Jan Plamper’s The Stalin Cult: A Study in the Alchemy of Power has been named the outstanding monograph published on Russia, Eastern Europe, or Eurasia in the fields of literary and cultural studies awarded annually by the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. The prize, sponsored by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Southern California, will be awarded at the annual meeting of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies in Boston in November.
Professor Plamper is a professor of history at Goldsmiths, University of London. The Stalin Cult was published by Yale University Press as part of the Yale-Hoover Series on Stalin, Stalinism, and Cold War. Plamper did much of his research for his book in the Hoover Archives’ Russian collection, tapping into Hoover's USSR poster collection.
Plamper’s book describes how, between the late 1920s and the early 1950s, a persuasive personality cult saturated Soviet public space with Stalin’s images. A torrent of portraits, posters, statues, films, plays, songs, and poems galvanized the Soviet population and inspired leftist activists around the world. In the first book to examine the cultural products and production methods of the Stalin cult, Jan Plamper has reconstructed a hidden history linking artists, party patrons, state functionaries, and Stalin himself in the alchemical project that transformed a pockmarked Georgian into the embodiment of global communism.