Summary Of John Scott's Behind The Urals

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have a record of the time via Behind the Urals written be John Scott. Scott an American left the United States in 1931 for the Soviet Union, he was hired to work as a welder in Stalin's model industrial city Magnitogorsk, which was in the steppe just south of the Ural Mountains. It was one of the largest and most modern iron and steel plants, and was symbol for industrialization. Scott wrote Behind the Urals after living in Magnitogorsk as a firsthand account. It gives us insight of what it was like to live in the Soviet Union as Stalin's plans (five year plan/purges) unfolded. Magnitogorsk was not just happened upon, Stalin pushed for its building believing it to be vital to his industrial plans, “the tempo of construction was such that …show more content…

He goes with some other workers to a state run farm outside of Magnitogorsk to help repair tractors he remarks, “everything, in fact, had been thought of, he said, 'except good land and men to work it'.”7 This was the issue with Stalin's “revolution from above” be built these grand cities that were essentially just large plants like Magnitogorsk, but the people lived in horrible conditions, the collectivized farms that were meant to support the food supply for the workers of Magnitogorsk had bad land and nobody to work to the farms. In theory Stalin's plans could work, but the people, the land, the infrastructure could not feasibly attain the end result that was needed, it just wasn’t possible. For Stalin's plans to have worked he needed to be in the right place and the Soviet Union, and the unforgiving landscape just was not it. Things got so bad that Scott writes, “ the new Bolshevik government sent inspectors to every village to look for hoarded bread.”8 Scott writes, “ during the early thirties the main energies of the Soviet Union went into construction. New plants, mines, whole industries, sprang up all over the country” but he also recalls, “the new aggregates failed to work normally.

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