Engineers of the Soul
The Grandiose Propaganda of Stalin?s Russia
ISBN 9781590200872 | 320 pages | 28 Apr 2011 | Overlook | 6.33 x 9.25in | 18 - AND UP
Summary of Engineers of the Soul Summary of Engineers of the Soul Reviews for Engineers of the Soul An Excerpt from Engineers of the Soul
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.Praise for Engineers of the Soul:
Writers of renown, described by Stalin as "engineers 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.
"Fascinating...In addition to tracing the Soviet style and telling the stories of individual writers, Westerman also follows the routes these authors traveled to gather material for their works." -- The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Westerman writes a detailed and enthralling account of his journey through Soviet literature including discovering the revolution's best kept secrets while trying to appreciate the talented writers who created a web of deceit in the name of success." --Publishers Weekly
"[E]ngagingly written and extensively researched, the book covers compelling historical and literary ground. " --The Sunday Times
"Brilliant, illuminating and rich." -- Literary Review
"Frank Westerman combines investigative journalism with literary history to tell the story of two journeys -- one literal, one imaginary -- through contemporary Russia and through Soviet- era literature." --Publishers Weekly Spring Announcements
"An insightful history of the lives, times and works of some authors now virtually forgotten in the West, and a valuable addition to the study of Soviet letters." -- Kirkus
"Fascinating...In addition to tracing the Soviet style and telling the stories of individual writers, Westerman also follows the routes these authors traveled to gather material for their works." --The Cleveland Plain Dealer
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