This week’s edition of In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg focuses on the life and times of Stalin’s “Barefoot Scientist” Trofim Lysenko. As always it is a thoughtful and interesting discussion not only on how a fraud like Lysenko could rise in Stalin’s Russia, but also the regime’s general relationship to science, particularly to genetics. The discussion features Robert Service, Professor of Russian History at the University of Oxford, Steve Jones, Professor of Genetics at University College London, and Catherine Merridale, Professor of Contemporary History at Queen Mary, University of London. You can listen to the program here.
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By Sean — 8 months ago
Guest: Yuri Slezkine on The House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution.
By Sean — 9 years ago
Those communists in Voronezh really, really like Stalin. Last month, the Voronezh KPRF put up billboards of Stalin to promote the dictator’s great achievements. The local government demanded that the billboards be removed citing laws on advertising.
But the KPRF is undeterred. Spurred on by the OSCE’s recent resolution equating Stalin with Hitler and the local ban of their Stalin billboards, the regional KPRF office has decided to create pocket Stalin calendars to protest “against the discrimination of their party.” So far 20,000 copies have been printed with plans to produce a total run of 100,000. The calendars won’t be sold, only distributed through Party cells. However, local KPRFers don’t discount a few ending up in local kiosks.
The protest against Stalin haters worldwide doesn’t stop with pocket calendars. In the coming months, Voronezh communists plan on staging an motorcade rally to support the vozhd‘s positive image. As for any possible repercussions, Andrei Poerantsev, a KPRF representative in the Voronezh city council, seems unconcerned. “It’s possible that the protest will alienate some voters who have been convinced by TV propaganda and think Iosif Stalin as first and foremost as an initiator of repression,” he told Kommersant. “But we remember him first and foremost as a powerful leader who has no rival in modern Russian history.”
The calendar’s contents will repeat the general look of the billboards. Inside, the calendar will honor only one holiday: December 21, “the birthday of the People’s Father” with the date embossed in a red star. As Komsomolskaya pravda notes, “Apparently, holidays like New Year’s Day, March 8 (International Women’s Day), and even May 9 (Victory Day) don’t have any real meaning to the calendars authors . . .”
Nope. It’s Comrade Stalin unfettered and undisturbed. Day after glorious day.Post Views: 776
By Sean — 9 years ago
Richard Feynman, famous American physicist, atom bomb maker, father of nanotechnology, and Tuva lover. Feynman discovered the remote region and its nomadic people from stamp collecting during the dark days of the Cold War. Feynman began a long correspondence with one of its residents. Feynman wanted to visit Tuva, but never did. The Cold War prevented him from getting a visa which he documented in the book Tuva or Bust. In pure Soviet bureaucratic fashion, the his visa approval arrived the day after he died.
Feynman didn’t make it to Tuva, but his daughter Michelle did. BBC Radio’s Ilona Vinogradova chronicled her incredibly emotional journey, Feynman’s fascination with Tuva, and the life, customs, and hospitality of the small province on the Mongolian border. Never did Michelle think that she would be slaughtering goats in her father’s honor.Post Views: 541