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Synopsis

The first study of popular opinions in post-revolutionary Russia, this volume is based on new documentation of OGPU and party surveillance on the population, extracts from private letters, diaries, British Foreign Office reports and talks leaked by OGPU informants. These archival sources show an increasing disenchantment of a generation, which resulted in revolution. The population resisted the Soviet mobilization campaigns, which promoted workers-peasants unity, the achievements of socialism and new socialist patriotism. The Bolsheviks failed to reach a national consensus and unite the nation around the great aim of socialist construction. The story of the legitimacy crisis at the end of the 1920s presents an important argument in the explanation of why, in 1927, when faced with economical, political and social crisis at home and in foreign politics, the Bolsheviks started changing their politics in favour of the more oppressive and dictatorial methods.

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