By Alan M. Ball
Drawing on a large choice of latest journals, newspapers, motion pictures, and well known songs, Alan M. Ball compares American social, political, and cultural effect in infant Russian states: the younger Soviet Union and the fashionable Russian Republic.
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Additional info for Imagining America: Influence and Images in Twentieth-Century Russia
Jobs could be dissected into various components that in turn leant themselves to “scientific”scrutiny, he believed, as in his analysis of coal shoveling: The coal, as it is unloaded over the side of the car, leaves the shovel while the latter is turned almost upside down. I t is not thrown, for instance, as most laborers would throw dirt into a cart-that is, keeping the dirt always over the shovel and shooting the shovel out in the air at an angle of about 45 degrees in a comparatively straight line.
In 1930 Gastev explained that “socialist industrialization, after a certain period of saturation with the latest achievements of capitalist technology,” would develop a superior alternative to industrialization conducted by the bourgeoisie. ” Thus he hoped to combine American efficiency and technical acumen with a broader social transformation made possible by the Russian Revolution. ”’~ Borne on the wave of the Soviet Union’s industrialization drive of the 1930s, Gastev’s network expanded to some 1,700 training stations by 1938 (from which half a million workers had graduated since 1921).
Much as it did for Bolsheviks, America served other educated Soviet citizens as a measuring stick. For Esenin, the brilliant lights of New York prompted comparison: “In Russia our streets are too dark for us to understand what the electric light of Broadway is. ” Futurists’ clamor swept beyond this engineer’s advocacy of chromium kitchenware and linked their image of America to much of what they valued most. “TODAY-the technology of America,” proclaimed the four young authors of Eccentricity. “Industry,production under the Stars and Stripes.