Cover image for Mass uprisings in the USSR : protest and rebellion in the post-Stalin years
Mass uprisings in the USSR : protest and rebellion in the post-Stalin years
Kozlov, V. A. (Vladimir Aleksandrovich).
Uniform Title:
Massovye bespori͡adki v SSSR. English
Publication Information:
Armonk, N.Y. : M.E. Sharpe, [2002]

Physical Description:
xix, 351 pages ; 24 cm.
Format :


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DK274 .K6513 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Until recent times, incidents of mass unrest in the USSR were shrouded in official secrecy. Now this pioneering work by historian Vladimir A. Kozlov has opened up these hidden chapters of Soviet history. It details an astonishing variety of widespread mass protest in the post-Stalin period, including workers' strikes, urban riots, ethnic and religious confrontations, and soldiers' insurrections. Kozlov has drawn on exhaustive research in police, procuracy, KGB, and Party archives to recreate the violent major uprisings described in this volume. He traces the historical context and the sequence of events leading up to each mass protest, explores the demographic and psychological dynamics of the situation, and examines the actions and reactions of the authorities. This painstaking analysis reveals that many rebellions were not so much anti-communist as essentially conservative in nature, directed to the defense of local norms being disturbed by particular instances of injustice or by the rash of Krushchev-era reforms. This insight makes the book valuable not only for what it tells us about postwar Soviet history, but also for what it suggests about contemporary Russian society as well as popular protests in general.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This translation of Kozlov's Russian-language work of 1999 offers a valuable and unique history of spontaneous protests and mass disorders during the Khrushchev era (1953-64), along with a brief examination (six pages) of such phenomena under Brezhnev. According to Kozlov, "90 percent of the sources used for this book are recently declassified archival documents," and his endnotes seem to support his claim. Unlike most earlier works on dissidents, this book pays little attention to intellectuals. It is most concerned with the dissent of ordinary citizens--most often workers, soldiers, ethnic minorities such as the Chechens, and religious believers. Kozlov chronicles numerous smaller cases of protest, many of them previously unknown to scholars, as well as larger uprisings such as the infamous Novocherkassk uprising (1962), to which he devotes 64 pages. He also deals with how hooligans, former prisoners, and excessive drinking sometimes played a role in protests and disorders. Kozlov treats his material within an overall perspective that concerns itself with the "specific characteristics of conflict between the people and the state in authoritarian-bureaucratic systems that are undergoing modernization." Recommended for all libraries and levels W. G. Moss Eastern Michigan University

Table of Contents

Part 1 Social Conflict in the USSR After the Death of Stalin, 1953-1960
1 Mastering New Territories in Kazakhstan and Siberia: The Crisis of Modernization and the Heritage of the Gulag in the 1950s
2 Unrest in the Military: Soldiers' Riots and Disorders
3 Violent Ethnic Conflicts in the Virgin Lands
4 The Return of the Deported Nations to the Northern Caucasus: The 1958 Riots in Grozny
5 Political Disturbances in Georgia After the CPSU Twentieth Party Congress
6 A Hooligan's War or Battles on the Margins: Uprisings of the Urban Marginaly
7 Orthodoxy in Revolt: Uprisings Among Religious Believers
Part 2 The Crisis of "Liberal Communism": "Anti-Khrushchev" Urban Uprisings and Disorders, 1961-64
8 The Early 1960s: Symptoms of a Social-Political Crisis
9 Krasnodar, RSFSR, January 15-16, 1961
10 101 Kilometers from Moscow: Disorders in Murom and Aleksandrov, RSFSR
11 Biisk-1961 or The Uprising on Market Day, June 25, 1961
12 The Phenomenon of Novocherkassk: Part One
13 The Phenomenon of Novocherkassk: Part Two
14 Rear-Guard Battles of the Late Khrushchev Era
Part 3 "Unruly" Stagnation: Mass Uprisings from the Late 1960s to the Mid-1980s
15 Social Unrest and Symptoms of Decay in the Brezhnev Years