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Red Arctic

Polar Exploration and the Myth of the North in the Soviet Union, 1932-1939

Red Arctic by John McCannon
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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.
Oxford University Press; April 1998
255 pages; ISBN 9780195354201
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Title: Red Arctic
Author: John McCannon