Catalogue


A social history of Soviet trade : trade policy, retail practices, and consumption, 1917-1953 /
Julie Hessler.
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2004.
description
xvi, 366 p.
ISBN
0691114927 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2004.
isbn
0691114927 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
5107448
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"This is a very impressive book; an opus in fact. It is nothing short of a full and comprehensive history of retail economy ("trade" in Soviet terms) and consumption from the Russian Revolution to the death of Stalin in 1953. Encyclopedic in its scope and nuanced in its careful and innovative interpretations, this book will be the standard reference for decades to come. Like the best history, it waves no flags and champions no causes."--J. Arch Getty, University of California, Los Angeles, author of The Road to Terror: Stalin and the Self-Destruction of the Bolsheviks, 1932-1939 "This pathbreaking book represents a major contribution to a field lacking such a work in any language. Hessler sets forth a massive amount of new material, sifted judiciously and clearly presented. She has done a prodigious amount of research, writes thoughtfully, and explores a broad range of issues in imaginative and analytically sophisticated ways. Her important study will be of great interest to historians in many fields, as well as those of the Soviet period."--William Rosenberg, University of Michigan, coauthor of Strikes and Revolution in Russia, 1917
Flap Copy
"This is a very impressive book; an opus in fact. It is nothing short of a full and comprehensive history of retail economy ("trade" in Soviet terms) and consumption from the Russian Revolution to the death of Stalin in 1953. Encyclopedic in its scope and nuanced in its careful and innovative interpretations, this book will be the standard reference for decades to come. Like the best history, it waves no flags and champions no causes."-- J. Arch Getty, University of California, Los Angeles, author of The Road to Terror: Stalin and the Self-Destruction of the Bolsheviks, 1932-1939 "This pathbreaking book represents a major contribution to a field lacking such a work in any language. Hessler sets forth a massive amount of new material, sifted judiciously and clearly presented. She has done a prodigious amount of research, writes thoughtfully, and explores a broad range of issues in imaginative and analytically sophisticated ways. Her important study will be of great interest to historians in many fields, as well as those of the Soviet period."-- William Rosenberg, University of Michigan, coauthor of Strikes and Revolution in Russia, 1917
Flap Copy
"This is a very impressive book; an opus in fact. It is nothing short of a full and comprehensive history of retail economy ("trade" in Soviet terms) and consumption from the Russian Revolution to the death of Stalin in 1953. Encyclopedic in its scope and nuanced in its careful and innovative interpretations, this book will be the standard reference for decades to come. Like the best history, it waves no flags and champions no causes."--J. Arch Getty, University of California, Los Angeles, author ofThe Road to Terror: Stalin and the Self-Destruction of the Bolsheviks, 1932-1939 "This pathbreaking book represents a major contribution to a field lacking such a work in any language. Hessler sets forth a massive amount of new material, sifted judiciously and clearly presented. She has done a prodigious amount of research, writes thoughtfully, and explores a broad range of issues in imaginative and analytically sophisticated ways. Her important study will be of great interest to historians in many fields, as well as those of the Soviet period."--William Rosenberg, University of Michigan, coauthor ofStrikes and Revolution in Russia, 1917
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2004-10-01:
One of the most indelible images Americans have about the former Soviet Union is that of the long lines of Soviet consumers standing sullenly in front of stores stocked with limited amounts of shoddy goods. In this well written and deeply researched book, Hessler (Univ. of Oregon) examines the early years of Soviet domestic trade from the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution until the death of Stalin in 1953. During those years the Soviet leaders attempted to construct a new socialist trade, while at the same time they imposed growing restrictions on private trade. The author identifies a recurrent pattern in which shortages of consumer goods prompted the authorities to intervene to help urban consumers; at the same time they limited rural consumers' access to these goods. The rural farmers then acted to reduce agricultural marketings, sometimes also accompanied by crop failures. When food shortages occurred, the authorities blamed them on "wreckers" and "speculators;" as a result, rationing had to be reintroduced. However, the repression of traders as well as rationing was counterproductive, and eventually these policies were relaxed until the next crisis. Hessler offers possible explanations for these actions as well as for the responses of both rural and urban consumers. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduate through professional collections. N. M. Brooks New Mexico State University
Reviews
Review Quotes
This pathbreaking book represents a major contribution to a field lacking such a work in any language. Hessler sets forth a massive amount of new material, sifted judiciously and clearly presented. She has done a prodigious amount of research, writes thoughtfully, and explores a broad range of issues in imaginative and analytically sophisticated ways. Her important study will be of great interest to historians in many fields, as well as those of the Soviet period.
This is a very impressive book; an opus in fact. It is nothing short of a full and comprehensive history of retail economy ("trade" in Soviet terms) and consumption from the Russian Revolution to the death of Stalin in 1953. Encyclopedic in its scope and nuanced in its careful and innovative interpretations, this book will be the standard reference for decades to come. Like the best history, it waves no flags and champions no causes.
ulie Hessler's book offers the most comprehensive account of the consumer economy and should serve as the standard reference work on the subject.
