Soviet Baby Boomers

Soviet Baby Boomers – Previous American Portrayals

Another interesting source for our understanding of the Soviet Baby Boomers Generation is a written correspondence by the western journalists who lived in Moscow during late socialism. Western journalists’ publications were also based on personal interviews. Sometime those publications have more insights and precious information than recent interviews which are distorted by the effect of condensed memory. I would recommend the best book about Moscow in the 1970s, which could be used in our conversation about post-Stalin Soviet generation, Hendrick Smith, The Russians (New York: Quadrangle/The New York Times Book Co., 1976).

By Sergei Zhuk

A former Soviet expert in US history, especially in the social and cultural history of colonial British America, Dr. Sergei Zhuk, moved in 1997 to the United States, defended his new (now American) Ph.D. dissertation about imperial Russian history at Johns Hopkins University in 2002. Now Sergei Zhuk is Associate Professor of Russian and East European History at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. His research interests are knowledge production, cultural consumption, religion, popular culture and identity in a history of imperial Russia and the Soviet Union.

2 replies on “Soviet Baby Boomers – Previous American Portrayals”

Russian historians of my generation devoured these accounts as they appeared, often debating whether Hedrick Smith’s book or Robert Kaiser’s “rival” study, which appeared roughly at the same time, hit closer to home (I prefer Kaiser’s volume). Back in 2001, my former PhD student Rosa Magnusdottir wrote a fine MA thesis on the subject back, “The Russianness of Russia : Soviet Life through an American Looking Glass, 1968-1979.”

Good. In my new project about the Soviet scholars- “Americanists” I will try to compare an impact of the Soviet journalists like Merol Sturua and their American counter-parts like Hedrick Smith in shaping the images of the United States and the Soviet Union in the public discourse of the 1970s. For me it was amazing that no one from those “Soviet baby boomers” mentioned the role of Sturua’s publications.

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