Absurdly claiming to rule with a special mandate from the working class, the totalitarian state prescribed a comprehensive set of obligatory views in virtually all spheres of thought, political and non-political. It demanded the citizens' total allegiance, compelling affirmations and postures of assent by an elaborate system of rewards, and by penalties ranging from intensive exhortation to summary execution. In the privacy of their hearts few individuals can have wholeheartely assented - especially in recent years - to the officially sanctified dogma. But public respect for its doxology and catchwords remained indispensable for those seeking to pursue most Soviet careers. Within Soviet historiology the policy of thought control was applied with particular severity. It was especially stringent in its impact on the history of Russia, as opposed to other lands, much Russia history being treated as a state secret.
- From Russia: A Concise History by Ronald Hingley