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.
Provides a cross-disciplinary understanding of early Soviet history that illustrates a central role that science came to play in the culture and society of post-revolutionary Russia - Opens up new directions for research and analysis in more than one field, including the history of science, cultural studies, the history of medicine, the history of Russia, and literary studies - Based to a large extent on previously unknown archival materials - Brings together the history of biomedical research and science fiction, analyzing why and how scientific knowledge is transformed into a powerful cultural resource, as well as different uses of this resource by a variety of interest groups
A comprehensive history of how the conflicts and balances of power in the Maoist revolutionary campaigns from 1951 to 1979 complicated and diversified the meanings of films, this book offers a discursive study of the development of early PRC cinema.
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.
Readings on the Russian Revolution brings together 15 important post-Cold War writings on the history of the Russian Revolution. It is structured in such a way as to highlight key debates in the field and contrasting methodological approaches to the Revolution in order to help readers better understand the issues and interpretative fault lines that exist in this contested area of history. The book opens with an original introduction which provides essential background and vital context for the pieces that follow. The volume is then structured around four parts – 'Actors, Language, Symbols', 'War, Revolution, and the State', 'Revolutionary Dreams and Identities' and 'Outcomes and Impacts' – that explore the beginnings, events and outcomes of the Russian Revolution, as well as examinations of central figures, critical topics and major historiographical battlegrounds. Melissa Stockdale also provides translations of two crucial Russian-language works, published here in English for the first time, and includes useful pedagogical features such as a glossary, chronology, and thematic bibliography to further aid study. Readings on the Russian Revolution is an essential collection for anyone studying the Russian Revolution.
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.
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.
The Ottoman revolution of 1908 is a study in contradictions—a positive manifestation of modernity intended to reinstate constitutional rule, yet ultimately a negative event that shook the fundamental structures of the empire, opening up ethnic, religious, and political conflicts. Shattered Dreams of Revolution considers this revolutionary event to tell the stories of three important groups: Arabs, Armenians, and Jews. The revolution raised these groups' expectations for new opportunities of inclusion and citizenship. But as post-revolutionary festivities ended, these euphoric feelings soon turned to pessimism and a dramatic rise in ethnic tensions. The undoing of the revolutionary dreams could be found in the very foundations of the revolution itself. Inherent ambiguities and contradictions in the revolution's goals and the reluctance of both the authors of the revolution and the empire's ethnic groups to come to a compromise regarding the new political framework of the empire ultimately proved untenable. The revolutionaries had never been wholeheartedly committed to constitutionalism, thus constitutionalism failed to create a new understanding of Ottoman citizenship, grant equal rights to all citizens, and bring them under one roof in a legislative assembly. Today as the Middle East experiences another set of revolutions, these early lessons of the Ottoman Empire, of unfulfilled expectations and ensuing discontent, still provide important insights into the contradictions of hope and disillusion seemingly inherent in revolution.
One day in 1698, Robert Pyle of Pennsylvania decided to buy a black slave. The next night he dreamed of a steep ladder to heaven that he felt he could not climb because he carried a black pot. In the dream, a man told him the ladder was the light of Jesus Christ and would bear any whose faith held strong; otherwise, the climber would fall. Pyle woke that morning positive that he should eschew slaves and slavery, having equated the pot with the slave he wished to buy. In fact, so acutely did this dream awaken him to his sins that he became a dynamic advocate of liberation. This dream literally changed his outlook and his life. Teach Me Dreams delves into the dream world of ordinary Americans and finds that as their self-perception increased, transforming them on a personal level, so did a revolutionary spirit that wrought momentous political changes. Mechal Sobel considers dreams recorded in the life narratives of 100 people, revealing the America of the Revolutionary Era to have been a truly dream-infused culture in which analysis of dreams was encouraged, and subsequent personal reevaluation was striking. Sobel uses a wealth of information--letters, diaries, and over 200 published autobiographies from a wide range of "ordinary" people; black, white, male, female. In these accounts, many previously neglected by historians, dreamers explain how their nighttime adventures opened their eyes to aspects of themselves, or unveiled new paths they should take both personally and politically. Such paths often led them to challenge those in power. Charting the widely dreamed of opposition between blacks and whites, men and women, Sobel offers astounding new insights into how early Americans understood their lives. Her analysis of the dreams and lives of ordinary Revolutionary-Era people demonstrates links between dreaming, self reevaluation, and participation in the radically changing politics of the time. This book will appeal to specialists in the fields of American and African-American history, and anyone interested in dreams and self-development.