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Stalin and the fellow-travelers revisited

David-Fox, Michael (2011) Stalin and the fellow-travelers revisited. In: Showcasing the Great Experiment. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 9780199794577 ; E-ISBN: 9780199932245

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This chapter gives new documentation and interpretation of the Soviet visits of the leading fellow-travelers in the 1930s, including George Bernard Shaw, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, Henri Barbusse, and Romain Rolland. Critically examining the major frameworks advanced for understanding Western intellectuals' Sovietophilia—among them alienation, national political traditions, and simple naiveté—it argues that no single master explanation proves adequate. The Western myth of the Soviet Union was so flexible that many diametrically opposed features of communism prompted them to assume the stature of "friends." Nevertheless, the role of key Soviet intermediaries (including Ilya Ehrenburg, Aleksandr Arosev, and Ivan Maiskii) was crucial in this process, as were the conventions of Soviet "friendship." The transcripts of Stalin's Kremlin receptions of leading Western "friends of the Soviet Union" suggest that a number of important Western sympathizers viewed him as a type of intellectual in power and harbored illusions of influence over the course of the revolution.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Chapter 7.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Date Deposited: 08 May 2017 14:30
Last Modified: 08 May 2017 14:30

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