Closer to the Masses: Stalinist Culture, Social Revolution, by Matthew Lenoe

By Matthew Lenoe

during this provocative e-book, Matthew Lenoe strains the origins of Stalinist mass tradition to newspaper journalism within the overdue Twenties. In studying the transformation of Soviet newspapers in the course of the New monetary coverage and the 1st 5 yr Plan, Lenoe tells a dramatic tale of purges, political intrigues, and social upheaval.

stressed from the social gathering management to mobilize society for the huge job of industrialization, newshounds formed a grasp narrative for Soviet background and helped create a Bolshevik id for hundreds of thousands of latest communists. daily hard work turned an epic conflict to modernize the USSR, a struggle not just opposed to imperialists from open air, yet opposed to shirkers and saboteurs inside. Soviet newspapermen mobilized get together activists by way of offering them with an id as warrior heroes scuffling with for socialism. but in the framework of propaganda directives, the rank-and-file reporters improvised in ways in which finally contributed to the construction of a tradition. the pictures and metaphors crafted by means of Soviet reporters grew to become the middle of Stalinist tradition within the mid-1930s, and encouraged the improvement of socialist realism.

Deeply researched and lucidly written, this ebook is an important contribution to the literature on Soviet tradition and society.


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Sample text

Because Bolshevik use of the press was highly self-conscious it is not difficult to define the purpose and intended audience of a given article. Soviet newspapermen were aware of the possible uses of different sorts of journalism, such as the leading editorial (peredovaia), the theoretical article, the wire service telegram, and the feuilleton, in promoting the party's agenda. They talked about their journalistic practice in terms of Lenin's theory of agitation and propaganda, which recognized various functions of the press-educating readers, motivating them to action with emotional appeals, and organizing them for political action or economic production.

First, context of situation can be inferred from grammatical and lexical features of the text (indeed, if it could not we would not understand written texts at all), and second, people in similar situations will use similar language. A given situation will tend to evoke a specific body of vocabulary, set phrases, intonations, and so on. " He offers the international language of the air, in which pilots use a limited vocabulary to communicate with other aviators and air traffic controllers, as a clear-cut example.

59 In 1927 Journalist reprinted excerpts from an American journalism text, Editing the Days News, which explained how to layout "pyramid headlines" (printed one atop another), "streamer headlines" (running the whole length of the page), and "jump headlines" (headings given extra emphasis by the white space around them). The author of Editing the Days News, George Bastian, also described how varied typefaces and photographs could be used to liven up a newspaper. Journalist noted that even such staid organs as Pravda were beginning to use "American techniques" of layout.

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