IF YOU WERE BORN IN RUSSIA by Arthur Goodfriend


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An achievement -- this objective presentation, in text and pictures, of Soviet life today, from cradle to grave. A ""typical"" family is presented- parents, a grandmother five children, various relatives -- and through following each member of the family in the round of activities, the reader gets a starkly simple but revealing picture. Maternity home- nursery- school at different levels-training for workers, for scholars, for soldier for officers --and at all points, training to be a good citizen of Soviet Russia. The reader on the outside looking in understands only too well how impossible it would be to expect a citizen of the Soviet, conditioned from infancy, to know anything of the world side. Propaganda -- ridicule- scorn- disbelief are heaped on the ""facts"" of American life shown in the moving pictures, the advertising, the American magazines. Contrast is constantly made with the decadence of a dying capitalism, as against the white hope of a ris Socialism. On the side of leisure activities, sports, the arts, drama, and so on- direction from the top eliminates any independence of wish or thought. The military thread is dominant, also; the Soviet citizen is trained to defend the fatherland. In the field of labor- in science- as well as in education, one goal -glorification of the Soviet, Mama the one open rebel; Mama is tried -- and while a Soviet brand of mercy is given, Mama di Grandma quietly keeps the old religion alive -- and there is no active interference....The author has tapped all available informed sources; Henry Shapiro, out of fifteen years of intimate knowledge has contributed generously; the over 200 photographs have been careful selected to make a rounded whole. The breakdown of the material under subheads makes valuable as a source book for public libraries and schools.

Pub Date: April 17th, 1949
Publisher: Farrar, Straus