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Faster, Higher, Stronger, Comrades!: Sports, Art, and Ideology in Late Russian and Early Soviet Culture
by Tim Harte
University of Wisconsin Press, 2020
Cloth: 978-0-299-32770-5 | eISBN: 978-0-299-32773-6
Library of Congress Classification GV623.H37 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 796.0947

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
The revival of the Olympic games in 1896 and the subsequent rise of modern athletics prompted a new, energetic movement away from more sedentary habits. In Russia, this ethos soon became a key facet of the Bolsheviks' shared vision for the future. In the aftermath of the revolution, glorification of exercise persevered, pointing the way toward a stronger, healthier populace and a vibrant Socialist society.
With interdisciplinary analysis of literature, painting, and film, Faster, Higher, Stronger, Comrades! traces how physical fitness had an even broader impact on culture and ideology in the Soviet Union than previously realized. From prerevolutionary writers and painters glorifying popular circus wrestlers to Soviet photographers capturing unprecedented athleticism as a means of satisfying their aesthetic ideals, the nation's artists embraced sports in profound, inventive ways. Though athletics were used for doctrinaire purposes, Tim Harte demonstrates that at their core, they remained playful, joyous physical activities capable of stirring imaginations and transforming everyday realities.

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