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Practicing StalinismBolsheviks, Boyars, and the Persistence of Tradition$
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J. Arch Getty

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300169294

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300169294.001.0001

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Cults and Personalities, Politics and Bodies

Cults and Personalities, Politics and Bodies

(p.67) 2 Cults and Personalities, Politics and Bodies
Practicing Stalinism

J. Arch Getty

Yale University Press

This chapter asks: why political cults of leadership found such fertile soil in Russia. The cults of Lenin and Stalin followed Russian traditions of seeing the body of the ruler as the embodiment of the state. There were differences, however. These were not the only cults in the Soviet Union; leadership “cultism” penetrated all levels of the elite. What role did cults have in communication between ruler and ruled? How did they symbolize a culture of paternalism in Russian history?

Keywords:   political cults, Russian traditions, Lenin, Stalin, elite, paternalism, Russian history

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