Red Arctic : Polar Exploration and the Myth of the North in the Soviet Union, 1932-1939
A work of refreshing originality and vivid appeal, Red Arctic tells the story of Stalinist Russia's massive campaign to explore and develop its Northern territories during the 1930s. Author John McCannon recounts the dramatic stories of the polar expeditions-conducted by foot, ship, and plane-that were the pride of Stalinist Russia, in order to expose the reality behind them: chaotic blunders, bureaucratic competition, and the eventual rise of the Gulag as the dominant force in the North. Red Arctic also traces the development of the polar-based popular culture of the decade, making use of memoirs, films, radio broadcasts, children's books, and cultural ephemera ranging from placards to postage stamps to show how Russia's "Arctic Myth" became an integral part of the overall socialist-realist aesthetic that animated Stalinist culture throughout the 1930s.
- Hardback | 246 pages
- 159.5 x 236.7 x 22.4mm | 612.11g
- 09 Apr 1998
- Oxford University Press Inc
- New York, United States
- 7 halftones, 3 line figures, 1 map
About John McCannon
John McCannon is Assistant Professor of History at Norwich University.
A probing and thoroughly engrossing account. Professor McCannon makes judicious use of once secret Russian archives to produce a fascinating study of one of the most neglected aspects of Soviet history in the pre-World War II Stalin era. * Bruce Lincoln, Distinguished Research Professor, Northern Illinois University *
Table of contents
Introduction ; 1. Footholds in the North: The Russians in the Arctic, 1500-1932 ; 2. Thge Commissariat of Ice: The Rise of Glavsevmorput ; 3. Days of Glory: The Major Expeditions, 1932-1939 ; 4. "From Victory to Victory": The Myth of the Arctic in Soviet Culture ; 5. Between Rhetoric and Reality: Manufacturing the Arctic Myth ; 6. Polestar Descending: Glavsevmorput in Decline, 1936-1939 ; Conclusion ; Bibliography ; Notes