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Proletarian Imagination

Proletarian Imagination

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International Edition

About the Book

In fin-de-siècle and early revolutionary Russia, a group of self-educated workers produced a large body of poetry and prose in which they attempted to comprehend their rapidly changing world. Witnesses to wars and revolution, these men and women grappled on paper with the nature of civilization and the imperatives of ethical truth. In a strikingly original approach to Russian culture, Mark D. Steinberg listens to their words, which are little known today. The results of their literary creativity, he finds, were frequently not what the new Soviet order was expecting from its workers, despite its celebration of the notion of a proletarian art.Through insightful readings of a vast fund of lower-class writings, Steinberg shows that the authors focused above all on the uncertain nature and place of the self, the promise and dangers of modernity, and the qualities of the sacred in both their lives and their imaginations. Like their counterparts in the intelligentsia, these worker writers were ambivalent about Marxist ideology's celebration of the city and the factory and even about modern progress itself. Drawing on vast research, Steinberg demonstrates the texts' significance for an understanding of Russian popular mentalities, indeed for the very meaning, philosophically and morally, of these years of crisis and possibility at the end of the old order and the early years of the Soviet regime.

About the Author:

Mark D. Steinberg is Professor of History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is author of several books, including Moral Communities: The Culture of Class Relations in the Russian Printing Industry, 1867-1907 and Voices of Revolution, 1917, and the coauthor of A History of Russia, 7th edition.

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Product Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780801488269
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publisher Imprint: Cornell University Press
  • Depth: 19
  • Language: English
  • Returnable: Y
  • Spine Width: 22 mm
  • Weight: 504 gr
  • ISBN-10: 0801488265
  • Publisher Date: 18 Sep 2002
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Height: 237 mm
  • No of Pages: 352
  • Series Title: English
  • Sub Title: Self, Modernity, and the Sacred in Russia, 1910-1925
  • Width: 166 mm

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