This work discusses Soviet mass perception from the 1920s to the 1930s. This work was supported by the Research Support Scheme of the Open Society Support Foundation, grant No. 805/1998, and by the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Toronto, Canada. The work has also greatly benefitted from the discussion at the workshops held by the Stalin-Era Research and Archives Project at CREES, University of Toronto.
This book presents a study of collective representations in Soviet Russia concentrates on perceptions of Lenin's image from a socio-anthropological, rather than political, view. In addition to Communist Party information, official documents, memoirs and folklore, newly opened secret reports of the Soviet political police are used for the first time. The book analyzes the development of the cult from Lenin's lifetime up to the process of "de-Leninization" in the 1990s. Much of the research concerns the perception of Lenin's death and the decision to embalm his body, the campaign called "the Lenin enrollment", renaming of Petrograd and organization of "Lenin Corners". The book also presents new material devoted to Lenin museums, along with archive documents and never-published photographs.