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Stalin and the Soviet Science Wars
Ethan Pollock

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"In Stalin and the Soviet Science Wars, Ethan Pollock provides a fascinating examination of the ideological controversies that shaped Soviet science during Stalin's last years. . . . He adds considerably to our understanding of the complexities of the debates in philosophy, linguistics, and economics, while his analyses of the cases of biology, physics, and physiology contribute to an already extensive literature. This book is also a contribution to the understanding of Stalin and Stalinism. . . . This book will be of interest to advanced undergraduate students and specialists in the philosophy and politics of twentieth-century science, Soviet history, and the history of Stalinism."--Paul Josephson, Isis

"[Pollock] follows the various debates and ideological conflicts in detail, but his accounts are easy to read and at times almost gripping in the manner of a thriller."--Bob Dent, Budapest Times

"[T]his is a fascinating story that deserves to be included on the reading lists of courses in Soviet history and in the history and sociology of science."--Andrew Jenks, Technology and Culture

"Pollock's prose is succinct, precise and elegant; his argument is cogently developed, subtle, sophisticated and compelling. This excellent and engaging volume will be indispensable reading for all Soviet historians and students, as well as for those interested in the social construction and political control of scientific knowledge."--Nick Baron, Europe-Asia Studies

"Pollock's study is an extremely valuable contribution to the debate on the nature of Soviet Science, but it also deserves a wider readership amongst all those interested in the influence that Marxist-Leninist ideology had over both the Soviet state and Josef Stalin personally."--Michael Froggart, South East Europe Review for Labour and Social Affairs

"[T]hose who would like to acquaint themselves with what the archives and memoir literature have yielded on these matters over the past twenty years may find this a useful place to begin. The text is gracefully written, the biographical appendix is useful, and the scattering of contemporary photographs helps the reader picture many of the principal actors."--Mark B. Adams, Journal of Modern History

"Pollock has written a fascinating book. . . . [I]t throws a great deal of light on the nature of the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War."--John Baxter, International Socialism


"Stalin and the Soviet Science Wars is a fascinating book about one of the most enigmatic periods in Soviet history. With great insight, and on the basis of thorough archival research, Ethan Pollock examines the organized discussions of science in Stalin's last years. He shows how important those discussions are for understanding not only Stalinism but the Soviet experience as a whole. This will be an indispensable book for historians of the Soviet Union and for historians and sociologists of science more generally."--David Holloway, Stanford University

"Ethan Pollock has written an elegant and brilliantly penetrating history that is so rich in detail and broad ranging in its analysis that it will quickly become required reading for anyone seeking to understand how Stalin managed the Soviet Union after World War II."--Martin J. Sherwin, Tufts University

"This is a major and original contribution to the study of late Stalinist society. As a reader, I enjoyed it very much. It is poised to become a standard text on Stalinist ideology and science, fascinating for professionals and accessible to students. Clearly conceived and organized, the book is based on impressive research, including little-known or previously unknown documents from the Central Party archive, Russia's State Archive, and the Soviet Academy of Science."--Vladislav Zubok, Temple University, author of Inside the Kremlin's Cold War

"Stalin and the Soviet Science Wars tells the story of each of the scientific debates under focus with admirable clarity and concision, but without sacrificing the complexity of the issues or the stakes involved. Its portrayal of Stalin was, to me, utterly persuasive. This book will have a broad audience, not only in undergraduate courses on Soviet history, Stalinism, and the history of science, but also among the informed public."--Lewis H. Siegelbaum, Michigan State University, author of Stalinism as a Way of Life

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File created: 4/21/2017

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