The Jewish Revolution in Belorussia

The Jewish Revolution in Belorussia

Economy, Race, and Bolshevik Power
Andrew Sloin
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 02/13/2017
ISBN: 978-0-253-02463-3
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Jewish life was changed fundamentally as Jews joined the Bolshevik movement and populated the front lines of the revolutionary struggle. Andrew Sloin’s story follows the arc of Bolshevik history but shows how the broader movement was enacted in factories and workshops, workers’ clubs and union meetings, and on the Jewish streets of White Russia. The protagonists here are shoemakers, speculators, glassmakers, peddlers, leatherworkers, needleworkers, soldiers, students, and local party operatives who were swept up, willingly or otherwise, into the Bolshevik project. Sloin stresses the fundamental relationship between economy and identity formation as party officials grappled with the Jewish Question in the wake of the revolution.

Author Bio

Andrew Sloin is Assistant Professor of History at Baruch College.


“Readable, well-researched, firmly grounded on existing literature and on primary sources. A welcome addition to recent works on Jewish history in Belarus.”
 — Anna Shternshis, author of Soviet and Kosher

“A remarkable social history that investigates the process of Sovietization among Jews in Belorussia through the perspective of labor and the economy. Andrew Sloin’s mastery of the relevant literature and his own rigorous analysis provide firm grounding for this book.”
 — Jeffrey Veidlinger, author of In the Shadow of the Shtetl

“Sloin's book lays exceptionally fruitful ground for further rethinking of the conventional paradigms of Soviet Jewishness and the languages of early Soviet social identities in general. ”
 — Soviet and Post-Soviet Review

“In all, Sloin’s useful, well-written, and well-researched book significantly advances our understanding of Jewish life in 1920s Soviet Belorussia.”
 — Russian Review

“Much has been written about the promises and pitfalls of Soviet nationality policies and the ways in which the Soviet state managed its multi-ethnic empire. Drawing on a wealth of previously untapped archival materials from Belorussian archives, Sloin’s excellent study nonetheless fills a major lacuna. It will stand alongside some of the best scholarship in Soviet Jewish history that has been published in recent years. ”
 — Slavonic and East European Review

“Sloin’s book contributes to our understanding of the role Jewish Communists played within the Belarusian Communist Party in this period, as well as showing how communist ideology and policy from Moscow (not always the same thing) influenced Jewish identity in Belarus.”
 — Kritika

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Table of Contents

Notes on Transliteration and Translation
Part I - Revolution
1. Making Jews Bolshevik
Part II – Capital and Labor
2. Speculators, Swindlers, and Other Jews: Regulating Trade in Revolutionary White Russia
3. Jewish Proletarians and Proletarian Jews: The Emancipation of Labor in NEP Society
Part III – Political Culture and Nationality
4. From Bolshevik Haskole to Cultural Revolution: Abram Beilin and the Jewish Revolution
5. Bundism and the Nationalities Question
Part IV – The Politics of Crisis
6. The Politics of Crisis: Economy, Ethnicity, and Trotskyism
7. Antisemitism and the Stalin Revolution
Appendix: Tables