Jul 13, 2022
In General Discussion
As I rather cynically realized later, laws Country Email List and instructions were often more useful to the social historian because of a kind of reverse reading: they told you how the authorities wanted things to be, not how they were; and his Country Email List prohibition lists were often an excellent guide to the kinds of practices that were common in real life. I thought that making history from below was also an especially interesting Country Email List challenge in Soviet history because no one had tried to do it before. It was not very clear what the Country Email List sources would be, although they were clearly inadequate, especially for the 30s and 40s. But was it possible or not? I quite like challenges, so I thought it might be doable. I thought it might be feasible even for the Soviet archives, despite all the problems of access to archives for Country Email List foreigners, which included never being able to see catalogs or inventories and therefore having to guess what type of material the archives could contain. However, by the mid-'70s I was at least a Country Email List well-known person, so I figured it wasn't going to be that hard. Certainly, the Soviets were much Country Email List more willing to hand over material related to social than political issues. They were very worried that people would look for information about Trotsky or Bukharin. Those were his obsessions. It could also be a problem if you were looking for material on the peasantry at the time of Country Email List collectivization. But I did get a fair amount of material, particularly on unions and heavy industry in the late 1920s and 1930s. What I was really looking for was to analyze and Country Email List understand the processes of interaction between rank-and-file workers and management. of the companies.