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📒Revolutionary Dreams ✍ Richard Stites
📝Revolutionary Dreams Book Synopsis : The revolutionary ideals of equality, communal living, proletarian morality, and technology worship, rooted in Russian utopianism, generated a range of social experiments which found expression, in the first decade of the Russian revolution, in festival, symbol, science fiction, city planning, and the arts. In this study, historian Richard Stites offers a vivid portrayal of revolutionary life and the cultural factors--myth, ritual, cult, and symbol--that sustained it, and describes the principal forms of utopian thinking and experimental impulse. Analyzing the inevitable clash between the authoritarian elements in the Bolshevik's vision and the libertarian behavior and aspirations of large segments of the population, Stites interprets the pathos of utopian fantasy as the key to the emotional force of the Bolshevik revolution which gave way in the early 1930s to bureaucratic state centralism and a theology of Stalinism.
📒The Coup ✍ Mustapha Matura
📝The Coup Book Synopsis : "The most perceptive and humane of Black dramatists writing in Britain" (New Statesman) Mustapha Matura's farcical, fictional coup, set in an independent Trinidad and Tobago, swings with the fluid language and magical lyricism of the Caribbean and explores the chimerical quality of nationhood where foreign money overpowers dreams.
📒Sublime Dreams Of Living Machines ✍ Minsoo Kang
📝Sublime Dreams of Living Machines Book Synopsis : Kang’s central contention is that the automaton, a machine that can move by itself (better known today as the robot), is one of the essential ideas with which people in the West have pondered the very nature of humanity itself. In Kang’s telling, automata are mirrors of the ideas, fears, and anxieties of a given era, in that attitudes towards the machines have always been indicative of a moment’s zeitgeist. The book is historically sweeping, but not comprehensive; the focus is on what Kang takes to be key changes in the representations of and responses to automata. His main interest is on how Europeans in different periods of the past thought about the very notion of a self-moving machine that acted as if it were alive and how they used it for various symbolic and intellectual purposes.
📒Iconography Of Power ✍ Victoria E. Bonnell
📝Iconography of Power Book Synopsis : Masters at visual propaganda, the Bolsheviks produced thousands of vivid and compelling posters after they seized power in October 1917. Intended for a semi-literate population that was accustomed to the rich visual legacy of the Russian autocracy and the Orthodox Church, political posters came to occupy a central place in the regime's effort to imprint itself on the hearts and minds of the people and to remold them into the new Soviet women and men. In this first sociological study of Soviet political posters, Victoria Bonnell analyzes the shifts that took place in the images, messages, styles, and functions of political art from 1917 to 1953. Everyone who lived in Russia after the October revolution had some familiarity with stock images of the male worker, the great communist leaders, the collective farm woman, the capitalist, and others. These were the new icons' standardized images that depicted Bolshevik heroes and their adversaries in accordance with a fixed pattern. Like other "invented traditions" of the modern age, iconographic images in propaganda art were relentlessly repeated, bringing together Bolshevik ideology and traditional mythologies of pre-Revolutionary Russia. Symbols and emblems featured in Soviet posters of the Civil War and the 1920s gave visual meaning to the Bolshevik worldview dominated by the concept of class. Beginning in the 1930s, visual propaganda became more prescriptive, providing models for the appearance, demeanor, and conduct of the new social types, both positive and negative. Political art also conveyed important messages about the sacred center of the regime which evolved during the 1930s from the celebration of the heroic proletariat to the deification of Stalin. Treating propaganda images as part of a particular visual language, Bonnell shows how people "read" them—relying on their habits of seeing and interpreting folk, religious, commercial, and political art (both before and after 1917) as well as the fine art traditions of Russia and the West. Drawing on monumental sculpture and holiday displays as well as posters, the study traces the way Soviet propaganda art shaped the mentality of the Russian people (the legacy is present even today) and was itself shaped by popular attitudes and assumptions. Iconography of Power includes posters dating from the final decades of the old regime to the death of Stalin, located by the author in Russian, American, and English libraries and archives. One hundred exceptionally striking posters are reproduced in the book, many of them never before published. Bonnell places these posters in a historical context and provides a provocative account of the evolution of the visual discourse on power in Soviet Russia.
📒Beyond Revolutionary Dreams Essays In Memory Of Richard Stites ✍ Sandra Pujals
📝Beyond Revolutionary Dreams Essays in Memory of Richard Stites Book Synopsis :
📒Passion And Perception ✍ Richard Stites
📝Passion and Perception Book Synopsis : This collection of "Stitesiana" includes 29 essays on Russian culture, representing the bulk of 20 years of scholarship, in addition to well-known monographs and diverse pieces in popular magazines.
📒Political Religion Beyond Totalitarianism ✍ J. Augusteijn
📝Political Religion Beyond Totalitarianism Book Synopsis : The success of fascist and communist regimes has long been explained by their ability to turn political ideology into a type of religion. These innovative essays explore the notion that all forms of modern mass-politics, including democracies, need a form of sacralization to function.
📒The Life And Times Of Mexico ✍ Earl Shorris
📝The Life and Times of Mexico Book Synopsis : A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year. "A work of scope and profound insight into the divided soul of Mexico." —History Today The Life and Times of Mexico is a grand narrative driven by 3,000 years of history: the Indian world, the Spanish invasion, Independence, the 1910 Revolution, the tragic lives of workers in assembly plants along the border, and the experiences of millions of Mexicans who live in the United States. Mexico is seen here as if it were a person, but in the Aztec way; the mind, the heart, the winds of life; and on every page there are portraits and stories: artists, shamans, teachers, a young Maya political leader; the rich few and the many poor. Earl Shorris is ingenious at finding ways to tell this story: prostitutes in the Plaza Loreto launch the discussion of economics; we are taken inside two crucial elections as Mexico struggles toward democracy; we watch the creation of a popular "telenovela" and meet the country's greatest living intellectual. The result is a work of magnificent scope and profound insight into the divided soul of Mexico.
📒Party Music ✍ Rickey Vincent
📝Party Music Book Synopsis : Party Music explores the culture and politics of the Black Power era of the late 1960s, when the rise of a black militant movement also gave rise to a “Black Awakening” in the arts--and especially in music. Here Rickey Vincent, the award-winning author of Funk, explores the relationship of soul music to the Black Power movement from the vantage point of the musicians and black revolutionaries themselves. Party Music introduces readers to the Black Panther's own band, the Lumpen, a group comprised of rank-and-file members of the Oakland, California-based Party. During their year-long tenure, the Lumpen produced hard-driving rhythm-and-blues that asserted the revolutionary ideology of the Black Panthers. Through his rediscovery of the Lumpen, and based on new interviews with Party and band members, Vincent provides an insider's account of black power politics and soul music aesthetics in an original narrative that reveals more detail about the Black Revolution than ever before. Rickey Vincent is the author of Funk: The Music, The People, and the Rhythm of the One, and has written for the Washington Post, American Legacy, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. He teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.
📒Popular Perceptions Of Soviet Politics In The 1920s ✍ O. Velikanova
📝Popular Perceptions of Soviet Politics in the 1920s Book Synopsis : This is the first study of popular opinions in Soviet society in the 1920s. These voices which made the Russian revolution characterize reactions to mobilization politics: patriotic militarizing campaigns, the tenth anniversary of the revolution and state attempts to unite the nation around a new Soviet identity.