Talk:Great Soviet Encyclopedia

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Hello. What is the copyright status of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia? Who wrote it, exactly -- was it an official publication of the Soviet government? Any information about the status of Soviet-era copyrights in general, and the GSE in particular, would be very helpful. Thanks for your help, Wile E. Heresiarch 17:39, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

It is public domain as are all Soviet government documents published before I think 1973. Fred Bauder 21:54, Nov 29, 2004 (UTC)
According to the GSE page, the third edition was translated into English in 1973. Any idea what the copyright status is of Soviet Government works made after that date? (It says on the GSE page that the 3rd edition is available online from some Russian site, if it really is verifiably public domain, it could be a really good, or at least interesting, resource.) Kadin2048 21:38, 14 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Within Russia, the first edition and the second edition up to the entry on Forester (vol. 24) are in the public domain. Later editions and the second edition from vol 24/25 on are copyrighted. That's the rules employed at the time of this writing on the Russian Wikipedia, see ru:Википедия:Авторские права. The reasons for this are manyfold. See ru:Обсуждение:Большая_советская_энциклопедия, and also see Itar-Tass Russian News Agency v. Russian Kurier, Inc. about copyrights in Russia on collections (such as newspapers or encyclopedias) of individual articles. Incidentally, these rules are consistent with my own analysis of Russian copyrights at Template talk:PD-USSR and at commons:Template talk:PD-Soviet.
Outside of Russia, the waters become muddy. If we only consider Russia and ignore the other CIS nations, we could conclude that those editions and entries published anonymously before 1945 would also be PD in other signatory countries of the Berne Convention (1945 = 1995 - 50; 1995 is the year Russia joined the Berne Convention, and it had a copyright term of 50 years at that time, and that copyright term applied retroactively, even to works that had gone out of copyright under the previous Soviet legislation.) 1945 only leaves the first edition PD.
Which means that the image of the first page of the third edition is not in the public domain as claimed. Lupo 10:34, 29 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What about the translation copyrights? If the orginal was not coprighted, can its translation be copyrighted? And if so, can the Russian text be retranslated and released into PD in the second translation? How much difference must be between first and second translations, so that the second is not accussed of being a rip-off the first? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 18:49, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Even if the original text does not have a copyright, any translation of it into another language (such as English) would have its own copyright, owned by the translator; the translator would then be completely free to put the translation into the public domain.
As for similarity between two different translations, there is no simple rule that can be applied. However, the same basic principles will apply to a translated work as for a wholly original creation, so the longer the translated work is, the less probable it is that another translator's work would be the same or similar.
Silverhelm 09:50, 12 November 2006 (UTC).Reply[reply]

Not that I see many people copying more than "what is needed for personal research" or "quotes for reference" - it is more interesting as a concept which might be applicable elsewhere.

To what extent would the above rules apply to other "official publications of no longer extant states"? The present governments of former Communist states which remain extant probably retain the copyrights of Communist-era publication (or would advise) - but what about eg Czechoslovakia? Jackiespeel 17:41, 18 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Paste in revisions[edit]

All articles which related to Bolshevik leaders who were purged were changed, Trotsky, Bukharin, Zinoviev. Fred Bauder 21:54, Nov 29, 2004 (UTC)

I'm not disputing that, in subsequent versions of the encyclopedia entries were removed from new books. For example, in the online GSE, one can find "Trotskyism", and "Trotsky-Zinovev anti-Leninist block", but no biography of Trotsky, as the original one was removed in versions of the first edition after he fell out of favor. So new books, new versions would not have that article. Beria is the only cut-and-paste one I have heard about though. And of course, Beria was post-Stalin. Ruy Lopez 09:19, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)

How many volumes, how many years?[edit]

I've just translated the article to Japanese wikipedia, but the publication date and the volume number of each edition of the Encyclopedia are different from the Russian Wiki, and some other sources (Here I picked up from Encarta and some American uni's library catalog(?)).

This article (English wiki)

1st edi. 1926-1947, 65 vols.
2nd edi. 1950-1958, 51 vols.
3rd edi. 1969-1978, 30 vols.


