Rock ‘n Roll didn’t play a significant role in bringing down the Communist system, but it did help shape the economic elites in post-Soviet states, a Western researcher argues.
Sergei Zhuk, Associate Professor of History at Ball State University, examined rock music’s role in the Soviet collapse by focusing on the experience of a single city, Dniepropetrovsk, Ukraine, during the late-Soviet era. His findings are contained in his recently published book, Rock and Roll in the Rocket City: The West, Identity, and Ideology in Soviet Dniepropetrovsk, 1960-1985.
Zhuk’s research draws extensively on the reflections of Soviet youth during the period, including writings and personal interviews. It also makes use of official documents, primarily KGB and Communist Party archives. Combined, they relate the spread of Western cultural consumption in the former Soviet Union despite the best efforts of the KGB to contain what it saw as "ideological anti-Soviet pollution.”
To read the full story
Richard Weitz is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC.