A detailed analysis of Soviet historiography between 1956 and 1966 and the special tensions placed on the Soviet historian of that period.
Historiography in the USSR is charged to an unprecedented degree with the functions of socializing future generations, legitimizing political institutions, perpetuating established mores and mythology, and rationalizing official policies. The specific claims of Marxist-Leninist doctrine placed the Soviet historian under special tensions: he is required to perform as scholar, high priest, and political functionary, often caught between the conflicting pressures of ideological orthodoxy and liberalization.
This book presents a detailed analysis of Soviet historiography of the Communist Party in the USSR after Khrushchev's secret speech denouncing Stalin, a period that is roughly spanned by the Twentieth and Twenty-Third Party Congress, 1956-1966. The author uses source materials that she spent a number of years reading and translating—Soviet mass-edition texts and pamphlets, scholarly monographs, articles in historical journals and the popular press—to construct a schematic chronology of developments in political history and related political events under Khrushchev and his immediate successors.