State Laughter Stalinism, Populism, and Origins of Soviet Culture

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 05/03/2022
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Stalin's reign of terror was not all doom and gloom, much of it was (meant to be) funny! From comedy films to satirical theatre, from caricature to court speeches, and from Stalin's own writings to bawdy folk songs, humour pervaded the popular culture of the USSR. Until now, conventional
wisdom has held that humour was a hallmark of the subversive, but in State Laughter Dobrenko and Jonsson-Skradol do away with that notion. Instead, tracing the development of official humour, satire, and comedy from the revolution through to the 1950s, they explore how and why laughter was a core
component of the survival of the Soviet regime. Grounded in Soviet intellectual and cultural history, State Laughter offers the first comprehensive analysis of state-sponsored popular culture in Stalin's Soviet Union.

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