Storming the Heavens: The Soviet League of the Militant Godless

Storming the Heavens: The Soviet League of the Militant Godless

Storming the Heavens: The Soviet League of the Militant Godless

Storming the Heavens: The Soviet League of the Militant Godless

Synopsis

A member of the first generation of scholars allowed access to formerly closed Soviet archives, Daniel Peris offers a new perspective on the Bolshevik regime's antireligious policy from 1917 until 1941. He focuses on the activities of the League of the Militant Godless, the organization founded by the regime in 1925 to spearhead its efforts to promote atheism and he presents the League's propaganda, activities, and personnel at both the central and the provincial levels. On the basis of his research in archives in rural Pskov and industrial Iaroslavl?, as well as in the central party and state archives in Moscow, Peris emphasizes the transformation of the ideological agenda formulated in Moscow as it moved to its intended audience. Storming the Heavens places the League within the broader context of a Bolshevik political culture that often acted at cross purposes to undermine the regime's stated goals. The League's lack of success, argues Peris, reflects the bureaucratic orientation of Bolshevik political culture, particularly in how it pursued the radical social vision of 1917. His book provides a framework for undertanding secularization in revolutionary contexts as well as contributing to the on-going reassessments of the Bolshevik era.
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