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1. cover
Title: When the Soviet Union entered world politics online access is available to everyone
Author: Jacobson, Jon 1938-
Published: University of California Press,  1994
Subjects: History | Politics | European History | Russian and Eastern European Studies
Publisher's Description: The dissolution of the Soviet Union has aroused much interest in the USSR's role in world politics during its 74-year history and in how the international relations of the twentieth century were shaped by the Soviet Union. Jon Jacobson examines Soviet foreign relations during the period from the end of the Civil War to the beginning of the first Five-Year Plan, focusing on the problems confronting the Bolsheviks as they sought to promote national security and economic development. He demonstrates the central importance of foreign relations to the political imagination of Soviet leaders, both in their plans for industrialization and in the struggle for supremacy among Lenin's successors.Jacobson adopts a post-Cold War interpretative stance, incorporating glasnost and perestroika-era revelations. He also considers Soviet relations with both Europe and Asia from a global perspective, integrating the two modes of early Soviet foreign relations - revolution and diplomacy - into a coherent discussion. Most significantly, he synthesizes the wealth of information that became available to scholars since the 1960s. The result is a stimulating work of international history that interfaces with the sophisticated existing body of scholarship on early Soviet history.   [brief]
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2. cover
Title: Iconography of power: Soviet political posters under Lenin and Stalin
Author: Bonnell, Victoria E
Published: University of California Press,  1998
Subjects: Sociology | Popular Culture | European Studies | Russian and Eastern European Studies | Politics | Art Criticism | History | European History
Publisher's Description: 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.   [brief]
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3. cover
Title: Bread and authority in Russia, 1914-1921 online access is available to everyone
Author: Lih, Lars T
Published: University of California Press,  1990
Subjects: History | European History | Politics | Russian and Eastern European Studies
Publisher's Description: Between 1914 and 1921, Russia experienced a national crisis that destroyed the tsarist state and led to the establishment of the new Bolshevik order. During this period of war, revolution, and civil war, there was a food-supply crisis. Although Russia was one of the world's major grain exporters, the country was no longer capable of feeding its own people. The hunger of the urban workers increased the pace of revolutionary events in 1917 and 1918, and the food-supply policy during the civil war became the most detested symbol of the hardships imposed by the Bolsheviks.Focusing on this crisis, Lars Lih examines the fundamental process of political and social breakdown and reconstitution. He argues that this seven-year period is the key to understanding the Russian revolution and its aftermath. In 1921 the Bolsheviks rejected the food-supply policy established during the civil war; sixty-five years later, Mikhail Gorbachev made this change of policy a symbol of perestroika. Since then, more attention has been given both in the West and in the Soviet Union to the early years of the revolution as one source of the tragedies of Stalinist oppression.Lih's argument is based on a great variety of source material - archives, memoirs, novels, political rhetoric, pamphlets, and propoganda posters. His new study will be read with profit by all who are interested in the drama of the Russian revolution, the roots of both Stalinism and anti-Stalin reform, and more generally in a new way of understanding the effects of social and political breakdown.   [brief]
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4. cover
Title: Bolshevik festivals, 1917-1920 online access is available to everyone
Author: Von Geldern, James
Published: University of California Press,  1993
Subjects: History | European History | European Literature | Russian and Eastern European Studies
Publisher's 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.   [brief]
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5. cover
Title: Surviving freedom: after the Gulag
Author: Bardach, Janusz
Published: University of California Press,  2003
Subjects: History | European Studies | Sociology | Politics | Russian and Eastern European Studies | Autobiography
