The Anniversaries of the October Revolution, 1918-1927: Politics and Imagery

by Corbesero, Susan Marie

Abstract (Summary)
This dissertation explores the politics and imagery in the anniversary celebrations of the October Revolution in Moscow and Leningrad from 1918 to 1927. Central to Bolshevik efforts to take political and symbolic control of society, these early celebrations not only provided a vehicle for agitation on behalf of the Soviet regime, but also reflected changing popular and official perceptions of the meanings and goals of October. This study argues that politicians, cultural producers, and the urban public contributed to the design and meaning of the political anniversaries, engendering a negotiation of culture between the new Soviet state and its participants. Like the Revolution they sought to commemorate, the October celebrations unleashed and were shaped by both constructive and destructive forces. A combination of variable party and administrative controls, harsh economic realities, competing cultural strategies, and limitations of the existing mass media also influenced the Bolshevik commemorative projects. Approaching political culture through a study of civic ritual and revolutionary symbolism, this work examines the official mass parades, street art, mass media, popular entertainment, and workers' club campaigns in the holidays during this turbulent era of civil war, reconstruction, and political consolidation. The study concludes by looking at Moscow's Decennial of the October Revolution in 1927 and explores how the Bolsheviks ultimately mobilized the population and harnessed cultural forces to project legitimacy and the image of national consensus as the regime embarked on the Stalinist path of rapid societal and industrial transformation.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Gregor Thum; Helena Goscilo; Seymour Drescher; William J. Chase

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:03/17/2006

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