1st edi. 1926-1933, 65 vols.
2nd edi. 1950-1960, 50 vols.
3rd edi. 1969-1978, 30 vols.
Though I don't understand Russian.
There are mistakes here. See years of release of all volumes here[2] and I think, you'll easily discover a source of mistakes. If you won't, please, ask me to explain this. Cmapm 19:16, 29 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

MSN Encarta

1st edi. 1926-1947, 64 vols.
2nd edi. 1950-1958, 51 vols.
3rd edi. 1970-1978, 30 vols.


2nd edi. 1949-1958
3rd edi. 1971-1978

Does anybody have any info on this? Can anybody confirm which publication data and which volume number are true?Hans castorp81 16:08, 29 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Firstly, concerning the 3rd edition. I've looked into it and found, that 1st vol. was signed "ready for printing" on November 6 1969 and released in 1969, the 30th was signed on October 6 1978 and released in 1978. Besides that, a volume of indexes was released in 1981.
Concerning the 1st and 2nd edi., in the 3rd edition in the article about the encyclopedia itself is written, that 1st edition was released "in 1926 - 1947 years in 66 volumes" (66th volume, released in 1947, was about the USSR). 2nd edition was released in "1950 - 1958 years in 51 volume (51st volume is complementary)". Besides that, two volumes of indexes to the 2nd edi. were released in 1960. You can see this article online here [3] (in Russian).
You can also look here [4] to find years of release of all volumes of each edition (in Russian, but pretty intuitive, I think). The only doubtful issue for myself is why there is written, that the 2nd edition was released in 1949 - 1958, although in another article [5] on the same website is written, that it was released in 1950 - 1958. My guess for this is that the 1st vol. was signed "ready for print" in 1949 and released in 1950.
To sum it up, I believe that the following is true:
1st edi. 1926-1947, 66 vols.
2nd edi. 1950-1958, 51 vols.
3rd edi. 1969-1978, 30 vols.
Or to be careful, you can write "65 vols.+ a complementary volume about the USSR". Cmapm 19:18, 29 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see..Thanks for a fast reponse. So the last volume (66th) of the first edition was a complementary one. I'm gonna change the number for Japanese Wiki (But since the both vol number seems OK (i.e. not wrong) and I'm not partiipating in Enlgish wiki, I'll leave it as it is for English wiki).. Cheers :). Hans castorp81 15:03, 30 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This was already fixed here by Mikkalai, when I wanted to fix this. I also looked through the Japanese version, it's nice work. Best wishes :-) Cmapm 00:40, 31 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've got the 3rd edition of БСЭ. It has 31 volumes, numbered from 1 to 30. There are two volumes with number 24: '24-I' (roman 1) and '24-II' (roman 2). The first one is the 'regular' alphabetic volume with articles from Собаки (Dogs) to Струна (String). The second one is titled CCCР (USSR), and it is all about the country, its geography, history, science, social life, government bodies, ideology, politics, every one of the 15 Soviet republics, and so on. Volumes 24-I and 24-II are both of full size: 607 and 575 pages respectively. 14:07, 28 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have 3rd edition too, many thanks to my grandfather and grandmother, who subscribed to it 30 years ago. Somehow I managed to forget to include inf. about 24th vol. into the article :-( Thanks to Mikkalai, who fixed this after your notice. Cmapm 23:42, 28 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Azerbaijani Soviet Encyclopedia[edit]

I fill the the original name for the ASE and correct the english translation Azeri to Azerbaijani since it is more suitable. Azeri has a little different meaning which is disputed in fact.--Araks 11:46, 16 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dubious (Damnatio Memoriae)[edit]

If caught possesing an unrevised copy, one could have faced several years of imprisonment.

There could have been no official law saying that, so there is no way to know that "one could have faced" such a thing. From what I know about Soviet reality, it seems unlikely - revisions in party ideology and evaluations of specific political figures changed many times during Soviet history, but nobody was prosecuted for the mere possession of official state-published materials reflecting earlier dogma. I have inherited a copy of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia from my own grandfather, and his copy has the "original" Beria article. He was never imprisoned, as far as I know. :-) -- (talk) 15:16, 1 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removed as dubious and having been marked so since April. If anyone can find any reliable source for this claim, it can be added back, of course.Giovanni33 (talk) 06:57, 1 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Access to encyclopedia[edit]

