Informer 001: The Myth of Pavlik Morozov

Yuri Druzhnikov (Editor)
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Description

When Russia was in the throes of Joseph Stalin's campaign for the forced collectivization of Soviet agriculture, a young boy named Pavlik Morozov informed the OGPU (later called the KGB) that his father was an enemy of the regime. As a result, Pavlik's father was arrested and disappeared in a Soviet concentration camp. Enemies of the party later killed the boy, whereupon people proclaimed him a hero. After that, Pavlik Morozov's glory surpassed the fame of many Russian heroes. Hundreds of works have been published about the boy in various genres; his portrait has graced galleries, postcards, and postage stamps; ships and libraries have been dedicated in his honor.

Informer 001 is the first independent study of the Morozov affair. Yuri Druzhnikov examined documents, visited museums, and interviewed everyone who knew Morozov during his short lifetime. In book after book, he discovered inconsistencies in every fact, from where Morozov was born to how old he was at the time of his death.

As Druzhnikov pieced together the story about Morozov's life, death, and legacy, it became clear that the campaign to keep Morozov a hero was centrally directed. Informer hero number 001 remained a fearful reminder to all; to those who inform, and those who become the victims of denunciations. Informer 001 offers Western readers a unique glimpse into the behind-the-scenes operations of Soviet political history and will be fascinating for the general public, as well as for sociologists, historians, and Russian studies specialists.

Product Details

Price
$53.94
Publisher
Routledge
Publish Date
November 30, 1996
Pages
222
Dimensions
6.3 X 0.9 X 9.18 inches | 1.09 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9781560002833
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Yuri Druzhnikov (1933-2008) was professor of Russian literature at the University of California-Davis. As a Moscow dissident, he was blacklisted in Russia for fifteen years. He served as vice-president of the International Pen Club, and his other works include Passport to Yesterday, Prisoner of Russia, and Angels on the Head of a Pin.

Reviews

"This profound work of scholarly investigation, meticulously researched and thoroughly documented, is an unprecedented look into the creation (in fact, 'fabrication' is a more appropriate word) of one of the most hideous myths of Soviet propaganda . . . Through a series of twists of the truth and deliberate misrepresentations, the true story of a troubled boy was made into a myth about a young martyr who willingly sacrificed his life . . . "for the 'bright future of mankind.' This myth helped the Communists corrupt the souls of seven generations of Soviet people and institutionalize political denunciation."

--Emil A. Draitser, Hunter College
"The story of Pavlik Morozov was one of the enduring myths of the Soviet Union... [A] very striking story and should be essential reading for any student of the Soviet phenomenon."

--Richard Ware, Slavonica "[A]uthor Yuri Druzhnikov unravels for an English-speaking audience the perplexing and often convoluted tale of Pavlik Morozov, the Soviet Union's legendary child-informer... As a uniquely Soviet version of the murder-mystery, Druzhnikov's book appeals to a wide and popular readership that takes pleasure in filling in the gaps the author uncovers in the historical record. Druzhnikov's meticulous and passionate detective work makes Informer 001 an engaging and exciting read." --Julie A. Cassiday, Slavic and East European Journal "This extraordinary book is much more than simply an exposure of the scanty and garbled factual foundation of the papier-mache Soviet myth of Pavlik Morozov... It reveals the whole clumsy and relentless machinery of the Soviet myth-making, the centrality of the, alas, one-sided struggle between loyalty to traditional human values on the one hand and to the bogus future vouchsafed by a powerful regime on the other. It shows as well how even people of genuine talent and considerable personal courage--not only Tikbonov and Gorky, but Babel and Eisenstein and Shklovsky--allowed themselves to be caught up in the'machinery, to their ultimate sorrow. The official tale of Pavlik Morozov in its many, often contradictory versions, for, decades brought tears to the eyes of millions of Young Pioneers, erected monuments in thousands of towns and villages, created a children's, and also an adult publishing industry, and had as its foundation little more than a handful of sordid lies. The difficulty and complexity of Druzhnikov's research is matched by the artful simplicity of his narrative unraveling." --Sidney Monas, professor emeritus, Department of Slavic Languages, University of Texas at Austin "Druzhnikov is a brilliant storyteller... He has unraveled a mystery, and like an experienced detective, he leads us from event to event, from witness to witness, never stretching his evidence or passing off a hypothesis as a final solution...The story Druzhnikov has told is a parable and exemplum...required reading for all who study Soviet history, the methods of mass propaganda, and the growth of modem myths." -- Anatoly Liberman, professor of Russian, University of Minnesota "Yuri Druzhnikov's landmark study debunks the Soviet myth of Pavlik Morozov once and for all. This well-researched study will be required reading for anyone interested in the cultural construction of the Soviet Union." --Daniel Rancour-Laferriere, professor of Russian, University of California, Davis

