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Book Review: “Stalin and the Soviet Science Wars”

February 12, 2007

Susan Eisenhower reviews Ethan Pollock’s book Stalin and the Soviet Science Wars (Princeton University Press) in the Moscow Times:

As the 20th century recedes, it becomes increasingly difficult to explain to younger generations the peculiar combination of idealism, naivete, cynicism and brutality that was the hallmark of that century’s totalitarian states. Ethan Pollock’s “Stalin and the Soviet Science Wars” looks at this phenomenon through the lens of Soviet science policy in the immediate postwar period to explain Josef Stalin’s determination to articulate and demonstrate “the compatibility of its ideology with all fields of knowledge.” While savage dictatorships in Nazi Germany and China played at the edges of harnessing science and its theories for the advancement of their ideological dogmas, nowhere was the attempt more comprehensive than in the Soviet Union. And nowhere before or since has a national leader involved himself in such detailed analyses of science and philosophy to assure their affinity with the conceptual underpinnings of his political power.


Read the entire review here.

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