Perestroika and the history of the revolution: a first glimpse

Paul Flenley

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It was not clear until after the January 1987 Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU that the writing of history was to have an important role to play in the general process of restructuring Soviet society. Until then emphasis had been on discipline at work, dealing with corruption and the need to make the existing economic system work more efficiently. At the Plenum Gorbachev presented a much broader vision of what perestroika would entail, referring to the need for democracy and freedom of thought. Since then the effects of glasnost in terms of the extent of open discussion about the Soviet past have been staggering. We have been consistently surprised as canons of Soviet history which we confidently thought would never be challenged have been laid open for debate. Nevertheless there is still the sense that there must be limits. At the present moment, however, the parameters of what is acceptable are still very much a matter of political debate at the highest level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-156
Number of pages6
JournalRevolutionary Russia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1988


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