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Berkhoff Karel C. Motherland in Danger. Soviet Propaganda During World War II

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Berkhoff Karel C. Motherland in Danger. Soviet Propaganda During World War II
Cambridge, Massachusetts, London: Harvard University Press, 2012. — 407 p.
On June 22, 1941, the German army invaded the Soviet Union. In six months, 4.5 million Soviet soldiers were dead, large parts of the country were in German hands, and the Soviet capital had been evacuated. Less than four years later, Soviet troops conquered Berlin, having played a leading role in winning World War II. This unexpected turn of events has baffled historians, who have long wondered why a Soviet population, which had just lived through the worst years of a state-sponsored famine and mass violence, would pick up arms to defend a regime that should have been hated. Karel C. Berkhoff's excellent book, Motherland in Danger, suggests that propaganda played a central role in Soviet victory because "the pre-war Soviet Union was ... a propaganda state - a political system that subjugated mass culture, education, and the media for the purposes of popular indoctrination". Therefore, he argues, to understand why the Soviet population mobilized to fight an external enemy, one needs to examine the key tactic for mobilizing the population - propaganda.
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