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Tag: USSR

Governmental Data Erasure

The following piece contains an important error, which I have highlighted in yellow below. I have corrected the record in a follow-up post. In the USSR, during certain periods, key individuals were erased from photographs and history when they fell out of favor. Trotsky was perhaps the most famous example. Such attempts to falsify images and textbooks for political ends went further, however. Historical reality itself—not just its interpretation and instruction—needed to bend to the regime’s will. Who knew that such crude reality-bending tools would be used in the United… Read more Governmental Data Erasure

Good Old Stalin

History can be used to justify all manner of circumstances in the present. Want to justify an authoritarian regime in Russia? Referring to Russia’s present conditions can help, but even more effective can be skillful tradition-building that shows Russia’s long line of great authoritarian rulers. And what better place to start than with history teachers in the schools? The New York Times published a remarkable article yesterday about a new history guide for high school teachers in Russia. After a brief introduction, it offers verbatim excerpts on Stalin, who comes… Read more Good Old Stalin