The Military Uses of Literature: Fiction and the Armed Forces in the Soviet Union


This book studies the made-to-order genre of socialist-realist fiction that was produced at the direction of the Main Political Directorate of the Soviet Army and Navy (MPD) as a part of the war for men's minds waged by the Soviet State. The first chapter is a history of the genre, tracing it from its roots in the Revolution to the dissolution of the MDP in 1991. Topics examined in the book include the attitude toward Germans following World War II; the retirement of the World War II generation; military wives; "Dear John" letters; life at remote posts; the military as a socializing institution; the use of lethal force by sentries; attitudes toward field training exercises, heroism, and initiative; legitimacy of command; and the reception of Afghan vets.

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