Filtzer has uncovered a wealth of previously inaccessible archive material and shows that the post-war period was one of 'political victory and historical defeat'.
Soviet Workers and Late Stalinism is a study of labour and labour policy during the critical period of the Soviet Union's postwar recovery and the last years of Stalin. It is also a detailed social history of the Soviet Union in these years, for non-Russian readers. Using previously inaccessible archival sources, Donald Filtzer describes the tragic hardships faced by workers and their families right after the war; conditions in housing and health care; the special problems of young workers; working conditions within industry; and the tremendous strains which regime policy placed not just on the mass of the population, but on the cohesion and commitment of key institutions within the Stalinist political system, most notably the trade unions and the procuracy. Donald Filtzer's subtle and compelling book will interest all historians of the Soviet Union and of socialism.
List of tables; Preface and acknowledgements; List of terms and abbreviations; Introduction: the political imperatives of the postwar recovery; 1. Rebuilding the workforce: free, slave and indentured labour; 2. The food crisis of 1946–1947; 3. Attenuated recovery: the end of rationing, housing and health; 4. 'Socializing' the next generation: the position of young workers; 5. Labour discipline and criminal law: the futility of repression; 6. The industrial enterprise: working conditions, work organization and wage determination; Conclusion: labour and the 'renormalization' of Stalinist social relations; Bibliography; Index.