Agitation, Propaganda, and the 'Stalinization' of the Soviet Press, 1922-1930

Matthew E. Lenoe


Between 1925 and 1933 the layout and tone of the Soviet central press underwent a plainly discernible change. Issues of Pravda and Izvestiia from the period of the New Economic Policy or NEP ( 1921-1927) contain journalistic genres familiar to the American reader: the wire service report written in an "objective" style, the editorial commentary, the economic analysis, the short
satirical piece about everyday life. The shrill declamation, exhortation, and didacticism of the same newspapers in the early 1930s, on the other hand, seem alien and bizarre. Exclamation marks, commands, military metaphors, and congratulations from Party leaders to factories for surpassing their production plans fill central Soviet papers from 1933. Sometimes the press castigates readers like a parent scolding naughty children, sometimes it lectures them like a teacher,
sometimes it exhorts them to action, like a platoon leader urging his troops forward. Aggressive declamation about "Bolshevik tempo," "Bolshevik competition," "Fascist depravity," and "gargantuan victories of the proletariat" blares from the pages.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.