Kritika

Articles from Vol. 9, No. 4, Fall

Defending Children's Rights, "In Defense of Peace": Children and Soviet Cultural Diplomacy
Across Europe during the decades after 1900, issues relating to children's place in society began occupying a place of unprecedented importance in political discussion and in state planning. Concrete manifestations of the new trend included an increasing...
East as True West: Redeeming Bourgeois Culture, from Socialist Realism to Ostalgie
Depicting the postwar world as sundered and under siege, Winston Churchill's "Sinews of Peace" speech of March 1946 catapulted the phrase "Iron Curtain" into public discourse and U.S. foreign policy. Churchill warned of a West jeopardized by communist...
Imagining Richard Wagner: The Janus Head of a Divided Nation
Over the course of its turbulent history, the German nation has defined itself time and again in terms of a constructed Other. The Other--depicted variously as a political, ideological, or racial opposition to the existence of the imagined German Self--has...
Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall ... Is the West the Fairest of Them All? Czechoslovak Normalization and Its (Dis)contents
Against the backdrop of Stalinist show trials, intellectual censorship, and sealed-off borders, Czechs and Slovaks during the 1950s watched as the "West" was transformed from the once familiar to the imagined. This shift was a particularly heavy blow...
Moscow Human Rights Defenders Look West: Attitudes toward U.S. Journalists in the 1960s and 1970s
Looking around the courtyard I spotted ... a dozen foreign reporters. Foreigners were easy to spot on a Moscow street. (1) Key to the attitudes of Moscow human rights defenders toward the U.S. journalists who reported on their activities was the...
Paris or Moscow? Warsaw Architects and the Image of the Modern City in the 1950s
In 1934, the architects Szymon Syrkus and Jan Chmielewski presented their plans for the future of Warsaw at a meeting of the Comite international pour la resolution des problemes de l'architecture contemporaine (the International Committee to Resolve...
Passing through the Iron Curtain
This special issue of Kritika presents seven articles on the transnational and cultural history of communism in the Soviet Union and East Central Europe. Three of them center on the USSR, two on East Germany, one on Czechoslovakia, and one on Poland....
The Occident Within-Or the Drive for Exceptionalism and Modernity
If we are to understand what (state) socialism was about, grasping the images, perceptions, and mentalities upon which this social order rested is crucial. (1) A possible approach to such entities leads through the study of mental mapping. Symbolic...
Who Will Beat Whom? Soviet Popular Reception of the American National Exhibition in Moscow, 1959
The U.S. industrialist Norman K. Winston, special adviser to the American National Exhibition held in Moscow from 25 July to 4 September 1959, had predicted to This Week magazine earlier that year: We know the life we have is good. By the end of...