The series formerly in Ealing Central Library is no longer on general access. Jackiespeel (talk) 19:29, 28 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ukrainian Soviet Encyclopedia[edit]

needs help. Whoever's watching this, please address if you can. Or I'll do it later. -- Y not? 19:33, 9 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Repeated removal of WP:RS[edit]

I cited the source: (Richard Pipes, (1995), Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime, New York: Vintage Books, Random House Inc., ISBN 0-394-50242-6, page 297). Please cite your source.). Please cite your secondary sources if it tells something different, instead of removing content you do not like.Biophys (talk) 03:54, 9 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Repeated removal of a WP:OR invention[edit]

Over the course of several days I reverted your insertions of fabricated statements with unambiguously clear edit summaries like this: [6]. I asked you to read the Great Soviet Encyclopedia before saying that it did not mention Glavlit: the link to the text from the online version discussing the departments of the Soviet government is here [7], where one can see that the GSE clearly talks about Glavlit:

"При Совете Министров СССР имеются (1971) следующие Г. у.: архивное; геодезии и картографии; гидрометеорологической службы; микробиологической промышленности; по иностранному туризму; по охране государственных тайн в печати и др."

Biophys contends that his source for the material is Richard Pipes: [8]:

"I cited my source (Richard Pipes, (1995), Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime, New York: Vintage Books, Random House Inc., ISBN 0-394-50242-6, page 297). Please cite your source."

But the only sourced material from Richard Pipes is his claim that the Great Soviet Encyclopedia said that "The October Revolution put an end to both tsarist and bourgeois censorship." (Obvious from the diff here: [9]) What is being done is the insertion of deliberate WP:OR, which Biophys is obviously aware of. Pipes does not claim that the Great Soviet Encyclopedia does not mention Glavlit (which is false, as any idiot can see from the link indicated above). Is this an attempt to deliberately discredit GSE? It is not a stellar source, obviously, but the effort being made here is to point to it as a lying and propagandistic piece, which is far from a justifiably uncontroversial claim. This is certainly so with the "evidence" Biophys provides in order to perform this maneuver.
So Biophys' insertion and reinsertion of the text is clearly a fabrication in light of my requests that Biophys actually read the GSE and my offers to provide the link in case he is unable to do so. Accordingly, I am again removing the fallacious content he keeps reinserting into the text. PasswordUsername (talk) 02:11, 22 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Can we dial down the heat, please?

The entire content of Encyclopedia was heavily controlled by the Soviet censorship agency Glavlit for consistency with the Communist Party line. However, the Encyclopedia did not even mention the existence of Glavlit. Instead, it asserted:
 {{Quotation2|The October Revolution put an end to both tsarist and bourgeois censorship<ref>Pipes, Richard (1995), Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime, New York: Vintage Books, Random House Inc., ISBN 0-394-50242-6, page 297.</ref>}}