Publisher's Description: In 1941, as a Red Army soldier fighting the Nazis on the Belarussian front, Janusz Bardach was arrested, court-martialed, and sentenced to ten years of hard labor. Twenty-two years old, he had committed no crime. He was one of millions swept up in the reign of terror that Stalin perpetrated on his own people. In the critically acclaimed Man Is Wolf to Man, Bardach recounted his horrific experiences in the Kolyma labor camps in northeastern Siberia, the deadliest camps in Stalin's gulag system. In this sequel Bardach picks up the narrative in March 1946, when he was released. He traces his thousand-mile journey from the northeastern Siberian gold mines to Moscow in the period after the war, when the country was still in turmoil. He chronicles his reunion with his brother, a high-ranking diplomat in the Polish embassy in Moscow; his experiences as a medical student in the Stalinist Soviet Union; and his trip back to his hometown, where he confronts the shattering realization of the toll the war has taken, including the deaths of his wife, parents, and sister. In a trenchant exploration of loss, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and existential loneliness, Bardach plumbs his ordeal with honesty and compassion, affording a literary window into the soul of a Stalinist gulag survivor. Surviving Freedom is his moving account of how he rebuilt his life after tremendous hardship and personal loss. It is also a unique portrait of postwar Stalinist Moscow as seen through the eyes of a person who is both an insider and outsider. Bardach's journey from prisoner back to citizen and from labor camp to freedom is an inspiring tale of the universal human story of suffering and recovery.   [brief]
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6. cover
Title: Physics and politics in revolutionary Russia
Author: Josephson, Paul R
Published: University of California Press,  1991
Subjects: History | History and Philosophy of Science | Russian and Eastern European Studies | Politics
Publisher's Description: Aided by personal documents and institutional archives that were closed for decades, this book recounts the development of physics - or, more aptly, science under stress - in Soviet Russia up to World War II. Focusing on Leningrad, center of Soviet physics until the late 1930s, Josephson discusses the impact of scientific, cultural, and political revolution on physicists' research and professional aspirations.Political and social revolution in Russia threatened to confound the scientific revolution. Physicists eager to investigate new concepts of space, energy, light, and motion were forced to accommodate dialectical materialism and subordinate their interests to those of the state. They ultimately faced Stalinist purges and the shift of physics leadership to Moscow. This account of scientists cut off from their Western colleagues reveals a little-known part of the history of modern physics.   [brief]
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7. cover
Title: The enigma of 1989: the USSR and the liberation of Eastern Europe online access is available to everyone
Author: Lévesque, Jacques
Published: University of California Press,  1997
Subjects: Politics | History | European History | Russian and Eastern European Studies
Publisher's Description: The Soviet external empire fell in 1989 virtually without bloodshed. The domino-like collapse of the communist regimes of Eastern Europe was not anticipated by political experts in either the East or the West. Most surprising of all was the Soviet Union's permissive reactions to the secession. For the first time in modern history, such an epochal upheaval could take place not only without war but also without major international tensions.This book is the first comprehensive scholarly attempt to elucidate Soviet behavior toward Eastern Europe in 1989. Jacques Lévesque thoroughly analyses the policies of the USSR toward Eastern Europe during the Gorbachev era and clarifies the goals that underpinned these policies.Based on interviews with political leaders and exhaustive research in Russia, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and the other ex-Warsaw Pact countries, this book traces the nuances of each country's case as a set of continually changing, mutually reinforcing causes and effects.   [brief]
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8. cover
Title: An American engineer in Stalin's Russia: the memoirs of Zara Witkin, 1932-1934 online access is available to everyone
Author: Witkin, Zara 1900-1940
Published: University of California Press,  1991
Subjects: History | European History | Autobiography | Russian and Eastern European Studies
Publisher's Description: In 1932 Zara Witkin, a prominent American engineer, set off for the Soviet Union with two goals: to help build a society more just and rational than the bankrupt capitalist system at home, and to seek out the beautiful film star Emma Tsesarskaia.His memoirs offer a detailed view of Stalin's bureaucracy - entrenched planners who snubbed new methods; construction bosses whose cover-ups led to terrible disasters; engineers who plagiarized Witkin's work; workers whose pride was defeated. Punctuating this document is the tale of Witkin's passion for Tsesarskaia and the record of his friendships with journalist Eugene Lyons, planner Ernst May, and others.Witkin felt beaten in the end by the lethargy and corruption choking the greatest social experiment in history, and by a pervasive evil - the suppression of human rights and dignity by a relentless dictatorship. Finally breaking his spirit was the dissolution of his romance with Emma, his "Dark Goddess."In his lively introduction, Michael Gelb provides the historical context of Witkin's experience, details of his personal life, and insights offered by Emma Tsesarskaia in an interview in 1989.   [brief]
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9. cover
