Citation

Environment, Disease, and Red Army Triumph: from Civil War to NEP, 1918-1921

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Abstract:

The global health crisis that began during World War I caused European countries to experience violent social upheavals and widespread suffering that lasted long after the war. Securing peace in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the Bolsheviks found themselves fighting the Russian Civil War, battling neighboring Poland, and suffering from the misguided policy of War Communism, which emphasized grain requisitioning. The Red and White armies were also forced to deal with a range of climatic and environmental concerns, including one of the worst famines on record, pandemic typhus, cholera, flu, and other diseases. These problems motivated Soviet physicians to reemphasize the role of environmental and social issues, particularly famine, which tsarist zemstvo physicians had long advocated. This shift in policy facilitated the return to social stability and Lenin’s establishment of the Soviet state during the New Economic Policy (NEP). Thus, Lenin’s retreat from communist policy included a return to long-standing tsarist medical principles. Zemstvo doctors’ professional motivation was neither populist, political, nor neo-liberal. Nor were they unrealistic dreamers. They pursued a comprehensive medical dictum that drew from the gamut of physical and social sciences, a philosophy emphasizing that physicians involved in applied medicine must consider the conditions under which it is practiced. Lenin embraced these ideas prompting, as one physician observed, emphasis on ‘macroorganisms’ as opposed to microorganisms. Concentrating on the cholera and typhus pandemics, the paper will explore the role of Soviet anti-epidemic campaigns in the Bolshevik victory and their part in the stabilization of Soviet society during the NEP. The paper will also broach the paradox of how a government in which physicians devised a successful, expansively-constructed medical system focusing on adverse social conditions may have coped less successfully with them than a regime that in many ways caused them.
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Name: ASEH Annual Conference
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http://aseh.net


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1169797_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Davis, John. "Environment, Disease, and Red Army Triumph: from Civil War to NEP, 1918-1921" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Annual Conference, Drake Hotel, Chicago, IL, <Not Available>. 2018-01-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1169797_index.html>

APA Citation:

Davis, J. P. "Environment, Disease, and Red Army Triumph: from Civil War to NEP, 1918-1921" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Annual Conference, Drake Hotel, Chicago, IL <Not Available>. 2018-01-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1169797_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: The global health crisis that began during World War I caused European countries to experience violent social upheavals and widespread suffering that lasted long after the war. Securing peace in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the Bolsheviks found themselves fighting the Russian Civil War, battling neighboring Poland, and suffering from the misguided policy of War Communism, which emphasized grain requisitioning. The Red and White armies were also forced to deal with a range of climatic and environmental concerns, including one of the worst famines on record, pandemic typhus, cholera, flu, and other diseases. These problems motivated Soviet physicians to reemphasize the role of environmental and social issues, particularly famine, which tsarist zemstvo physicians had long advocated. This shift in policy facilitated the return to social stability and Lenin’s establishment of the Soviet state during the New Economic Policy (NEP). Thus, Lenin’s retreat from communist policy included a return to long-standing tsarist medical principles. Zemstvo doctors’ professional motivation was neither populist, political, nor neo-liberal. Nor were they unrealistic dreamers. They pursued a comprehensive medical dictum that drew from the gamut of physical and social sciences, a philosophy emphasizing that physicians involved in applied medicine must consider the conditions under which it is practiced. Lenin embraced these ideas prompting, as one physician observed, emphasis on ‘macroorganisms’ as opposed to microorganisms. Concentrating on the cholera and typhus pandemics, the paper will explore the role of Soviet anti-epidemic campaigns in the Bolshevik victory and their part in the stabilization of Soviet society during the NEP. The paper will also broach the paradox of how a government in which physicians devised a successful, expansively-constructed medical system focusing on adverse social conditions may have coped less successfully with them than a regime that in many ways caused them.


 
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