"ulie Hessler's book offers the most comprehensive account of the consumer economy and should serve as the standard reference work on the subject."-- Marjorie L. Hilton, Journal of Social History
ulie Hessler's book offers the most comprehensive account of the consumer economy and should serve as the standard reference work on the subject. -- Marjorie L. Hilton, Journal of Social History
Unprecedented in its geographic and chronological scope. Hessler's book constitutes a genuine social history of Soviet trade.
"Unprecedented in its geographic and chronological scope. Hessler's book constitutes a genuine social history of Soviet trade."-- Thomas C. Owen, Business History Review
Unprecedented in its geographic and chronological scope. Hessler's book constitutes a genuine social history of Soviet trade. -- Thomas C. Owen, Business History Review
"A fine book. . . .. An original and substantial contribution that should be a standard work of reference for some time to come."-- Mark Harrison, Slavic Review
A fine book. . . .. An original and substantial contribution that should be a standard work of reference for some time to come. -- Mark Harrison, Slavic Review
A well-researched study. . . . . It deserves a wide and appreciative audience.
"A well-researched study. . . . . It deserves a wide and appreciative audience."-- David L. Hoffmann, American Historical Review
A well-researched study. . . . . It deserves a wide and appreciative audience. -- David L. Hoffmann, American Historical Review
A fine book. . . .. An original and substantial contribution that should be a standard work of reference for some time to come.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, October 2004
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Summaries
Main Description
In this sweeping study, Julie Hessler traces the invention and evolution of socialist trade, the progressive constriction of private trade, and the development of consumer habits from the 1917 revolution to Stalin's death in 1953. The book places trade and consumption in the context of debilitating economic crises. Although Soviet leaders, and above all, Stalin, identified socialism with the modernization of retailing and the elimination of most private transactions, these goals conflicted with the economic dynamics that produced shortages and with the government's bureaucratic, repressive, and socially discriminatory political culture. A Social History of Soviet Trade explores the relationship of trade--official and unofficial--to the cyclical pattern of crisis and normalization that resulted from these tensions. It also provides a singularly detailed look at private shops during the years of the New Economic Policy, and at the remnants of private trade, mostly concentrated at the outdoor bazaars, in subsequent years. Drawing on newly opened archives in Moscow and several provinces, this richly documented work offers a new perspective on the social, economic, and political history of the formative decades of the USSR.
Bowker Data Service Summary
The attempt by the Bolsheviks to reconstruct the economy resulted in a series of debilitating crises. Hessler examines the role of trade in the genesis of these crises, and shows how the cyclical pattern of crisis and normalization in turn shaped trade policies, retail structures, and consumer behaviours.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. ix
List of Tablesp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Two Modes of Soviet Socialismp. 4
Buyers, Sellers, and the Social History of Trade Crisis: Revolutionp. 9
Trade and Consumption in Revolutionary Russiap. 19
Russian Retailing and Its Unravelingp. 20
Effects of the Anti-trade Policyp. 27
The Crisis Mode of Consumptionp. 38
Conclusionp. 48
The Invention of Socialismp. 51
The Emergence of a Socialist Distribution Network, 1918-1921p. 53
Rationing, "Commodity Exchange," and Price Controlsp. 61
The Antibureaucratic Backlash and Socialist Economic Culturep. 79
Public-Sector Shops in the Transition to the NEPp. 87
Conclusionp. 97
Shopkeepers and the Statep. 101
Poverty, Capital, and the Commercial Revivalp. 103
The Logic of Utilization and the Regulatory Contextp. 113
Shopkeepers 'Stories: The NEP from Belowp. 119
Conclusionp. 130
Crisis: Restructuring
War Communism Reduxp. 135
The NEP from Above: Trade Policy in the Shadow of the Goods Faminep. 137
Bureaucratism Ascendant: The Effects of Food Shortage on the Distribution Systemp. 154
Corporatism in the Service of the Planp. 173
Crisis, Consumption, and the Marketp. 184
Conclusionp. 193
Toward a New Modelp. 197
Socialist Modernization: "Cultured Soviet Trade"p. 198
Bureaucratism Restrainedp. 215
Stalinism and the Consumer, I: Urban Attitudes and Trendsp. 222
Stalinism and the Consumer, II: The Peasant Challenge to Cultured Tradep. 230
Conclusionp. 243
Crisis: War
The Persistent Private Sectorp. 251
Stalin-era Bazaarsp. 252
Travel, Bagging, and the Survivalist Consensusp. 273
The Revitalization of the Private Sectorp. 279
Private Trade as a Social Formation: Continuity and Changep. 289
Conclusionp. 293
Postwar Normalization and Its Limitsp. 296
From Wartime "Abnormalities" to the Paradox of Growthp. 298
Cadres Policy in Postwar Tradep. 310
Postwar "Cultured Trade": A Balance Sheetp. 316
Conclusionp. 325
Conclusionp. 329
Bibliographyp. 337
Indexp. 355
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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