JF Ptak Science Books Post 2327
As good as The Nation was/is, I see now there was some complicated business regarding the Soviet Union. There was no lack of support for the Soviet Union in what I've read in the magazine (in my limited exposure thus far from the early 1930's) and no lack of interest in what the Soviet experiments in social engineering were coming to.
This ad, prominently sponsored in the May 17, 1933 issue of The Nation, proclaims the Soviet expert Frederick L. Schuman leading a tour to all-comers of the Soviet Union. "28 Days Under the Soviets" says the ad, all for $10 per day, tourist class. Of course you could go first class at double that rate to tour the new and wondrous classless society.
What these tourists would not tour would be the starving millions in Stalin's manufactured famine of 1932/3. The areas of trouble and death were staggering, as we can see in this map published by the Paris-based Russian Economic Bulletin in 1933 in a bulletin written by Markoff, Famine in the USSR:
[Source, Internet Archive, Markoff, Famine in the USSR; Fulltext: https://archive.org/details/FamineInUssr]
The Famine cover a wide, huge area, and it was filled with millions of people whom Stalin did not quite trust. Far apart from the Bolshie sentimentality of these tourists, Comrade Stalin indulged political control in a very un-Bolshie fashion, him not trusting farming peasants (and Ukrainians) and all, and decided that the easiest thing to do to maintain power with this possible threat to his base would be to kill as many of those people as possible. He got quite far, killing (as some day) some 9 million people.
This you would not see in tourist or first class with Prof. Scuhman.
It seems as though Schuman's career was a bit up and down, some of his books being very badly received and accused of pragmatic pandering to the Soviets.
So it goes. Sometimes what is seen is what is needed to be seen. Or not.
The famine was disputed for a long time and the Soviets tried to keep it as quiet as possible, but it is hard to do, with so many dead. One can only say "nyet" so many times in the face of staggering death. But that is what it was with Stalin, an enormous culture of death and "nyet". And fear.
Of course there was the entire culture of fear, with Stalin replacing the icons of the church with himself and death, of terror, leaning heavily on the NKVDand the general distribution of human betrayal.
The Great Purges would follow for the rest of the 'thirtiesStalin consolidating his power by imprisonment and extermination, winding up with some 20 million in camps and removed places by the time of the war, with half of that number dying.
So there was an issue of Soviet-love with The Nation. Again, this is based solely on my own reading experience in the magazine thus far, with just my nose under the tent. But this is what I have seen thus far...
I wasn't sure about where to classify this post--perhaps with the History of Memory, because there was such a demonstrable war waged on the forgetting aspect of these actions. It could also go into the History of Nothing, because in Stalin's mind there wasn't anything there in the Purges or in the Famine, nothing at all. And Nothing is also was what he wanted to achieve, making the people whom he thought might possibly oppose him into Nothing. And perhaps it could be listed in the History of Goodbye, because that is what Stalin said to so many millions of people. Except he didn't say it--he just killed.