Title: Magnetic mountain: Stalinism as a civilization
Author: Kotkin, Stephen
Published: University of California Press,  1997
Subjects: History | Russian and Eastern European Studies | European History
Publisher's Description: This study is the first of its kind: a street-level inside account of what Stalinism meant to the masses of ordinary people who lived it. Stephen Kotkin was the first American in 45 years to be allowed into Magnitogorsk, a city built in response to Stalin's decision to transform the predominantly agricultural nation into a "country of metal." With unique access to previously untapped archives and interviews, Kotkin forges a vivid and compelling account of the impact of industrialization on a single urban community.Kotkin argues that Stalinism offered itself as an opportunity for enlightenment. The utopia it proffered, socialism, would be a new civilization based on the repudiation of capitalism. The extent to which the citizenry participated in this scheme and the relationship of the state's ambitions to the dreams of ordinary people form the substance of this fascinating story. Kotkin tells it deftly, with a remarkable understanding of the social and political system, as well as a keen instinct for the details of everyday life.Kotkin depicts a whole range of life: from the blast furnace workers who labored in the enormous iron and steel plant, to the families who struggled with the shortage of housing and services. Thematically organized and closely focused, Magnetic Mountain signals the beginning of a new stage in the writing of Soviet social history.   [brief]
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10. cover
Title: And now my soul is hardened: abandoned children in Soviet Russia, 1918-1930 online access is available to everyone
Author: Ball, Alan M
Published: University of California Press,  1994
Subjects: History | European History | Russian and Eastern European Studies
Publisher's Description: Warfare, epidemics, and famine left millions of Soviet children homeless during the 1920s. Many became beggars, prostitutes, and thieves, and were denizens of both secluded underworld haunts and bustling train stations. Alan Ball's study of these abandoned children examines their lives and the strategies the government used to remove them from the streets lest they threaten plans to mold a new socialist generation. The "rehabilitation" of these youths and the results years later are an important lesson in Soviet history.   [brief]
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11. cover
Title: The collective and the individual in Russia: a study of practices
Author: Kharkhordin, Oleg 1964-
Published: University of California Press,  1999
Subjects: History | Social Theory | European History | Russian and Eastern European Studies | Intellectual History
Publisher's Description: Oleg Kharkhordin has constructed a compelling, subtle, and complex genealogy of the Soviet individual that is as much about Michel Foucault as it is about Russia. Examining the period from the Russian Revolution to the fall of Gorbachev, Kharkhordin demonstrates that Party rituals - which forced each Communist to reflect intensely and repeatedly on his or her "self," an entirely novel experience for many of them - had their antecedents in the Orthodox Christian practices of doing penance in the public gaze. Individualization in Soviet Russia occurred through the intensification of these public penitential practices rather than the private confessional practices that are characteristic of Western Christianity. He also finds that objectification of the individual in Russia relied on practices of mutual surveillance among peers, rather than on the hierarchical surveillance of subordinates by superiors that characterized the West. The implications of this book expand well beyond its brilliant analysis of the connection between Bolshevism and Eastern Orthodoxy to shed light on many questions about the nature of Russian society and culture.   [brief]
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12. cover
Title: Russia's women: accommodation, resistance, transformation
Author: Clements, Barbara Evans 1945-
Published: University of California Press,  1991
Subjects: History | European History | Women's Studies | Russian and Eastern European Studies
Publisher's Description: By ignoring gender issues, historians have failed to understand how efforts to control women - and women's reactions to these efforts - have shaped political and social institutions and thus influenced the course of Russian and Soviet history. These original essays challenge a host of traditional assumptions by integrating women into the Russian past. Using recent advances in the study of gender, the family, class, and the status of women, the authors examine various roles of Russian women and offer a broad overview of a vibrant and growing field.   [brief]
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13. cover
Title: Russia's last capitalists: the Nepmen, 1921-1929 online access is available to everyone
Author: Ball, Alan M
Published: University of California Press,  1990
Subjects: History | European History | Russian and Eastern European Studies
