Paper Title

[1.3] Myth, Memory, and Magnitogorsk: Towards a Historiographical Middle Ground

Location

IB 1014

Start Date

January 2020

End Date

January 2020

Disciplines

History | Philosophy | Political Science

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

The construction of Magnitogorsk, the symbolic and practical crux of the first Five-Year Plan (1928-1932), remains shrouded in historical myth; Russian historians claim the construction of the metal works to be the product of sheer Soviet will, while American historians depict it as the result of stolen Western technology. Using primary accounts from business personnel, Western technological specialists, metallurgical industry leaders, and Soviet officials, this paper will argue for a historiographical middle ground; although American technicians were vital to the construction of Magnitogorsk, their impact has been inflated by historians who have neglected to consider the agency and influence exerted by the Soviet leadership and Soviet workers.

Comments

I have no conflicts of interest to report.

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Jan 18th, 10:30 AM Jan 18th, 11:45 AM

[1.3] Myth, Memory, and Magnitogorsk: Towards a Historiographical Middle Ground

IB 1014

The construction of Magnitogorsk, the symbolic and practical crux of the first Five-Year Plan (1928-1932), remains shrouded in historical myth; Russian historians claim the construction of the metal works to be the product of sheer Soviet will, while American historians depict it as the result of stolen Western technology. Using primary accounts from business personnel, Western technological specialists, metallurgical industry leaders, and Soviet officials, this paper will argue for a historiographical middle ground; although American technicians were vital to the construction of Magnitogorsk, their impact has been inflated by historians who have neglected to consider the agency and influence exerted by the Soviet leadership and Soviet workers.