Decades of Western Cold War propaganda were designed to depict socialism as inimical to genuine aesthetic acheivement. Now, in the wake of the Cold War, it is becoming possible to reassess the past and present cultural productions of artists with socialist inclinations. The essays in this volume begin such a reassessment, finding that socialist cultural production in the 20th century, both as the official culture of the socialist East and as an oppositional culture in the capitalist West, has been rich and varied.
The volume focuses on socialist culture in the industrialized world, primarily Eastern Europe and the West. An introductory essay overviews socialist cultural productions of the 20th century, while the chapters that follow address a wide range of topics. These include Soviet socialist realist fiction and film musicals, the socialist drama of Bertolt Brecht, and British and American leftist fiction. The volume demonstrates that propagandistic Cold War depictions of socialism as a threat to artistic expression were inaccurate and misleading.
About the Author:
DUBRAVKA JURAGA is an independent scholar who has published essays on postcolonial, Russian, and East European literature. She is the coauthor of Bakhtin, Stalin, and Modern Russian Fiction: Carnival, Dialogism, and History (Greenwood, 1995), and of The Caribbean Novel in English: An Introduction (Heinemann, 2000).
M. KEITH BOOKER is Professor of English at the University of Arkansas. He is the author of numerous articles and books on modern literature and literary theory, including Dystopian Literature: A Theory and Research Guide (Greenwood, 1994), Joyce, Bakhtin, and the Literary Tradition (1996), A Practical Introduction to Literary Theory and Criticism (1996), Colonial Power, Colonial Texts: India in the Modern British Novel (1997), The Modern British Novel of the Left: A Research Guide (Greenwood, 1999), The Modern American Novel of the Left: A Research Guide (Greenwood, 1999), and Film and the American Left: A Research Guide (Greenwood, 1999).