Engineers of the Soul

The Grandiose Propaganda of Stalin's Russia

By Frank Westerman; Sam Garrett (Translator)
(Overlook Press, Hardcover, 9781590200872, 306pp.)

Publication Date: April 28, 2011

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"Engineers of the Soul" tells the story of two journeys--one literal, one imaginary--through contemporary Russia and through Soviet-era literature. Frank Westerman draws the reader into the euphoria of the Russian Revolution, as art and reality were bent to radically new purposes.
Writers of renown, described by Stalin as 3engineers of the soul, . were encouraged to sing the praises of canal and dam construction under titles such as "Energy and The Hydraulic Power Station." However, their enthusiasm--spontaneous and idealistic at first--soon became an obligatory song of praise as the massive waterworks led to slavery.
Combining investigative journalism with literary history, Westerman examines the books and lives of writers caught in the wheels of the system.

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