Symbols and legitimacy in Soviet politics

Gill, Graeme J

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  • Creator Graeme Gill
  • Format Books
  • Publication Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2011.
  • Physical Details
    • vi, 356 pages ; 24 cm
  • ISBNs 9781107004542, 1107004543
  • OCLC ocn664258380


  • "Symbols and legitimacy in Soviet politics analyses the way in which Soviet symbolism and ritual changed from the regime's birth in 1917 to its fall in 1991. Graeme Gill focuses on the symbolism in party policy and leaders' speeches, artwork and political posters, urban redevelopment, and on ritual in the political system. He shows how this symbolism and ritual were worked into a dominant metanarrative which underpinned Soviet political development. Gill also shows how, in each of these spheres, the images changed both over the life of the regime and during particular stages: the Leninist era metanarrative differed from that of the Stalin period, which differed from that of the Khrushchev and Brezhnev periods, which was, in turn, changed significantly under Gorbachev. In charting this development, the book lays bare the dynamics of the Soviet regime and a major reason for its fall"--Provided by publisher.
  • "When the Soviet regime came to power in 1917, its revolutionary nature was soon recognised, both inside the country and out. This was reflected most clearly in the fundamental transformation the regime sought in all of the major sectors of public life--political, social, economic, and cultural. In all of these sectors, traditional structures, patterns, and processes were thoroughly reworked, and although some continuities remained from the tsarist through to the Soviet period, the magnitude of the changes that flowed from 1917 clearly marked the regime off as revolutionary in nature. Indeed, this was its avowed purpose: the revolutionary transformation of tsarist society. Of the four sectors that were transformed, the most important for the current study was the cultural"--Provided by publisher.


  • Includes bibliographical references (pages 337-351) and index.


  • Ideology, metanarrative, and myth -- Formation of the metanarrative, 1917-1929 -- The Stalinist culture, 1929-1953 -- An everyday vision, 1953-1985 -- The vision implodes, 1985-1991 -- Impact of the metanarrative
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