Cover image for Remembering the War, Forgetting the Terror: Appeals to Family Memory in Putin's Russia By Ekaterina V. Haskins

Remembering the War, Forgetting the Terror

Appeals to Family Memory in Putin's Russia

Ekaterina V. Haskins

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$99.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-09713-8

168 pages
6" × 9"
22 b&w illustrations
2024

Rhetoric and Democratic Deliberation

Remembering the War, Forgetting the Terror

Appeals to Family Memory in Putin's Russia

Ekaterina V. Haskins

“Haskins’s innovative theoretical approach to ambient memory yields important insights into contemporary Russia and the way Stalinism and nationalism have returned to the fore. Remembering the War, Forgetting the Terror is an important scholarly work and an intervention into current global trends.”

 

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Russian state propaganda has framed the invasion of Ukraine as a liberation mission by invoking the Soviet-era myth of the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), in which the Soviet people, led by Russia, saved the world from the greatest evil of the twentieth century. At the same time, the Russian government has banned civil society institutions and initiatives that remind the country of the legacy of Soviet political violence.

Remembering the War, Forgetting the Terror explores the appeal of the cult of the Great Patriotic War and the waning public interest in Soviet political terror as intertwined trends. Ekaterina V. Haskins argues that these developments are driven not only by the weaponization of the official memory of World War II but also by familial pieties and deep-seated habits of memory. Haskins uncovers how widely shared practices of remembrance have taken root and flourished through recurring exposure to war films, urban environments, popular commemorative rituals, and digital archives. Combining scholarship and personal biography, Haskins illuminates why, despite the staggering toll of World War II and internal political violence on Soviet families, most Russian citizens continue to proudly embrace their family’s participation in the war effort and avoid discussion of domestic political persecution.

Elegantly written and convincingly argued, this book is an important intervention into contemporary rhetoric and memory studies that will also appeal to broader audiences interested in Russia, Eastern Europe, and the war in Ukraine.

“Haskins’s innovative theoretical approach to ambient memory yields important insights into contemporary Russia and the way Stalinism and nationalism have returned to the fore. Remembering the War, Forgetting the Terror is an important scholarly work and an intervention into current global trends.”
Remembering the War, Forgetting the Terror is a very timely intervention into the politics of memory in contemporary Russia. By juxtaposing the war and terror, the author presents a very persuasive argument for the ambience of memory and its prosthetic quality. A haunting and fascinating read.”

Ekaterina V. Haskins is Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University. Her award-winning scholarship includes, most recently, Popular Memories: Commemoration, Participatory Culture, and Democratic Citizenship.