Project Summary

Assessment of the impact of the chronic food shortages of the revolutionary era on the city of Moscow by examining the survival strategies devised by urban residents to alleviate hunger. The process of contention and negotiation that lay behind the daily struggle for bread contributed to shaping urban society in early Soviet Russia. For example, the ability to trade on the black market or to obtain preferential treatment from the government helped determine survival and status in the early Soviet years; a pattern that held true throughout the Soviet era. Rationing; smuggling; public dining; black market