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Sheila Fitzpatrick's Everyday Stalinism rejects the simplistic treatment of the Soviet Union as a totalitarian government that tightly controlled its citizens. Using the vast archives that were released after the Cold War, Fitzpatrick examines Soviet society 'from below'—looking at how ordinary citizens coped with shortages and the general sense of fear created by the state. Despite government efforts to mold its citizens into perfect images of communist ideology, in practice, people found ways to live everyday lives. Their coping mechanisms played an important role in how major events unfolded, including forced industrialization and the Great Purge.