The USSR is often regarded as the world's first propaganda state. Particularly under Stalin, politically charged rhetoric and imagery dominated the press, schools, and cultural forums from literature and cinema to the fine arts. Yet party propagandists were repeatedly frustrated in their efforts to promote a coherent sense of "Soviet" identity during the interwar years. This book investigates this failure to mobilize society along communist lines by probing the secrets of the party's ideological establishment and indoctrinational system. An expose of systemic failure within Stalin's ideological establishment, Propaganda State in Crisis ultimately rewrites the history of Soviet indoctrination and mass mobilization between 1927 and 1941.