OwlTail

Cover image of David Brandenberger

David Brandenberger

5 Podcast Episodes

Latest 1 May 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

Episode artwork

David Brandenberger, "Stalin's Master Narrative" (Yale UP, 2019)

New Books in Russian and Eurasian Studies

In this interview, David Brandenberger discusses his new edited volume (created in concert with RGASPI archivist and Russian historian Mikhail Zelenov) Stalin’s Master Narrative: A Critical Edition of 'The History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks): Short Course' (Yale University Press, 2019). The Short Course was designed to be the definitive party narrative, but the party purges and Stalin’s own personal preferences led to him stripping out the traditional historical framework of heroes and villains, offering instead theory and an institutional history readers often had a hard time connecting with or understanding. Brandenberger talks about Stalin’s role in the writing and editing process, why such changes were made, how these changes reflected Stalin’s changing beliefs and changes in party policy. What Brandenberger reveals is quite different from the normal image of Stalin as the center of a cult of personality, always one step ahead of his perceived enemies. Listen in to find out why the Short Course is central to understanding Stalinism and how a critical reading of it challenges existing views on Stalin as a man, theorist and politician.Samantha Lomb is an Assistant Professor at Vyatka State University in Kirov, Russia. Her research focuses on daily life, local politics and political participation in the Stalinist 1930s. Her book, Stalin’s Constitution: Soviet Participatory Politics and the Discussion of the Draft 1936 Constitution, is now available online. Her research can be viewed here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/russian-studies

1hr 3mins

22 Nov 2019

Episode artwork

David Brandenberger, "Stalin's Master Narrative" (Yale UP, 2019)

New Books in Intellectual History

In this interview, David Brandenberger discusses his new edited volume (created in concert with RGASPI archivist and Russian historian Mikhail Zelenov) Stalin’s Master Narrative: A Critical Edition of 'The History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks): Short Course' (Yale University Press, 2019). The Short Course was designed to be the definitive party narrative, but the party purges and Stalin’s own personal preferences led to him stripping out the traditional historical framework of heroes and villains, offering instead theory and an institutional history readers often had a hard time connecting with or understanding. Brandenberger talks about Stalin’s role in the writing and editing process, why such changes were made, how these changes reflected Stalin’s changing beliefs and changes in party policy. What Brandenberger reveals is quite different from the normal image of Stalin as the center of a cult of personality, always one step ahead of his perceived enemies. Listen in to find out why the Short Course is central to understanding Stalinism and how a critical reading of it challenges existing views on Stalin as a man, theorist and politician.Samantha Lomb is an Assistant Professor at Vyatka State University in Kirov, Russia. Her research focuses on daily life, local politics and political participation in the Stalinist 1930s. Her book, Stalin’s Constitution: Soviet Participatory Politics and the Discussion of the Draft 1936 Constitution, is now available online. Her research can be viewed here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/intellectual-history

1hr 3mins

22 Nov 2019

Similar People

Episode artwork

David Brandenberger, "Stalin's Master Narrative" (Yale UP, 2019)

New Books in History

In this interview, David Brandenberger discusses his new edited volume (created in concert with RGASPI archivist and Russian historian Mikhail Zelenov) Stalin’s Master Narrative: A Critical Edition of 'The History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks): Short Course' (Yale University Press, 2019). The Short Course was designed to be the definitive party narrative, but the party purges and Stalin’s own personal preferences led to him stripping out the traditional historical framework of heroes and villains, offering instead theory and an institutional history readers often had a hard time connecting with or understanding. Brandenberger talks about Stalin’s role in the writing and editing process, why such changes were made, how these changes reflected Stalin’s changing beliefs and changes in party policy. What Brandenberger reveals is quite different from the normal image of Stalin as the center of a cult of personality, always one step ahead of his perceived enemies. Listen in to find out why the Short Course is central to understanding Stalinism and how a critical reading of it challenges existing views on Stalin as a man, theorist and politician.Samantha Lomb is an Assistant Professor at Vyatka State University in Kirov, Russia. Her research focuses on daily life, local politics and political participation in the Stalinist 1930s. Her book, Stalin’s Constitution: Soviet Participatory Politics and the Discussion of the Draft 1936 Constitution, is now available online. Her research can be viewed here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/history

1hr 3mins

22 Nov 2019

Episode artwork

David Brandenberger, “Propaganda State in Crisis: Soviet Ideology, Indoctrination, and Terror under Stalin” (Yale UP, 2011)

New Books in Russian and Eurasian Studies

Though most people would rightly consider capitalists to be the founders and masters of the science of “marketing,” communists had to try their hands at it as well. In the Soviet Union, they had a particularly “hard sell.” The Party promised freedom, peace, and prosperity; it delivered oppression, war, and... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/russian-studies

59mins

3 Oct 2012

Most Popular

Episode artwork

David Brandenberger, “Propaganda State in Crisis: Soviet Ideology, Indoctrination, and Terror under Stalin” (Yale UP, 2011)

New Books in History

Though most people would rightly consider capitalists to be the founders and masters of the science of “marketing,” communists had to try their hands at it as well. In the Soviet Union, they had a particularly “hard sell.” The Party promised freedom, peace, and prosperity; it delivered oppression, war, and poverty. So how do make people believe in what will be rather than what manifestly is? David Brandenberger explores how the Party did it in his terrific book Propaganda State in Crisis: Soviet Ideology, Indoctrination, and Terror under Stalin (Yale University Press, 2012). The answer, in short, is badly. At first, the message they sent–clashing -isms, class struggle, “contradictions”–was too abstract for most folks on the street. The people wanted heroes. So the Soviet propagandists gave them heroes: flyers, arctic explorers, and, of course Lenin and the “Old” Bolsheviks. That worked pretty well until Stalin et al. began to kill the heroes in the Purges. The problem wasn’t that dead heroes don’t make good heroes. They do. Discredited dead heroes, however, an another story. They can’t be heroes at all. In fact, they have to be rubbed out of history entirely. And so they were. So, once “the dialectic” campaign had failed and the “heroes” campaign had foundered, what was left for the propagandists to work with. Well, Stalin still worked, and he in fact crowded most everyone out of the picture (“Father of Nations!” “Universal Genius!” “Greatest General of All Time!”). But was that enough? Perhaps not. So the propagandists fell back on some very bourgeois totems: the Church and Nation. See how they did it in David’s wonderful book! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/history

59mins

3 Oct 2012