Kenneth M. Pinnow


On his book Lost to the Collective: Suicide and the Promise of Soviet Socialism, 1921-1929

Cover Interview of March 11, 2010

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“Soviet Suicide, the Soviet Individual, Soviet Society.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“By intruding into the Soviets’ revolutionary dreams, suicide reinforced a key truth: the individual was at once the collective’s greatest resource and its greatest threat.”

On the second:

“In a modern version of the tale of Adam and Eve, the petit bourgeois woman was cast as a temptress who distracted the party member from his duties by placing the fulfillment of her material needs above the needs of the socialist cause.  Torn by guilt and weakened by isolation from the collective the man killed himself as a way out of his dilemma.”