Is the issue that we're saying Pipes does not mention Glavlit? In that case the appropriate action is to tag the Glavlit sentence as requiring a source. It's not question of WP:OR. If a publication is subject to censorship while it claims to end other censorship, that is useful and informative
  Also, while one can infer Glavlit is mentioned in PasswordUsername's passage with reference to the "protection of state secrets," what is stated is only that the function reports to the Council of Ministers. Moreover, there is no statement the GSE is reviewed by those engaged in the "protection of state secrets." Uncivil charges of idiocy are not helpful here. (Vecrumba       TALK 05:22, 22 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Vecrumba, since you are not a Russian speaker, let me point out that there is no inference. The article in question is from the GSE article Glavnoye Upravleniye, a Soviet government department title: as examples of Soviet departments (glavnoye upravleniyes), the GSE cites the Glavnoye Upravleniye po Okhrane Gosudarstvennykh Tayn v Pechati – abbreviated after its original founding name as Glavlit. We do not need tags for things that are demonstrably false. ("Other scientists assert that the Earth is flat. [citation needed]") If the point is to outline the encyclopedia's shortcomings with factual (reliable) sources, that's fine with me. I accept that the GSE had its flaws. I also accept that Western encyclopedias have theirs. If somebody asserts that the GSE is more flawed, that's fine with me. If the point is to demonize the encyclopedia by inventing things that are contrary to reality and compounding it by misrepresenting the sources in order to poison the well in its entirety, then... well, I object utterly and totally. PasswordUsername (talk) 05:53, 22 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, perhaps your reaching out could have merely mentioned your reasoned response here instead of threatening me with Digwuren sanctions, no? And since the article does not utilize the shortened "Galvlit" anywhere, you could have simply indicated as such to avoid confusion or calling Biophys an idiot. Vecrumba       TALK 18:28, 22 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why don't you keep user conversations on user talk pages instead of bringing them here? I did not call Biophys an idiot. I said any idiot can see that GSE mentions Glavlit. Perhaps Biophys did not bother to take a look through the encyclopedia he's talking about – but I had offered to provide him a link three times in a row. The guy still managed to bring in his patently false WP:OR into the article three times, despite my offer to him. You are very well aware of this. PasswordUsername (talk) 20:11, 22 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Look, when you address a response to someone and state "even an idiot" you're denigrating them as even stupider than an idiot, so my characterization regarding you calling Biophys an idiot was generous—please don't split hairs on how you've addressed editors in discourse after (I checked the time stamp) lecturing me on civility.
   Thank you for your explanation regarding "Главное управление в СССР". You can see where the abbreviation "Glavlit" as the group charged with "on the protection of state secrets in the press" (Г. у. по охране государственных тайн в печати) is not mentioned and does require outside knowledge. That still leaves the issue that Glavlit is not mentioned in the GSE as a body censoring the GSE.
   Which brings me back to the original question before we got side-tracked, which hasn't been addressed. Is the problem that Pipes does not mention Glavlit? Vecrumba       TALK 20:28, 22 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, again: I did not call Biophys an idiot. You can read into my post what you want. The problem is that Biophys makes false claims that the GSE does not talk about Glavlit (which *is* mentioned as a government department in the GSE). This essentially gives a distorted view of the scope of the GSE.
Is it from Pipes? Apparently not, despite Biophys assertions that his text is referenced. PasswordUsername (talk) 20:56, 22 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(od) I've entered alternate content for now regarding censorship leaving out the issue of whether the GSE self-mentions censorship by a department of the same organ the GSE reports to (Council of Ministers). I trust you will find that an improvement. (As for civility, not using "idiot" in the first place avoids any miscommunication and misperception, no?) As Pipes is not available online and I don't have it in print, I can't support or dispute what Pipes contends with regard to Glavlit and the GSE. Vecrumba       TALK 21:18, 22 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Communist propaganda[edit]

I added communist propaganda category to this article, but User:PasswordUsername reverted my edit [10]. Great Soviet Encyclopedia was written from a communist viewpoint. It was not any scholarly encyclopedia, but simply propaganda. Your article itself says The Great Soviet Encyclopedia had a strong pro-communist bias. Then why these two categories were removed? BTW I have a reliable source as per wiki guideline which says the purpose of Great Soviet Encyclopedia was propaganda.[11] --Joklolk (talk) 10:31, 4 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Here's another ref to support the inclusion of the cat [12]radek (talk) 11:14, 4 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And here [13]. BTW, even though today the term "propaganda" has a negative connotation, the Soviets (and the Nazis for that matter) did not see it that way and freely admitted that they were engaging in propaganda (i.e. political persuasion).radek (talk) 11:17, 4 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And certainly the editors themselves professed to the mission of inculcation of Soviet thought. VЄСRUМВА  ☎  12:54, 5 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia was certainly biased and presented material in a manner that did not create the impression of conflict with the ideology of the state, but none of this is the same as calling the factual material stated in the encyclopedia a piece of "propaganda." Neither of the refs given by Radeksz actually even attempt to discuss the Soviet encyclopedia as a propagandistic piece -- "Great Soviet Encyclopedia" and propaganda do not even occur in one sentence anywhere in the provided links. Hence, "Great Soviet encyclopedia = communist propaganda" is WP:OR and should be removed. PasswordUsername (talk) 17:54, 5 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

