Bondarev Vitaliy Aleksandrovich, Doctor of historical sciences, associate professor, professor of the sub-department of history and cultural studies, Don State Technical University (1 Gagarin square, Rostov-on-Don, Russia), E-mail: email@example.com
Background. The study of such topical issues as social foundations, mentality, various aspects and areas of everyday life of the Soviet society, its behavioral principles and practices, rules and norms of relations with the authorities requires the expansion of the empirical base and the involvement of new sources, including folklore. This circumstance gives special importance to the critical analysis of folklore sources, which is achieved, in particular, by comparing them with archival materials. The aim of the work is to substantiate the opinion by comparative analysis of archival documents and folklore sources (political anecdotes) that the latter represent the basis in the process of studying certain aspects of the Soviet Russia of 1917–1921.
Materials and methods. Realization of research tasks is provided on the basis of complex application of folklore sources, testimonies and memoirs of contemporaries, archival documents from the Russian state archive of social and political history, including, for the first time involved in scientific turnover. In methodological terms, the study is based on such a method of source criticism as a comparative analysis of diverse evidence about the past, in this case – folklore sources (political anecdotes) and archival documents.
Results. The content of characteristic samples of political anecdotes about the Bolshevik elite of the Civil war period is analyzed. Source criticism of a number of similar folklore sources was carried out, which was achieved by comparative analysis of anecdotes, on the one hand, and published memoirs of contemporaries and archival documents, on the other.
Conclusions. Comparative analysis of archival documents and political anecdotes gives grounds to confidently assert that the latter are not a figment of imagination, but are based on actual facts and, thus, can be fully used as historical sources in the study of the relationship between society and the Bolshevik regime in 1917–1921. The results of source criticism of anecdotes indicate that the negative assessments of the moral appearance and behavior of the Bolshevik elite contained in these folklore sources are not exaggeration and correctly reflect the attitude of a significant part of society to a certain part of the representatives of the party-Soviet apparatus.
anecdote, the Bolsheviks, famine in 1921–1922, historical sources, the Kremlin, folk
1. Pronshteyn A. P. Metodika istoricheskogo istochnikovedeniya [Methodology of historical source study]. 2nd ed., suppl. and corr. Rostov-on-Don: Izd-vo RGU, 1976, 480 p. [In Russian]
2. Borev Yu. B. Istoriya gosudarstva sovetskogo v predaniyakh i anekdotakh [The history of the Soviet state in legends and anecdotes]. Moscow: RIPOL, 1995, 256 p. [In Russian]
3. Nikonenko St. Povesti i rasskazy [Tales and stories]. Moscow: Khudozhestvennaya literatura, 1990, pp. 3–18. [In Russian]
4. Mal'kov P. D. Zapiski komendanta Kremlya [Notes of the Kremlin commandant]. 3d ed. Moscow: Molodaya gvardiya, 1967, 264 p. [In Russian]
5. Golos naroda. Pis'ma i otkliki ryadovykh sovetskikh grazhdan o sobytiyakh 1918–1932 gg. [The voice of the people. Letters and responses of ordinary Soviet citizens about the events of 1918–1932]. Execut. ed. A. K. Sokolov. Moscow: Rossiyskaya politicheskaya entsiklopediya (ROSSPEN), 1997, 328 p. [In Russian]
6. Istoriya SSSR v anekdotakh. 1917–1992 [The history of the USSR in anecdote. 1917–1992]. Smolensk: Smyadyn', 1992, 352 p. [In Russian]
7. Rossiyskiy gosudarstvennyy arkhiv sotsial'no-politicheskoy istorii (RGASPI) [Russian State Archive of Social and Political History]. F. 17. Op. 84. D. 1023. [In Russian]
8. Mokienko V. M., Nikitina T. G. Tolkovyy slovar' yazyka Sovdepii [Explanatory dictionary of the language of the Soviets]. Saint-Petersburg: Folio-Press, 1998, 704 p. [In Russian]
9. Pasternak B. L. Doktor Zhivago [Doctor Zhivago]. Moscow: Sovetskaya Rossiya, 1989, 640 p. [In Russian]
10. Voslenskiy M. S. Nomenklatura. Gospodstvuyushchiy klass Sovetskogo Soyuza [Nomenclature. The ruling class of the Soviet Union]. Moscow: Sovetskaya Rossiya: Oktyabr', 1991, 624 p. [In Russian]
11. Sarnov B. M. Nash sovetskiy novoyaz. Malen'kaya entsiklopediya real'nogo sotsializma [Our Soviet newspeak. Little Encyclopedia of Real Socialism]. Moscow: Materik, 2002, 600 p. [In Russian]
12. RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 86. D. 204.