Stalin as editor

In the Kremlin, Stalin is taking care of us
In the Kremlin, Stalin is taking care of us

In a nifty little article published this morning in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Professor Holly Case draws attention to an aspect of Stalin’s rule that often goes overlooked: his role as a literary critic and editor. Stalin revised everything from school textbooks and treaties to film scripts and death warrants.

The Great Leader, Case writes:

always seemed to have a blue pencil on hand, and many of the ways he used it stand in direct contrast to common assumptions about his person and thoughts. He edited ideology out or played it down, cut references to himself and his achievements, and even exhibited flexibility of mind, reversing some of his own prior edits.

Stalin’s preference for working behind the scenes revising the work of others (rather than seeking “top billing” as the lead author of texts) and his repeated decisions to remove authorial references to him, tell us much about his personality and approach to politics:

But we should not confuse Stalin’s self-effacement with modesty. Though we tend to associate invisibility with the meek, there is a flip side that the graffiti artist Banksy understands better than most: “invisibility is a superpower.”

For the full article go HERE.