All encyclopedias have their biases. Doesn't this one have some too? I suspect that the GSE's article on Sunflowers was less propagandistic than it's article on Trotsky. I suspect that EB's article on Sunflowers is also less biased than on their spin of the sinking of the Lusitania, or of the Boer war. Dr. Dan (talk) 00:45, 6 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you have refs calling the Great Soviet Encyclopedia a piece of propaganda, it'd be good to see them. Radeksz's references don't claim that, so there's a need for reliable sources – or we get WP:OR. PasswordUsername (talk) 03:07, 6 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
William Benton, based on his interviews with the editors of the GSE, states that the GSE was ordered by the state as a "propaganda weapon." When I have a chance I'll expand the article. For now, the categories return. You will note that the very own statements of the GSE scream propaganda, just avoid that word. VЄСRUМВА  ♪  01:28, 8 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Article expanded. Also, I have to take issue with PasswordUsername's contention "but none of this is the same as calling the factual material stated in the encyclopedia a piece of "'propaganda.'" Propaganda is a combination of content and purpose; there is nothing that says propaganda is not factual—the best propaganda blends fiction, fact, and bias into a seamless unity. No one has ever stated there is not factual material in the GSE, let's not put words in other editors' mouths. That there is factual material in the GSE does not make the GSE "not propaganda." VЄСRUМВА  ♪  17:17, 8 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
An example of propaganda would be the Programme of the CPSU or a speech during an election campaign. Contributors to the encyclopedia have the highest academic credentials, making it impossible to characterize the encyclopedia as propaganda. Just a few of the thousands of contributors include: S.S. Ginzburg, doctor of art history; E. Aleksandrova, doctor of chemical sciences; A. Aganbegian, member of the Academy of Sciences; I. Braginsky, member of the Academy of Sciences of the Tadzhik SSR.Kravavi (talk) 02:32, 25 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are -- or were, at least -- elements of propaganda and/or bias in it. I read an article about Catholicism in the copy we had at the James Branch Cabell Library at VCU in Richmond, and right after stating the official number of catholics in the world, it added in parentheses: "obviously exaggerated". Kinda funny, I think. (talk) 04:02, 27 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Errors in the English translation[edit]

Years ago I had the opportunity to read the English translation at a university library (see, It was amusing to observe that the article on Boston, Massachusetts (where I lived at the time) showed a picture of the "State Bank" near a paragraph indicating Boston's importance as a financial center. The picture was actually of the 225 Franklin Street building of the State Street Bank and Trust, which is a private bank, not a "State" bank (gosbank) at all.

Finding errors in an encyclopedia is something that stirs the heart of anyone who has done even the least bit of work on Wikipedia. There must have been other curious errors of that sort, as the Great Soviet encyclopedia is huge and I viewed only a small part of it. I believe that a gold mine of errors awaits someone with access and with the gumption to wade through the English translation. A small list of errors could be a fine addition to this article. The research involved wouldn't be tremendously original, would it? Snezzy (talk) 17:00, 4 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The article misinforms[edit]

  • The article is USA-oriented, it informs only about the anti-US bias of the Encyclopedia. In fact many nations, people, ideologies and events were attacked or concealed.
  • Different bias of the three editions should be explained.

Xx236 (talk) 07:29, 4 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • having a strong Marxist bias - the GSE has a strong Soviet bias. A Marxist bias understood as direct usage of Marx' ideology is anti-Soviet. You aren't allowed to use the theory by yourself, you have to obey the recent Party line. Xx236 (talk) 08:33, 4 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Every aspect of Soviet life is systematically presented, including history, economics, science, art, and culture - obviously false, Soviet crimes and errors aren't presented at all or their descriptions are fabricated.Xx236 (talk) 08:38, 4 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Informations about censorship have been removed.Xx236 (talk) 09:02, 4 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, the US was a prime target of Soviet anti-Western agitation. That would be reflected in historical and political accounts; science and art, on the other hand, would likely be less tainted by political concerns. This is not supposition, this is from the editors of the GSE themselves. The GSE certainly isn't going to cover the underbelly of the USSR when its mission includes extolling the virtues of Marxist-Soviet life. I really don't understand exactly what your problems are here with content which has been stable for quite some time. VєсrumЬаTALK
  • Even if the US was a prime target I don't see any reason to ignore other targets. The article says "Overall, some entries indicate an anti-American bias" which is biased, maybe "Overall, some entries indicate an anti-Western, mostly anti-American, bias" would be better. The source is demanded.Xx236 (talk) 08:21, 5 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Would you please explain me the connection between stability and quality in this Wikipedia? What is your source? An article can be stable because noone is interested or it's dominated by some kind of bias and the opponents are terrorised or banned. Here any mention of Soviet censorship of the Wikipedia hes been removed and surprisingly the authors of the removed edits are happy. I bet that an average contemporary reader doesn't have any idea about the logic of creating and censoring GSE and succh logic is different than in "capitalistic" societies.Xx236 (talk) 08:07, 5 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • You have included long quotes. As far as I understand we should write rather than quote.

