I would have preferred to get Russian-language readings, but have yet to come across a Russian-language textbook from the Stalin years. (I found this book in a Russian second-hand bookshop in Paris in 1978 or 1979.) Since these readings are in a foreign language, they are presumably simpler than what 7th graders would be expected to read in Russian.
Most of the textbook is non-political grammar and exercises, of no particular social or historical interest.
I was tempted to retitle the book, English: The Language of Imperialism. Note that every single reading about the English-speaking countries portrays them as hellholes. The readings from Soviet life, naturally, portray a happy and harmonious society.
I do not know how many Soviet 7th-graders were studying English when this book came out in the early 1950s. If anyone knows (especially if they have a link to suggest), I would appreciate hearing about it.
|(Actual Russian title info)
Ob"yasnenie russkoj azbuki vospolzuemoj zdes'
|English: Uchebnik Anglijskogo Yazyka dlya 7-go Klassa Semiletnej i Srednej Shkoly (izdanie tret'e)||English: A Textbook of the English Language for the 7th Grade in 7-year and Secondary Schools (third edition)|
|Utverzhdeno Ministerstvom prosveshcheniya RSFSR,||Confirmed by the Ministry of Education of the RSFSR|
|Gosudarstvennoe Uchebno-Pedagogichecheskoe Izdatel'stvo Ministerstvo Prosveshcheniya RSFSR
State Textbook and Pedagogical Publishers of the Ministry of Education of the RSFSR
|7||Study as Lenin studied!|
|14||Who Is Speaking?||School avoidance might be OK in capitalist countries, but not elsewhere.|
|17||The Sun and the Wind||non-political Aesop fable|
|19||The Sun, the Frost, and the Wind (Part 1)||non-political Russian fable|
|21||Plans for Sunday|
|25||The Sun, the Frost, the Wind, (Part 2)|
|30||Our Country, the USSR|
|32||With His Own Hands||Children discuss the Five-Year Plan|
|34||The Blind Toy-Maker (Part 1)||Crushing poverty in capitalist England|
|37||Tom, the Little Chimney Sweep||More poverty in capitalist England|
The somewhat backward author Charles Kingsley benefits from progressive editing.
|39||The Blind Toy-Maker (Part 2)|
|42||The Arrow and the Song||non-political poem by H.W. Longfellow|
|45||Alexander Matrosov||a hero of the Great Patriotic War|
|53||White and Black (Part 1)||Racist oppression in the US South|
|56||Eliza Runs Away with Harry (Part 1)||Slavery in the US South (from Uncle Tom's Cabin)|
|58||White and Black (Part 2)||Racist oppression in the US South|
|60||Eliza Runs Away with Harry (Part 2)||Slavery in the US South (from Uncle Tom's Cabin)|
|63||Have You Been to Moscow|
|67||Soviet National Anthem||Aleksandrov-Mikhalkov "Hymn of the Soviet Union"|
|69||A Visit (Part 1)||By a Soviet child to a friend|
|72||A Visit (Part 2)||By a Soviet child to a friend|
|82||My Aunt Lena||Crushing poverty of immigrants in the USA|
|85||Androcles and the Lion||Non-political fable|
|88||The Fisherman and the Little Fish||Non-political fable|
|90||The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing||Be vigilant, Comrades!|
|92||The Farmer and the Stork||Be vigilant, Comrades!|
|102||The Nightingale||Fiction: A boy-hero in the Great Patriotic War|