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A Social History of Soviet Trade : Trade Policy, Retail Practices, and Consumption, 1917-1953 - Julie Hessler

A Social History of Soviet Trade

Trade Policy, Retail Practices, and Consumption, 1917-1953

Hardcover Published: 22nd February 2004
ISBN: 9780691114927
Number Of Pages: 384

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In this sweeping study, Julie Hessler traces the invention and evolution of socialist trade, the progressive constriction of private trade, and the development of consumer habits from the 1917 revolution to Stalin's death in 1953. The book places trade and consumption in the context of debilitating economic crises. Although Soviet leaders, and above all, Stalin, identified socialism with the modernization of retailing and the elimination of most private transactions, these goals conflicted with the economic dynamics that produced shortages and with the government's bureaucratic, repressive, and socially discriminatory political culture.

"A Social History of Soviet Trade" explores the relationship of trade--official and unofficial--to the cyclical pattern of crisis and normalization that resulted from these tensions. It also provides a singularly detailed look at private shops during the years of the New Economic Policy, and at the remnants of private trade, mostly concentrated at the outdoor bazaars, in subsequent years. Drawing on newly opened archives in Moscow and several provinces, this richly documented work offers a new perspective on the social, economic, and political history of the formative decades of the USSR.

"Unprecedented in its geographic and chronological scope. Hessler's book constitutes a genuine social history of Soviet trade."--Thomas C. Owen, Business History Review "A well-researched study... It deserves a wide and appreciative audience."--David L. Hoffmann, American Historical Review "A fine book... An original and substantial contribution that should be a standard work of reference for some time to come."--Mark Harrison, Slavic Review "ulie Hessler's book offers the most comprehensive account of the consumer economy and should serve as the standard reference work on the subject."--Marjorie L. Hilton, Journal of Social History

List of Illustrationsp. ix
List of Tablesp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Two Modes of Soviet Socialismp. 4
Buyers, Sellers, and the Social History of Trade Crisis: Revolutionp. 9
Trade and Consumption in Revolutionary Russiap. 19
Russian Retailing and Its Unravelingp. 20
Effects of the Anti-trade Policyp. 27
The Crisis Mode of Consumptionp. 38
Conclusionp. 48
The Invention of Socialismp. 51
The Emergence of a Socialist Distribution Network, 1918-1921p. 53
Rationing, "Commodity Exchange," and Price Controlsp. 61
The Antibureaucratic Backlash and Socialist Economic Culturep. 79
Public-Sector Shops in the Transition to the NEPp. 87
Conclusionp. 97
Shopkeepers and the Statep. 101
Poverty, Capital, and the Commercial Revivalp. 103
The Logic of Utilization and the Regulatory Contextp. 113
Shopkeepers 'Stories: The NEP from Belowp. 119
Conclusionp. 130
Crisis: Restructuring
War Communism Reduxp. 135
The NEP from Above: Trade Policy in the Shadow of the Goods Faminep. 137
Bureaucratism Ascendant: The Effects of Food Shortage on the Distribution Systemp. 154
Corporatism in the Service of the Planp. 173
Crisis, Consumption, and the Marketp. 184
Conclusionp. 193
Toward a New Modelp. 197
Socialist Modernization: "Cultured Soviet Trade"p. 198
Bureaucratism Restrainedp. 215
Stalinism and the Consumer, I: Urban Attitudes and Trendsp. 222
Stalinism and the Consumer, II: The Peasant Challenge to Cultured Tradep. 230
Conclusionp. 243
Crisis: War
The Persistent Private Sectorp. 251
Stalin-era Bazaarsp. 252
Travel, Bagging, and the Survivalist Consensusp. 273
The Revitalization of the Private Sectorp. 279
Private Trade as a Social Formation: Continuity and Changep. 289
Conclusionp. 293
Postwar Normalization and Its Limitsp. 296
From Wartime "Abnormalities" to the Paradox of Growthp. 298
Cadres Policy in Postwar Tradep. 310
Postwar "Cultured Trade": A Balance Sheetp. 316
Conclusionp. 325
Conclusionp. 329
Bibliographyp. 337
Indexp. 355
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691114927
ISBN-10: 0691114927
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 22nd February 2004
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.2  x 3.81
Weight (kg): 0.69