Publisher's Description: In 1921 Lenin surprised foreign observers and many in his own Party, by calling for the legalization of private trade and manufacturing. Within a matter of months, this New Economic Policy (NEP) spawned many thousands of private entrepreneurs, dubbed Nepmen. After delineating this political background, Alan Ball turns his attention to the Nepmen themselves, examining where they came from, how they fared in competition with the socialist sector of the economy, their importance in the Soviet economy, and the consequences of their "liquidation" at the end of the 1920s. Alan Ball's history of this experiment with capitalism is strikingly relevant to current efforts toward economic reform in the USSR.   [brief]
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14. cover
Title: The Gorbachev phenomenon: a historical interpretation
Author: Lewin, Moshe 1921-
Published: University of California Press,  1991
Subjects: History | European History | Sociology | Politics | Russian and Eastern European Studies
Publisher's Description: The "Gorbachev phenomenon" is seen as the product of complex developments during the last seventy years - developments that changed the Soviet Union from a primarily agrarian society into an urban, industrial one. Here, for the first time, a noted authority on Soviet society identifies the crucial h . . . [more]
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15. cover
Title: Soviet perceptions of the United States online access is available to everyone
Author: Schwartz, Morton
Published: University of California Press,  1980
Subjects: Politics
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16. cover
Title: Reds or rackets?: the making of radical and conservative unions on the waterfront online access is available to everyone
Author: Kimeldorf, Howard
Published: University of California Press,  1988
Subjects: Sociology | United States History | Labor Studies
Publisher's Description: Why is the American working class different? For generations, scholars and activists alike have wrestled with this question, with an eye to explaining why workers in the United States are not more like their radicalized European counterparts. Approaching the question from a different angle, Reds or Rackets? provides a fascinating examination of the American labor movement from the inside out, as it were, by analyzing the divergent sources of radicalism and conservatism within it. Kimeldorf focuses on the political contrast between East and West Coast longshoremen from World War I through the early years of the Cold War, when the difference between the two unions was greatest. He explores the politics of the West Coast union that developed into a hot bed of working class insurgency and contrasts it with the conservative and racket-ridden East Coast longshoreman's union. Two unions, based in the same industry - as different as night and day. The question posed by Kimeldorf is, why? Why "reds" on one coast and racketeers on the other?To answer this question Kimeldorf provides a systematic comparison of the two unions, illuminating the political consequences of occupational recruitment, industry structure, mobilization strategies, and industrial conflict during this period. In doing so, Reds orRackets? sheds new light on the structural and historical bases of radical and conservative unionism.More than a comparative study of two unions, Reds or Rackets? is an exploration of the dynamics of trade unionism, sources of membership loyalty, and neglected aspects of working class consciousness. It is an incisive and valuable study that will appeal to historians, social scientists, and anyone interested in understanding the political trajectory of twentieth-century American labor.   [brief]
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17. cover
Title: A little corner of freedom: Russian nature protection from Stalin to Gorbachëv online access is available to everyone
Author: Weiner, Douglas R 1951-
Published: University of California Press,  1999
Subjects: Russian and Eastern European Studies | Environmental Studies | Politics | History | History and Philosophy of Science | Ecology
Publisher's Description: While researching Russia's historical efforts to protect nature, Douglas Weiner unearthed unexpected findings: a trail of documents that raised fundamental questions about the Soviet political system. These surprising documents attested to the unlikely survival of a critical-minded, scientist-led movement through the Stalin years and beyond. It appeared that, within scientific societies, alternative visions of land use, resrouce exploitation, habitat protection, and development were sustained and even publicly advocated. In sharp contrast to known Soviet practices, these scientific societies prided themselves on their traditions of free elections, foreign contacts, and a pre-revolutionary heritage.Weiner portrays nature protection activists not as do-or-die resisters to the system, nor as inoffensive do-gooders. Rather, they took advantage of an unpoliced realm of speech and activity and of the patronage by middle-level Soviet officials to struggle for a softer path to development. In the process, they defended independent social and professional identities in the face of a system that sought to impose official models of behavior, ethics, and identity for all. Written in a lively style, this absorbing story tells for the first time how organized participation in nature protection provided an arena for affirming and perpetuating self-generated social identities in the USSR and preserving a counterculture whose legacy survives today.   [brief]
