The Denouncer

Author: Paul M. Levitt
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 1589799682
Size: 47.56 MB
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Denunciation became so commonplace under Stalin that people regarded it as their patriotic duty to spy on others and even expose members of their own family. The original Bolsheviks, for reasons of ideological purity, put great store in transparency. But under Stalin, transparency evolved into a state of constant surveillance. In the late 1930s, a young man named Sasha Parsky kills two soldiers who come to arrest his parents as kulaks. He escapes arrest—though not suspicion. Sasha, now under greater scrutiny, is asked by Boris Filatov, the chief of the local secret police, to take a position as the head of a small boys’ school with the condition that Sasha spy on the previous director, who was dismissed for political reasons. As Sasha’s visits to the exiled man turn into discussions on politics and Sasha begins making changes at the school, it is only a matter of time before anonymous letters denouncing him begin to appear on Filatov’s desk. But even more ominous is the appearance of two men from the past who have the knowledge to do Sasha great harm. Caught between Filatov and the fear of exposure, Sasha risks everything by testing the fidelity of a loved one.

Report

Author: United States. General Land Office
Publisher:
ISBN:
Size: 60.45 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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How Russia Really Works

Author: Alena V. Ledeneva
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801470056
Size: 64.98 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
View: 2673
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During the Soviet era, blat—the use of personal networks for obtaining goods and services in short supply and for circumventing formal procedures—was necessary to compensate for the inefficiencies of socialism. The collapse of the Soviet Union produced a new generation of informal practices. In How Russia Really Works, Alena V. Ledeneva explores practices in politics, business, media, and the legal sphere in Russia in the 1990s—from the hiring of firms to create negative publicity about one's competitors, to inventing novel schemes of tax evasion and engaging in "alternative" techniques of contract and law enforcement. Ledeneva discovers ingenuity, wit, and vigor in these activities and argues that they simultaneously support and subvert formal institutions. They enable corporations, the media, politicians, and businessmen to operate in the post-Soviet labyrinth of legal and practical constraints but consistently undermine the spirit, if not the letter, of the law. The "know-how" Ledeneva describes in this book continues to operate today and is crucial to understanding contemporary Russia.