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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > 291 > A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOC

A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOC

A STUDIED LOOK AT THE HISTORICAL ROOTS AND POLITICAL USE OF HOMOPHOBIA IN MODERN-DAY RUSSIA

BOOK OF THE MONTH

RUSSIAN HOMOPHOBIA: FROM STALIN TO SOCHI

Dan Healey/Bloomsbury Academic

→ Thinking of homophobia simply as an irrational hatred of queer people can prevent us getting to grips with the often painfully logical historical, cultural and political factors underlying it. It can also blind us as to why nations, often in extremely calculated ways, manipulate it for their own domestic and international ends. This detailed, scholarly book explores modern Russian homophobia, making the point that its roots are to be found in the 1930s in the laws of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. With expert insight, Dan Healey, a professor of modern Russian history at Oxford, uses nine case histories to reveal the origins and evolution of homophobic attitudes in Russia. The book explores the roots of homophobia in the gulag, the rise of a visible queer presence in Soviet cities after Stalin, and the political battles since 1991 over whether queer Russians should be valued as citizens. A thorough, impeccably researched portrait of persecution. 14 December

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