Filtzer, Donald (Arthur) 1948-
FILTZER, Donald (Arthur) 1948-
PERSONAL: Born January 8, 1948, in Baltimore, MD; son of David L. (an orthopedic surgeon) and Frances (Sacks) Filtzer. Education: Wesleyan University, B.A. (cum laude), 1969; University of Glasgow, Ph.D., 1976. Politics: Marxist.
ADDRESSES: office—Department of Sociology, University of East London, Longbridge Rd., Dagenham, Essex RM8 2AS, England.
CAREER: University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England, research fellow at Centre for Russian and East European Studies, c. 1978; University of East London, Dagenham, Essex, England, began as reader, became professor of Russian history.
(Editor and translator) I. I. Rubin, A History of Economic Thought, Ink Links (London, England), 1979.
(Editor and author of introduction) E. A. Preobrazhensky, The Crisis of Soviet Industrialization, M. E. Sharpe (Armonk, NY), 1980.
Soviet Workers and Stalinist Industrialization: The Formation of Modern Soviet Production Relations, 1928-1941, Pluto Press (London, England), 1986.
Soviet Workers and De-Stalinization: The Consolidation of the Modern System of Soviet Production Relations, 1953-1964, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, England), 1992.
The Khrushchev Era: De-Stalinization and the Limits of Reform in the USSR, 1953-1964, [London, England], 1993.
Soviet Workers and the Collapse of Perestroika: The Soviet Labour Process and Gorbachev's Reforms, 1985-1991, [Cambridge, England], 1994.
Contributor to anthologies, including Labour in Transition: The Labour Process in Eastern Europe and China, edited by Chris Smith and Paul Thompson, [London, England], 1992. Contributor to periodicals, including Challenge, Critique, Europe-Asia Studies, Slavonic and East European Review, Social History, and Soviet Studies.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Research on the social history of the U.S.S.R. in the immediate postwar period, 1945-1953.
SIDELIGHTS: In the Times Literary Supplement, reviewer Geoffrey Hosking hailed Donald Filtzer's Soviet Workers and Stalinist Industrialization: The Formation of Modern Soviet Production Relations, 1928-1941 as "one of the most important contributions of recent years to Soviet social history." In the book, Filtzer asserted that Soviet workers of the 1930s assumed enough control over production to undermine all authoritarian attempts to govern them. The production demands of the young Soviet regime required an enormous work force, and this in itself forced planners to make concessions to the working class. Laziness, theft, and slipshod work habits had to be tolerated. Incentive programs to reward good workers were resented by other members of the work force. Treating work infringements as criminal offenses only encouraged middle-level management to cover up for subordinates and peers. Filtzer concluded that the stalemate created by Soviet workers more than fifty years ago has not abated. It contributes to the country's present reputation for waste and corruption in the workplace, poor quality of production, and an ongoing shortage of manual laborers. Hosking told his readers that Filtzer's "account of how the situation has arisen is vivid and instructive." He concluded: "This is a book which should be pondered by anyone who wants to understand the state of the Soviet Union today."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Slavonic and East European Review, April, 1998, Martin McCauley, review of Soviet Workers and the Collapse of Perestroika: The Soviet Labour Process and Gorbachev's Reforms, 1985-1991, p. 308.
Times Literary Supplement, May 27, 1987, Geoffrey Hosking, review of Soviet Workers and Stalinist Industrialization: The Formation of Modern Soviet Production Relations, 1928-1941.