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NEH Institute: Cold War Culture and Technology
War, Revolution, and Empire: U.S.-Russian/Soviet Relations, 1776-Present
JSTOR contains the full-text of articles from core journals in several academic disciplines, including history. Coverage is from each journal's first issue and continues through 2-5 years from the most recently published issues.
In the tumultuous years after the revolution of 1917, the traditional cutlure of Imperial Russia was both destroyed and preserved, as a new Soviet culture began to take shape. This book focuses on the interaction between the emerging political and cultural policies of the Soviet regime and the deeply held traditional values of the worker and peasant masses.
Originally published in 1985, By the Bomb's Early Light is the first book to explore the cultural 'fallout' in America during the early years of the atomic age. Paul Boyer argues that the major aspects of the long-running debates about nuclear armament and disarmament developed and took shape soon after the bombing of Hiroshima.
This highly acclaimed study approaches the space race as a problem in comparative public policy. Drawing on published literature, archival sources in both the United States and Europe, interviews with many of the key participants, and important declassified material, such as the National Security Council's first policy paper on space, McDougall examines U.S., European, and Soviet space programs and their politics. Opening with a short account of Nikolai Kibalchich, a late nineteenth-century Russian rocketry theoretician, McDougall argues that the Soviet Union made its way into space first because it was the world's first "technocracy"-which he defines as "the institutionalization of technological change for state purpose."
The launch of the Sputnik satellite in October 1957 changed the course of human history. In the span of a few years, Soviets sent the first animal into space, the first man, and the first woman. These events were a direct challenge to the United States and the capitalist model that claimed ownership of scientific aspiration and achievement. The success of the space program captured the hopes and dreams of nearly every Soviet citizen and became a critical cultural vehicle in the country's emergence from Stalinism and the devastation of World War II. It also proved to be an invaluable tool in a worldwide propaganda campaign for socialism, a political system that could now seemingly accomplish anything it set its mind to.
Mass festivals were a trademark of twentieth-century authoritarianism, as seen in fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, and elsewhere. But nowhere was this phenomenon more prevalent than in the Soviet Union. Despite being a dominant feature of Soviet culture, these public spectacles have been largely overlooked as objects of study by historians. Originally published in German, Malte Rolf's highly acclaimed work examines the creation and perpetuation of large-scale celebrations such as May Day, the anniversary of the October Revolution, Harvest Day, and others throughout the Soviet era. He chronicles the overt political agendas, public displays of power, forced participation, and widespread use of these events in the Soviet drive to eradicate existing cultural norms and replace them with new icons of Soviet ideology.
In this monumental work, Laurence Senelick and Sergei Ostrovsky offer a panoramic history of Soviet theater from the Bolshevik Revolution to the eventual collapse of the USSR. Making use of more than eighty years’ worth of archival documentation, the authors celebrate in words and pictures a vital, living art form that remained innovative and exciting, growing, adapting, and flourishing despite harsh, often illogical pressures inflicted upon its creators by a totalitarian government. It is the first comprehensive analysis of the subject ever to be published in the English language.
World-class science and technology developed in the Soviet Union during Stalin's dictatorial rule under conditions of political violence, lack of international contacts, and severe restrictions on the freedom of information. Stalin's Great Science: The Times and Adventures of Soviet Physicists is an invaluable book that investigates this paradoxical success by following the lives and work of Soviet scientists — including Nobel Prize-winning physicists Kapitza, Landau, and others — throughout the turmoil of wars, revolutions, and repression that characterized the first half of Russia's twentieth century.
Classical ballet was perhaps the most visible symbol of aristocratic culture and its isolation from the rest of Russian society under the tsars. In the wake of the October Revolution, ballet, like all of the arts, fell under the auspices of the Soviet authorities. In light of these events, many feared that the imperial ballet troupes would be disbanded. Instead, the Soviets attempted to mold the former imperial ballet to suit their revolutionary cultural agenda and employ it to reeducate the masses. As Christina Ezrahi's groundbreaking study reveals, they were far from successful in this ambitious effort to gain complete control over art.
In postrevolutionary Russia, as the Soviet government was initiating a program of rapid industrialization, avant-garde artists declared their intent to serve the nascent state and to transform life in accordance with their aesthetic designs. In spite of their professed utilitarianism, however, most avant-gardists created works that can hardly be regarded as practical instruments of societal transformation. Exploring this paradox, Vaingurt claims that the artists’ investment of technology with aesthetics prevented their creations from being fully conscripted into the arsenal of political hegemony. The purposes of avant-garde technologies, she contends, are contemplative rather than constructive. Looking at Meyerhold’s theater, Tatlin’s and Khlebnikov’s architectural designs,
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