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Issue № 87. August 2021

Letter of Agitation and Propaganda Department (CPSU Central Committee) for the Union Republics on the Procedure for Covering the American Exhibition in Moscow (1959)

Nikita A. Krasnoshchekov

Postgraduate student, Department of History of State and Municipal Administration, School of Public Administration, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation.
ORCID ID: 0000-0001-7909-8618

The article examines one of the key documents on the preparation of Soviet foreign policy propaganda for covering the American National Exhibition in Moscow in 1959 — a letter from the head of the Department of Agitation and Propaganda of the Central Committee of the CPSU for the Union Republics, L.F. Ilyichev, sent to the Central Committee of the CPSU. The author introduces the previously unpublished full text of the archive document from the fund No. 5 of the Russian State Archive of Modern History, as well as later handwritten corrections with relevant comments and observations. The paper analyzes the goals and objectives of the document and also provides an overview of current state of studying the problem of covering the American exhibition in Moscow in domestic and foreign historiography. The methodology of the research is a documentary analysis (in its two versions: informative and textual), based on the materials of the Russian State Archive of Modern History. In the research, the author comes to the conclusion that the Department of Agitation and Propaganda plays one of the main roles in the organization of the exhibition coverage. The article traces the mechanism of implementing the decisions taken in the field of propaganda and interacting with the Soviet media on the example of this document. The author points out intermediary role of Agitprop in this mechanism: all the decisions are agreed with the Central Committee of the CPSU and are assigned in the form of tasks to central newspapers, the TASS news agency, radio and television. The main goal pursued by Agitprop was to minimize the propaganda effect in the media field from the American exhibition in Sokolniki and to attempt to weaken the interest of Soviet citizens in the event itself. The author also emphasizes the importance of corrections made to the document after typewriting, which meant reducing the sharp tone of the paper. In addition, the article remarks the role of a handwritten note on the organization of the exhibition, made in the end of the document, as a form of reporting to the higher management for the events held at that time.


History of the USSR, history of management, American National Exhibition of 1959 in Moscow, Soviet foreign policy propaganda, Agitation and Propaganda Department of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Agitprop, L.F. Ilyichev, V.I. Snastin.

DOI: 10.24412/2070-1381-2021-87-31-38

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