Mass Culture in Soviet Russia

Mass Culture in Soviet Russia

Tales, Poems, Songs, Movies, Plays, and Folklore, 1917–1953
Edited by James von Geldern and Richard Stites
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 12/22/1995
Format: Paperback 78 b&w photos
ISBN: 978-0-253-20969-6
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Description

This anthology offers a rich array of documents, short fiction, poems, songs, plays, movie scripts, comic routines, and folklore to offer a close look at the mass culture that was consumed by millions in Soviet Russia between 1917 and 1953. Both state-sponsored cultural forms and the unofficial culture that flourished beneath the surface are represented. The focus is on the entertainment genres that both shaped and reflected the social, political, and personal values of the regime and the masses. The period covered encompasses the Russian Revolution and Civil War, the mixed economy and culture of the 1920s, the tightly controlled Stalinist 1930s, the looser atmosphere of the Great Patriotic War, and the postwar era ending with the death of Stalin. Much of the material appears here in English for the first time.

A companion 45-minute audio tape (ISBN 0-253-32911-6) features contemporaneous performances of fifteen popular songs of the time, with such favorites as "Bublichki," "The Blue Kerchief," and "Katyusha." Russian texts of the songs are included in the book.

Reviews

““. . . a substantial and enlightening compendium of Russian culture from the Soviet era.” —Canadian Slavonic Papers “. . . an unique collection of translations that should be on the bookshelf of everyone interested in the Soviet Union. . . . I especially recommend it for use in the classroom . . .This volume is a valuable addition to our field.” —Slavic and East European Journal “This imaginative anthology will give the study of Soviet culture a definite boost and may even raise its profile in university courses. The editors should be congratulated for having unearthed so much fascinating material.” —Slavonica “This volume samples Russian popular culture from the Revolution to the death of Stalin. Here can be found tales of loyal comrades and self-sacrificing patriots, paeans to industrialization and hard work, subversive jokes and even the occasional bit of (politically charged) humor . . . ” —Washington Post Book World “. . . this very useful book makes an important contribution to a long-neglected field.” —The Russian Review “This volume is like a dream come true . . . this book is a must for scholars with an interest in Russian cultural history and a unique and stimulating teaching aid for students. The editors are to be congratulated on a fine and original achievement.” —The Slavonic Review “This massive collection of nearly 500 pages paints a fascinating picture of the propaganda, entertainment, attitudes, reactions—indeed the life blood—of the masses during the Soviet regime. . . . superb . . .” —Journal of American Culture This anthology offers a rich array of documents, short fiction, poems, songs, plays, movie scripts, comic routines, and folklore to offer a close look at the mass culture that was consumed by millions in Soviet Russia between 1917 and 1953.”

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