The chapter considers how Stalin talked and wrote about the controversial subject of the role of artists and the arts in the USSR. It examines his efforts to justify a broad “Soviet” rather than a narrowly “proletarian” culture, and to promote a heterogeneous vision of the USSR as a place where artists were expected to serve the political goals of the party-state while also enjoying creative freedom. The chapter pays particular attention to Stalin’s evaluations of individual works of “socialist realist” art, including film.
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