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.
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James von Geldern is Assistant Professor in the Department of German and Russian at Macalester College.
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Book Description University of California Press, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110520076907