The Giant of Propaganda, or Stalin’s Rhetoric

2021. № 3, 91-103

Raisa I. Rozina

Vinogradov Russian Language Institute (Russian Academy of Sciences), Russian State University for Humanities (Russia, Moscow)


The article addresses the question of which methods Stalin used to infl uence his audience. The author argues that an essential role in manipulating his readers and listeners was in the fi rst place played by clear text organization. Each text was segmented into the introductory part, where all the talking points were enumerated, the main part, in which the talking points given in the introduction were extended, and the conclusion, in which the same talking points were listed again, now as a summary of the ideas discussed in the main part. An important role was played by various ways Stalin used to simplify the text. One example is an almost obligatory indication of how many talking points were going to be considered, along with a very simple sentence syntax and a rigid relationship between sentences within each paragraph, based on the repetition of the last word of the preceding sentence at the beginning of the following one. Besides, Stalin often used such methods of keeping the reader’s or listener’s attention active as rhetorical questions and question-answer sequences imitating the reader’s or listener’s engagement in the discussion, though the answer to the question was supplied by Stalin himself. The author argues that the logics of Stalin’s texts just seems impeccable. The impression of logical consistency, clarity and validity of reasoning is produced by a clear text organization and its simplicity.

For citation:

Rozina R. I. The Giant of Propaganda, or Stalin’s Rhetoric. Russian Speech = Russkaya Rech’. 2021. No. 3. Pp. 91–103. DOI: 10.31857/ S013161170015456-0.