Xx236 (talk) 08:08, 5 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am also concerned with the addition of a criticism section which reads as follows:

Basic Library Research Skills - Evaluating Reference Sources of the Southern Utah University gives an example of a biased and outdated source - the GSE article "American aggression in Vietnam": [17]

Aside from the fact this looks like a high-school homework assignment, rather than sober criticism by experts, are we really serious that we have US critics analyse a Soviet encyclopaedia on the merits of the coverage of a war the US conducted? Is this a new definition of an impartial, NPOV source? Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 04:00, 5 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
With all dues respect I have the impression that the Southern Utah University is a university. The Guide is used, it's linked from Xx236 (talk) 09:32, 5 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am highly concerned with the level of this article. Xx236 (talk) 08:07, 5 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Are we really serious that we accept Soviet coverage of anything without explaining the context?

Xx236 (talk) 08:57, 5 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is the University of Arizona a university?
...someone studying Stalinist culture might use the GSE as a primary source (as a product of the culture)...
  • It's rather about the 2nd edition of GSE.
  • If I'm crazy there are at least few brothers in insanity around the world.

Some foreigners believe that US (in fact sometimes Canadian) TV series are a source describing the life in the USA and don't accept the real USA. The same the GSE presents the life in the SU and the outside world. A number of forigners emigrated to the SU and died young there or were exported as spies (it's better to construct the communism in the USA than in Siberia). Xx236 (talk) 08:45, 5 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Congratulations that you understand that Southern Utah University is a university. Same goes for understanding that the University of Arizona is also a university. This is great. With that out of the way, please also understand that the assignment from the university website looks very simplistic. The level of the assignment is that of a high-school and looks simple as if made for newbies. That is all. Universities sometimes try to teach high-school students as well as university students as part of their educational mandate. This assignment looks simple. Therefore its level is not very high, even though it is hosted by the website of a university. I hope you understand now what I was trying to tell you. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 09:33, 5 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What kind of education do you need to understand the difference between right and wrong? A university rareley helps people who lack conscience.
The low level of US Sovietology remains a mistery to me and many Poles. We, victims of the Soviet system, hoped that the free world understood us and documented Soviet crimes.
I understand the difference between a reviewed paper and a manual for entry level students. Where are the serious reviewed papers about the Soviet Union, eg. about the GSE? Xx236 (talk) 13:46, 5 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There was a discussion in 2009

One of the editors was a sock puppet of Jacob Peters and has been blocked indefinitely, the same as Jacob Peters himself.Xx236 (talk) 09:11, 5 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Who cares if someone was a sockpuppet? Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 09:33, 5 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition informs about many critics (Notable commentaries on the Eleventh Edition) and today opinions, this article doesn't.Xx236 (talk) 09:25, 5 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

To all lovers of the GSE: "С построением социалистического общества в СССР Голод и массовое недоедание полностью ликвидированы." Xx236 (talk) 13:38, 5 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Can you please avoid characterisations like "lovers of the GSE"? Thank you. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 00:50, 6 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm sorry but I don't understand you. I have addressed "lovers of the GSE". Why do you claim that I meant you? Xx236 (talk) 07:27, 9 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Evaluation of Reference Services edited by Bill Katz and Ruth A. Fraley[edit]

GSE interprets events from a Communist viewpoint. 
The silent supression of alternative viewpoints or interpretations constitutes bias.

