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Stalin Speeches, history homework help

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Discussion Question:

Please read the General Descriptions and Stalin Speeches.  Time willing, try to sample some of the scholarly analysis.  Then discuss to what extent you think the decision to pursue rapid industrialization was forced upon the Bolsheviks or was a matter of preference.  Please explain your reasoning.  If you do not think it was a matter of necessity, what alternatives did they have?

The late 1920s witnessed a drastic shift in the tone and content of Soviet policies.  The relaxed atmosphere of NEP, with its mixed socialist-capitalist economy, was abandoned in favor of a highly centralized command economy that would push for rapid industrialization.  Debate persists among historians as to whether the key decisions in this process were a matter of choice or necessity for the Soviet leadership.  Although there was no change in the political structure of the state, the radical economic and social transformation initiated in 1928-32 was so profound that historians sometimes describe this as the “second Russian Revolution” or the “Stalin Revolution.”  Although the putative aim of the process was to introduce central pla

Primary documents:

Stalin’s “A Year of Great Change” Speech (1929) :

Stalin Speech to Business Executives (1931):

Scholarly Articles (All available via UMUC Library):

Nick Baron, “Stalinist Planning as Political Process:  Control and Repression on the Soviet Periphery, 1935 – 1938”  Europe-Asia Studies 2004, Vol. 56, No. 3, pp. 439-462.

Paul R. Gregory and Andrei Markevich, “Creating Soviet Industry:  The House That Stalin Built” Slavic Review 2002, Vol. 61, No. 4, pp. 787-814.

Hiroaki Kuromiya, “Edinonachalie and the Soviet Industrial Manager, 1928 – 1937″ Soviet Studies 1984, Vol 36, No. 2, pp.185-204.

Thomas G. Schrand, “The Five-Year Plan for Women’s Labour: Constructing Socialism and the ‘Double Burden,’ 1930-1932,” Europe-Asia Studies, 1999, Vol. 51, No. 8, pp. 1455-1478.

S.G. Wheatcroft, R.W. Davies, and J. Cooper “Soviet Industrialization Reconsidered: Some Preliminary Conclusions about Economic Development between 1926 and 1941” Economic History Review May 1986, Vol. 39, Issue 2, pp. 264-294.

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