The Stalin Cult: A Study in the Alchemy of Power

Hardcover | January 17, 2012

byJan Plamper

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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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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 examin...

Jan Plamper is Dilthey Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 10 × 7 × 1 inPublished:January 17, 2012Publisher:Yale University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0300169523

ISBN - 13:9780300169522

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“Invaluably, Plamper provides a wider framework for considering Socialist Realism, while his history of the Stalin cult of personality and the way that art was organised and controlled under this despotic ruler makes this essential reading for anyone who wants to gain a more profound understanding of the period, the art, and the way it was produced.”—Christina Lodder, Burlington Magazine