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Flirting with Stalin

While 1917 saw a cultural flowering in Russia, the post-Soviet intelligentsia has failed to articulate a liberal vision and produced only shallow art. Little wonder that Putin has been able to exploit nostalgia for Soviet "greatness"

By Arkady Ostrovsky   September 2008

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“Dear friends! The textbook you are holding in your hands is dedicated to the history of our Motherland… from the end of the Great Patriotic War to our days. We will trace the journey of the Soviet Union from its greatest historical triumph to its tragic disintegration.”

This greeting is addressed to hundreds of thousands of Russian schoolchildren who will in September receive a new history textbook printed by the publishing house Enlightenment and approved by the ministry of education. “The Soviet Union,” the new textbook explains, “was not…

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