The Stalin Cult: A Study in the Alchemy of Power
Between the late 1920s and the early 1950s, one of the most persuasive personality cults of all times saturated Soviet public space with images of Stalin. A torrent of portraits, posters, statues, films, plays, songs, and poems galvanized the Soviet population and inspired leftist activists around the world. In the first book to examine the cultural products and production methods of the Stalin cult, Jan Plamper reconstructs a hidden history linking artists, party patrons, state functionaries, and ultimately Stalin himself in the alchemical project that transformed a pock-marked Georgian into the embodiment of global communism. Departing from interpretations of the Stalin cult as an outgrowth of Russian mysticism or Stalin's psychopathology, Plamper establishes the cult's context within a broader international history of modern personality cults constructed around Napoleon III, Mussolini, Hitler, and Mao. Drawing upon evidence from previously inaccessible Russian archives, Plamper's lavishly illustrated and accessibly written study will appeal to anyone interested in twentieth-century history, visual studies, the politics of representation, dictator biography, socialist realism, and real socialism.
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Abbreviations and Glossary of Frequently Used Terms
CHAPTER 6 THE AUDIENCE AS CULT PRODUCER
5 How to Paint the Leader?
6 The Audience as Cult Producer
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actors Agitprop AKhR Aleksandr Gerasimov appeared archive art criticism art soviet artists artwork Beria birthday Bolshevik Brodsky celebrated Central Committee circle competition Comrade Stalin cult products cultural dated depicted Diky example exhibition factory ﬁgure ﬁlm ﬁnished ﬁrst gaze Glavlit Hitler holiday ibid inﬂuence institutions intelligentsia Isaak Brodsky J. V. Stalin January Joseph Vissarionovich Kaganovich Kalinin Katsman kolkhoz Kremlin Leader Cult Leningrad letter look March Maslovka mass modesty Molotov Moscow movie Museum Mussolini newspaper November October Revolution ofﬁcial organized painters painting Palace of Soviets Party patron patronage personality cult photograph picture Politburo political Poskryobyshev Pravda realist Red Army Reﬂections representations of Stalin RGALI RGASPI role Russian sacral sculpture social socialist realism Sovetskoe Iskusstvo Soviet Union speciﬁc Stalin and Voroshilov Stalin cult Stalin portrait Stalinist studio symbolic Tretyakov Gallery tsar University Press V. I. Lenin viewer visual arts workers wrote