Motherland: A Philosophical History of Russia by Lesley Chamberlain

By Lesley Chamberlain

During this "lucid primer of Russian thought" (The occasions Literary Supplement), Lesley Chamberlain unearths that in the final centuries Russian intellectuals have requested primary questions, "what makes a very good man?" and "what is how you can live?" The nineteenth-century excellent of a contented guy dwelling in a simply society grew to become, in Russia, a quest to impact the wholesale transformation of society. Chamberlain indicates how this ethical ardour, manifesting itself in philosophy and literature, existed in either pre- and post-revolutionary Russia. She finds that 1917 didn't signify the watershed we as soon as concept, and exhibits how the desires of a simple and easy lifestyles reached its unfavorable apotheosis below Lenin. In Motherland, Lesley Chamberlain has produced an intensive new interpretation of Russian highbrow background that, ultimately, provides a glimpse in to the soul of that singular nation.

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Extra resources for Motherland: A Philosophical History of Russia

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Planning became, in a sense, a conceptual rather than practical or pragmatic activity, a process of imposing dreams on reality. 23 It signalled the beginning of a shift in attitude toward the remodelling of the territory. The drive for industrialization initiated by the First Plan effected a sudden transformation in the imaginary national map, accelerating the process of otkrytie (opening up) the territory that had begun through electrification. ”24 Two hundred new industrial towns and one hundred agricultural towns were to be built as part of the Plan—many of them, such as Magnitogorsk, Avtostroi, and Kominternovsk, on virgin territory (Figure ).

Lenin’s light is starting to burn . . ” In practice, however, the representation of electrification in documentary films made visible a more complex dialectic of homogeneity and difference in the representation of the relationship between local and national spaces. Sitting ambiguously between a drive for sameness and an emphasis on equality, the model of the grid raised important questions about the status of localness in Soviet imaginary geography. Illuminated, the village became a mark on the ideological map, woven into a national network.

Reprinted from Oktiabr’skie Stranitsy (‒ ), compiled by V. S. Listov and G. A. Ambernadi, . Connecting Figure . ” From SSSR na stroike, , no. : . in the battle against the remnants (ostatki) of capitalism and economic backwardness in the countryside and the means of achieving the ideal of smychka. 18 The plan was to function as a symbolic and educational artefact, explicitly uniting centre and periphery, local and national spaces. As part of the propaganda and publicity programme accompanying electrification, the journalist I.

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