Th[e] rhetoric of class...was not marxist [sic] in a doctrinally pure sense: rather than differentiate social classes carefully, it played on the deeply rooted idiom in popular culture that pitted "those at the bottom" (nizy
) against "those at the top" (verkhi).
However, it also focused on a basic dichotomy of Russian culture--between vlast" and narod, "them" and "us," verkhi and nizy
. The rossiiskii empire and its Europeanized elite stood in a conflictual relationship with the way of life of the russkii people.
Other categories are available but are not considered, such as nizy
He does not really show how the verbal consensus that both he and Melancon describe fits in with his earlier thesis of extreme alienation between nizy
and verkhi, because henever clearly sets out this thesis in the book under review (perhaps assuming, wrongly, that we have all read and accurately remember his 1964-65 articles).
At times, the nizy
, and their growing dissatisfaction with Khrushchev, are accorded real influence, but at others it is claimed--more convincingly--that the authorities ignored all but the most "anti-Soviet" opposition and pushed on regardless with their planned policies.