Xx236 (talk) 08:31, 5 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Pot shots (pro or not pro GSE) are not encyclopedic content[edit]

"Basic Library Research Skills - Evaluating Reference Sources of the Southern Utah University gives an example of a biased and outdated source - the GSE article "American aggression in Vietnam": [17]"
This is really an unencyclopedic inclusion for a criticism section.
@Xx236, no one would accuse me of being pro-Soviet, so consider that you confuse what the GSE is described by its editors as to its intentions versus it not being complete because it doesn't document the Soviet underbelly. The article as it stood did not indicate that that the GSE was unbiased. VєсrumЬаTALK 19:16, 5 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Any article should use academic sources rather than advertising: a car, CD, monument. what the GSE is described by its editors is advertising.
I have written Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition informs about many critics (Notable commentaries on the Eleventh Edition) and today opinions, this article doesn't. Why another standards exists for the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition than for the Great Soviet Encyclopedia?
The article as it stood did not indicate that that the GSE was unbiased. - you assume that the reder has unfinite knowledge - but such reader doesn't need any Wikipedia. Wikipedia articles are written for readers, who want to get informations. And the informations are - there is something which is called an encyclopedia, it looks like an encyclopedia so it's probably a reliable source of the quality comparable with EB or Wikipedia. In my opinion both EB 11 and the GSE are primary sources and the reader has to know the culture of the 1911 USA or due period of Soviet history respectively to understand many articles. And the culture of the 1911 USA is quite popular due to the movies and books, the real image of the SU or reading "between the lines" isn't.

Xx236 (talk) 07:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yeah, I removed that section altogether. I haven't read the article yet to form an opinion on the rest of the dispute. BTW comments like "To all Lovers of the GSE", if they continue by the other editor, they will be reported. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 00:36, 6 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
THe Encyclopedia is extremely biased and should be read with extreme caution. Any edition has specific logic. Xx236 (talk) 08:30, 11 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

To this and above section and POV tag[edit]

There's no good reason for the POV tag. My original expansions of the article as to what the GSE has stated within itself and what its editors have stated were probably sufficient regarding the GSE promoting the Soviet way. There's no dispute that history served politics in Soviet life and as reflected in Soviet reference works, and that the GSE is not reliable for versions of history created to serve the aims of the Soviet regime. I've reviewed the article and don't see any blatant alleged "pot shots" and am removing the tag. VєсrumЬаTALK 14:04, 13 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The problem is the tone. The source repeatedly cited is very difficult to verify due to how vague it is, and the claim that because it serves the country or ideology it must be a propqganda outlet is odd. Many media claim to serve democracy, and Voice of America claims to be in the interest of the United States. Not as big a deal as you'd think. Bataaf van Oranje (talk) 08:48, 15 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are plenty of sources describing the Soviet Union - the total censorship, the Party control over everything. Please read and discuss later. BTW - you don't speak Russian according to your User page.
The Voice of America was jammed in Communist countries.
The VoA was so boring that only few people listened to it, mostly jazz by Willis Conover. What is the connection between jammmed radio propaganda and the main Soviet encyclopedia used by millions of students who didn't have access to any independent source? Xx236 (talk) 08:15, 31 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • Why these specific editors are listed?
  • Three of them have been murdered and their biographies edited describing them as criminals. Were their biographies available to the readers?Xx236 (talk) 06:43, 12 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Other Soviet encyclopedias[edit]

The table should inform about Attempts and Editions.Xx236 (talk) 08:28, 11 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The GSE is one of ...[edit]

Was the GSE one or rather three? The infobox misinforms.Xx236 (talk) 08:37, 11 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Role and purpose in Soviet society[edit]

The section informs about the 2nd and 3rd editions, nothing about the 1st one.Xx236 (talk) 06:42, 12 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Operating on Marxist-Leninist theory - 1949[edit]

There was no Marxist-Leninist theory in 1949, only the Stalinist one.Xx236 (talk) 08:29, 31 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Marxism–Leninism doesn't discuss the problem, it describes the period. The standard propaganda poster of that times presented Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, so at least Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism.
Works by Marx, Engels and even Lenin were censored and replaced by Stalin's primitive texts. You won't find serious Marxism in the GSE under Stalin (if ever). The History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks) was learned by heart by tens of millions. Xx236 (talk) 06:21, 1 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Communists always cliamed they followed Marxism-something... but they followed Soviet indoctrination learned in Party/Comintern schools.Xx236 (talk) 06:23, 1 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Marxist-Leninist theory" is Stalinism, because the term "Marxism-Leninism" originated with Joseph Stalin. Benjamin5152414 (talk) 16:06, 11 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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"Great Soviet Encylopaedia" listed at Redirects for discussion[edit]


An editor has asked for a discussion to address the redirect Great Soviet Encylopaedia. Please participate in the redirect discussion if you wish to do so. Regards, SONIC678 15:15, 15 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]