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Elena Aleksandrovna Osokina
Missouri State University, Springfield (Springfield, MO 65897-0027)
Torgsin: Stalin's Gold, Industrialization, and Soviet Everyday Life

The study reveals the unknown story of Soviet industrialization and everyday life by exploring the role of the state stores, Torgsin (1931-36), which during the lean years of Stalin’s industrialization sold food and goods to the Soviet people at inflated prices in exchange for foreign currency, gold, silver and diamonds. Torgsin became an important source of gold for Stalin to finance industrialization and the major strategy for survival for people during those harsh times. The study enriches our understanding: of Stalinism by exploring one of its core principles – "industrial pragmatism", of the workings of the Soviet economy as a symbiosis of the plan and a market, and of the nature of Soviet everyday life and Soviet consumerism.

Project fields:
Russian History

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2005 – 7/31/2006