Access to History. Stalin's Russia 1924-53 by Michael Lynch

By Michael Lynch

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John Scott, an American Communist and one of the many pro-Soviet Western industrial advisers who came to the USSR at this time, was impressed by the mixture of idealism and coercion that characterised the early stages of Stalinist industrialisation. He described how the city of Magnitogorsk in the Urals was built from scratch: Within several years, half a billion cubic feet of excavation was done, forty-two million cubic feet of reinforced concrete poured, five million cubic feet of fire bricks laid, a quarter of a million tons of structured steel erected.

She was beaten by the Turks. She was beaten by the Polish and Lithuanian gentry. She was beaten by the British and French capitalists. She was beaten by the Japanese barons. All beat her – because of her backwardness, military backwardness, cultural backwardness, political backwardness, 36 | Stalin’s Russia 1924–53 industrial backwardness, agricultural backwardness. They beat her because to do so was profitable and could be done with impunity. We are fifty or a hundred years behind the advanced countries.

The major representatives of the Right were Rykov, Tomsky and Bukharin, the three who had loyally served Stalin in his outflanking of Trotsky and the Left. Politically the Right were by no means as challenging to Stalin as the Trotskyite bloc had been. What made Stalin move against them was that they stood in the way of the industrial and agricultural schemes that he began to implement in 1928. Key terms Collectivisation and industrialisation Collectivisation The taking over by the Soviet state of the land and property previously owned by the peasants, accompanied by the requirement that the peasants now live and work communally.

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