Soviet Literature - Glasnost’

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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, a word with the original meaning of “giving


to” (Old Church Slavonic


, modern Russian


), was the name given to the policy of cultural and journalistic “openness” – by implication, at least, the freedom to publish, to criticise and to expose past failings – introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev into the Soviet Union sooon after his 1985 assumption of power. It thus signified the gradual (though rather rapidly gradual) breaking of taboos.

The period from 1982 to 1985, following the death of Communist Party leader Leonid Brezhnev, saw the brief leadership interregna of Andropov and Chernenko. These years saw the last throes of the “period of stagnation”. With the accession to the Party General Secretaryship (in fact the leadership) of Gorbachev, there

1393 words

Citation: Cornwell, Neil. "Soviet Literature - Glasnost’". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 September 2005 [, accessed 16 July 2024.]

1592 Soviet Literature - Glasnost’ 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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