press 2020
Dr. Carol Any’s The Soviet Writer’s Union and Its Leaders: Identity and Authority Under Stalin (Northwestern University Press, 2020) covers the writer’s union’s formation and functions, from its inception in 1932 to the aftermath of de-Stalinization. This coverage is placed in context of the pre-1932 Association of Proletarian Writers, and so the book provides a useful interpretation of Soviet writers’ interrelationships as well as their relationship with the state, for much of the Soviet era. Particularly interesting is how Any analyzes the psychological universe Soviet writers inhabited. Many writers wrote what they were supposed to; some resisted doing so. But either way, the state was largely successful at controlling the intellectual terms of engagement for Soviet writers in its official union.
Aaron Weinacht is Professor of History at the University of Montana Western, in Dillon, MT. He teaches courses on Russian and Soviet History, World History, and Philosophy of History. His research interests include the sociological theorist Philip Rieff and the influence of Russian nihilism on American libertarianism.