An Autobiographical Narration of the Role of Fear and Friendship in the Soviet Union - Mellen Lives S. No. 20 (Hardback)Vladmir Shlapentokh (author)
Hardback 201 Pages / Published: 01/01/2005
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An autobiography of a well-known American sociologist who first rose to prominence in the Soviet Union. Author examines the life of an individual who realized in his early youth the totalitarian character of the Soviet society but who did not dare fight the system. The book revolves around the intellectual evolution of the author and his attempt to create himself a picture of society that was opposed to the official ideology. Preface This is a fascinating book wherein the author, himself a world-class sociologist, describes and reflects upon his life in Soviet Russia before migrating to the United States. We view in his remembrance, a parade of ideologues and cynics, of apparatchiks and scholars, of musicians and KGB agents, of artists and scientists, manipulators and operators, patriots and dispossessed bourgeois yearning for repossession. Though in retrospect he terms Soviet Russia a horrible society, the picture he paints is not of a chamber of horrors. There was for him a blissful childhood and youth in the warmth of socialist ideals, protected from the knowledge that poised on Russia's borders, the Nazis had prepared the most powerful military force in the world for the proclaimed purpose of destroying Russia and enslaving its people. There were those two-month-long vacations on the Black Sea and conversations of a quality without parallel elsewhere. There were warm, close enriching encounters in the Academic Town that Khrushchev created. There were the rewards of his own success as a teacher and in his creative role in the founding of a scientific sociology in Russia. And especially there were friendships. The graduates of his high school class solidly bonded together in a friendship that was deep, devoted, and life-lasting. With a select few there was a total devotion, an absolute trust, and an intensity of relations that would seem quite outside the scope of American experience. Such friendships might be explained as providing safe haven in the prevailing universe of fear. Fear and friendship is the book's double theme. And the author would hold that popular and private behavior in all countries is to be explained not simply by reference to a table of values but also by reference to a complex of fears. Especially
Publisher: The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd
Number of pages: 201
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