Catalogue


Bolshevik festivals, 1917-1920 /
James von Geldern.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1993.
description
xiv, 316 p. : ill.
ISBN
0520076907 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1993.
isbn
0520076907 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
3244895
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1993-11:
Starvation and death stalked the land, but the Bolsheviks spared no expenses to put on street spectaculars and historical shows. The author correctly points out that the Bolsheviks, lacking legitimacy among the living, looked for it among the dead: from Spartacus to Spartacists, from the French Revolutionaries to Paris Communards. The re-creation of the "storming" of the Winter Palace, which never really happened, was a Bolshevik favorite. This blatant myth-making only lasted through the regime's early years. The shows never really worked as intended and Stalin, once in power, having set other priorities, and having other ideas about the legitimacy of the country, put an end to the festivals. The work in some ways updates Ren'e F"ul"op-Miller's The Mind and Face of Bolshevism (1927). The book is well researched and footnoted and contains a thorough bibliography. Recommended. Undergraduate; graduate; faculty. A. Ezergailis; Ithaca College
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This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 1993
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Summaries
Long Description
In the early years of the USSR, socialist festivals--events entailing enormous expense and the deployment of thousands of people--were inaugurated by the Bolsheviks. Avant-garde canvases decorated the streets, workers marched, and elaborate mass spectacles were staged. Why, with a civil war raging and an economy in ruins, did the regime sponsor such spectacles? In this first comprehensive investigation of the way festivals helped build a new political culture, James von Geldern examines the mass spectacles that captured the Bolsheviks' historical vision. Spectacle directors borrowed from a tradition that included tsarist pomp, avant-garde theater, and popular celebrations. They transformed the ideology of revolution into a mythologized sequence of events that provided new foundations for the Bolsheviks' claim to power.
Unpaid Annotation
In the early years of the USSR, socialist festivals--events entailing enormous expense and the deployment of thousands of people--were inaugurated by the Bolsheviks. Avant-garde canvases decorated the streets, workers marched, and elaborate mass spectacles were staged. Why, with a civil war raging and an economy in ruins, did the regime sponsor such spectacles?In this first comprehensive investigation of the way festivals helped build a new political culture, James von Geldern examines the mass spectacles that captured the Bolsheviks' historical vision. Spectacle directors borrowed from a tradition that included tsarist pomp, avant-garde theater, and popular celebrations. They transformed the ideology of revolution into a mythologized sequence of events that provided new foundations for the Bolsheviks' claim to power.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introductionp. 1
The Precursors: Tsars, Socialists, and Poetsp. 15
Revolution and Festivityp. 40
The Politics of Meaning and Stylep. 72
New Uses for Popular Culturep. 103
Transformation by Festival: Mass Festivals as Performancep. 134
Marking the Center: Festivals and Legitimacyp. 175
Epiloguep. 208
List of Abbreviationsp. 221
Notesp. 223
Bibliographyp. 259
Indexp. 305
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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