S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) Institute of Humanities (인문학연구원) Journal of humanities (인문논총) Journal of Humanities vol.54 (2005) (인문논총)
고르바쵸프 혁명과 스딸린 체제 : 글라스노스찌 시대의 역사 다시 쓰기
The Gorbachev Revolution and Stalinism: Rewriting Soviet History under Glasnost’
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 인문대학 인문학연구원
- 인문논총, Vol.54, pp. 3-44
- This paper aims to examine the various discussions about the nature of
Stalinism among Russian writers, particularly historians, during the Gorbachev
era. Enjoying almost unlimited freedom of speech under glasnost’, Russian
writers tried to rewrite the history of Stalin’s era overall. They sought to find the
origins of Stalinism, reexamined the causes and results of the forced
collectivization of agriculture and industrialization, and wrote about the Stalin’s
crimes of which almost most of the Soviet people did not know until then.
Moreover, they challenged the traditional interpretations of the Soviet-German
War through which the Soviet Union emerged as one of two superpowers in the
The enlarged freedom of research of the Soviet past, however, did not always
produce good works. This is because rewriting Soviet history has been begun
mainly by the nonspecialists such as publicists and journalists who were less
familiar with historical research. In analysing the main aspects of Stalinism, they
tended to put certain fixed conceptions over the empirical facts in order to serve
a political purpose. Therefore, for them, Stalinism was not the complicated social and political phenomena whose mechanism was to be explained, but a
historical deviation from “normal course” which was to be refused.
Such a low quality of the debate was aggravated by the fact that most of
Russian writers still kept traditional Soviet Marxist views of history as their main
methodology, which has tended to emphasize political and economic history.
They failed to reinterpret Soviet history with new historical methodology
emphasizing social and cultural views of history. Some researchers, however,
showed their capability sufficient for rewriting Soviet history seriously. Their
works made much contribution to the development of the Russian
historiography after Gorbachev.