"This profound work of scholarly investigation, meticulously researched and thoroughly documented, is an unprecedented look into the creation (in fact, 'fabrication' is a more appropriate word) of one of the most hideous myths of Soviet propaganda . . . Through a series of twists of the truth and deliberate misrepresentations, the true story of a troubled boy was made into a myth about a young martyr who willingly sacrificed his life . . . "for the 'bright future of mankind.' This myth helped the Communists corrupt the souls of seven generations of Soviet people and institutionalize political denunciation."

--Emil A. Draitser, Hunter College


-The story of Pavlik Morozov was one of the enduring myths of the Soviet Union... [A] very striking story and should be essential reading for any student of the Soviet phenomenon.- --Richard Ware, Slavonica -[A]uthor Yuri Druzhnikov unravels for an English-speaking audience the perplexing and often convoluted tale of Pavlik Morozov, the Soviet Union's legendary child-informer... As a uniquely Soviet version of the murder-mystery, Druzhnikov's book appeals to a wide and popular readership that takes pleasure in filling in the gaps the author uncovers in the historical record. Druzhnikov's meticulous and passionate detective work makes Informer 001 an engaging and exciting read.- --Julie A. Cassiday, Slavic and East European Journal -This extraordinary book is much more than simply an exposure of the scanty and garbled factual foundation of the papier-mache Soviet myth of Pavlik Morozov... It reveals the whole clumsy and relentless machinery of the Soviet myth-making, the centrality of the, alas, one-sided struggle between loyalty to traditional human values on the one hand and to the bogus future vouchsafed by a powerful regime on the other. It shows as well how even people of genuine talent and considerable personal courage--not only Tikbonov and Gorky, but Babel and Eisenstein and Shklovsky--allowed themselves to be caught up in the'machinery, to their ultimate sorrow. The official tale of Pavlik Morozov in its many, often contradictory versions, for, decades brought tears to the eyes of millions of Young Pioneers, erected monuments in thousands of towns and villages, created a children's, and also an adult publishing industry, and had as its foundation little more than a handful of sordid lies. The difficulty and complexity of Druzhnikov's research is matched by the artful simplicity of his narrative unraveling.- --Sidney Monas, professor emeritus, Department of Slavic Languages, University of Texas at Austin -Druzhnikov is a brilliant storyteller... He has unraveled a mystery, and like an experienced detective, he leads us from event to event, from witness to witness, never stretching his evidence or passing off a hypothesis as a final solution...The story Druzhnikov has told is a parable and exemplum...required reading for all who study Soviet history, the methods of mass propaganda, and the growth of modem myths.- -- Anatoly Liberman, professor of Russian, University of Minnesota -Yuri Druzhnikov's landmark study debunks the Soviet myth of Pavlik Morozov once and for all. This well-researched study will be required reading for anyone interested in the cultural construction of the Soviet Union.- --Daniel Rancour-Laferriere, professor of Russian, University of California, Davis

-This profound work of scholarly investigation, meticulously researched and thoroughly documented, is an unprecedented look into the creation (in fact, 'fabrication' is a more appropriate word) of one of the most hideous myths of Soviet propaganda . . . Through a series of twists of the truth and deliberate misrepresentations, the true story of a troubled boy was made into a myth about a young martyr who willingly sacrificed his life . . . -for the 'bright future of mankind.' This myth helped the Communists corrupt the souls of seven generations of Soviet people and institutionalize political denunciation.-

--Emil A. Draitser, Hunter College