«Please inquire into this letter and eliminate unilateral view on workers, otherwise I will be compelled to write to the Central Committee of our party»: letters to authorities in post-war years

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Abstract


The article is devoted to the Soviet phenomenon of «letters to authorities». Three major interpretations of «letters» are presented: 1) as a way to implement the democratic right for participating in state management and right for justice; 2) as an instrument for repressive political campaign; 3) as a significant form of personal identification with authorities. Claims were an important social phenomenon of the Soviet life. The author presents typical and specific claims (on the materials of Perm State Archives of Contemporary History) and ways of dealing with them on the local level. The author analyses the post-war years’ claims, which help to understand the peculiarities of the Soviet everyday life, the rhetoric of the era, and the forms of citizens’ resistance to injustice.

A S Kimerling

National research university «Higher School of Economics»

Email: kimerlinganna@gmail.com
Laboratory of Social and Historical Research Centre of Fundamental Research

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