Graphic Satire in the Soviet Union

Graphic Satire in the Soviet Union : Krokodil's Political Cartoons

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After the death of Joseph Stalin, Soviet-era Russia experienced a flourishing artistic movement due to relaxed censorship and new economic growth. In this new atmosphere of freedom, Russia's satirical magazine Krokodil (The Crocodile) became rejuvenated. John Etty explores Soviet graphic satire through Krokodil and its political cartoons. He investigates the forms, production, consumption, and functions of Krokodil, focusing on the period from 1954 to 1964.

Krokodil remained the longest-serving and most important satirical journal in the Soviet Union, unique in producing state-sanctioned graphic satirical comment on Soviet and international affairs for over seventy years. Etty's analysis of Krokodil extends and enhances our understanding of Soviet graphic satire beyond state-sponsored propaganda.

For most of its life, Krokodil consisted of a sixteen-page satirical magazine comprising a range of cartoons, photographs, and verbal texts. Authored by professional and nonprofessional contributors and published by Pravda in Moscow, it produced state-sanctioned satirical comment on Soviet and international affairs from 1922 onward. Soviet citizens and scholars of the USSR recognized Krokodil as the most significant, influential source of Soviet graphic satire. Indeed, the magazine enjoyed an international reputation, and many Americans and Western Europeans, regardless of political affiliation, found the images pointed and witty. Astoundingly, the magazine outlived the USSR but until now has received little scholarly attention.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 17.53mm | 539.77g
  • Jackson, United States
  • English
  • 1496820525
  • 9781496820525
  • 2,973,657

Review quote

Graphic Satire in the Soviet Union provides a wealth of information about the intersection between graphic art, politics, and Soviet culture that would be of interest to any postgraduate academic interested in Russian history, Cold War history, graphic satire, poststructuralism, or Russian culture and politics.--Bianca Rowlett "INKS "
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About John Etty

John Etty, Auckland, New Zealand, is Head of Faculty (Social Science) and Head of Department (History) at Auckland Grammar School in New Zealand. He has published in the edited volumes Russian Aviation, Space Flight and Visual Culture and Russian Culture in the Era of Globalisation, as well as in journals such as Slavic Review, History Review, the International Journal of Comic Art, and Slovo.
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