Number crunching the engineers of human souls: Polish writers as a social group

Spring 2017

At a meeting with writers on 26 October 1932, in preparation for the first Congress of the Union of Soviet Writers, Stalin proposed a vodka toast: ‘I raise my glass to you, writers, the engineers of the human soul.’ He may have believed what he said, and as they raised their glasses the assembled writers may have been reassured by the state-ment, but within five years, on Stalin’s orders, most of those present were dead or imprisoned. Stalin did not trust writers. 

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Twentieth Century Communism Journal Issue 12: Communism and the written word