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18. cover
Title: Leningrad: shaping a Soviet city online access is available to everyone
Author: Ruble, Blair A 1949-
Published: University of California Press,  1990
Subjects: Russian and Eastern European Studies | European History
Publisher's Description: Throughout much of this century, cities around the world have sought to gain control over their urban destinies through concerted government action. Nowhere has this process of state intervention gone further than in the Soviet Union. This volume explores the ways in which local and regional political, economic, and cultural leaders in Leningrad determine the physical and socioeconomic contours of their city and region within such a centralized economic and political environment.The author examines four major policy initiatives that have emerged in Leningrad since the 1950s - physical planning innovations, integrated scientific-production associations, vocational education reform, and socioeconomic planning - and that have been anchored in attempts to plan and manage metropolitan Leningrad. Each initiative illuminates the bureaucratic and political strategies employed to obtain economic objectives, as well as the bureaucratic patterns which distinguish market and non-market experiences. The boundaries for autonomous action by local Soviet politicians, planners, and managers emerge through this inquiry.   [brief]
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19. cover
Title: Battling for American labor: wobblies, craft workers, and the making of the union movement
Author: Kimeldorf, Howard
Published: University of California Press,  1999
Subjects: American Studies | Sociology | History | United States History | Labor Studies
Publisher's Description: In this incisive reinterpretation of the history of the American labor movement, Howard Kimeldorf challenges received thinking about rank-and-file workers and the character of their unions. Battling for American Labor answers the baffling question of how, while mounting some of the most aggressive challenges to employing classes anywhere in the world, organized labor in the United States has warmly embraced the capitalist system of which they are a part. Rejecting conventional understandings of American unionism, Kimeldorf argues that what has long been the hallmark of organized labor in the United States - its distinctive reliance on worker self-organization and direct economic action - can be seen as a particular kind of syndicalism.Kimeldorf brings this syndicalism to life through two rich and compelling case studies of unionization efforts by Philadelphia longshoremen and New York City culinary workers during the opening decades of the twentieth century. He shows how these workers, initially affiliated with the radical IWW and later the conservative AFL, pursued a common logic of collective action at the point of production that largely dictated their choice of unions. Elegantly written and deeply engaging, Battling for American Labor offers insights not only into how the American labor movement got to where it is today, but how it might possibly reinvent itself in the years ahead.   [brief]
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20. cover
Title: Afghanistan: the Soviet invasion and the Afghan response, 1979-1982 online access is available to everyone
Author: Kakar, M. Hasan
Published: University of California Press,  1997
Subjects: Middle Eastern Studies | Politics | History | Middle Eastern History
Publisher's Description: Few people are more respected or better positioned to speak on the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan than M. Hassan Kakar. A professor at Kabul University and scholar of Afghanistan affairs at the time of the 1978 coup d'état, Kakar vividly describes the events surrounding the Soviet invasion in 1979 and the encounter between the military superpower and the poorly armed Afghans. The events that followed are carefully detailed, with eyewitness accounts and authoritative documentation that provide an unparalleled view of this historical moment.Because of his prominence Kakar was at first treated with deference by the Marxist government and was not imprisoned, although he openly criticized the regime. When he was put behind bars the outcry from scholars all over the world possibly saved his life. In prison for five years, he continued collecting information, much of it from prominent Afghans of varying political persuasions who were themselves prisoners.Kakar brings firsthand knowledge and a historian's sensibility to his account of the invasion and its aftermath. This is both a personal document and a historical one - Kakar lived through the events he describes, and his concern for human rights rather than party politics infuses his writing. As Afghans and the rest of the world try to make sense of Afghanistan's recent past, Kakar's voice will be one of those most listened to.   [brief]
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