ABOUT THIS BOOK
Yankees in Petrograd, Bosheviks in New York examines the myth of America as the Other World at the moment of transition from the Russian to the Soviet version. The material on which Milla Fedorova bases her study comprises a curious phenomenon of the waning nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—pilgrimages to America by prominent Russian writers who then created travelogues. The writers’ missions usually consisted of two parts: the physical journey, which most of the writers considered as ideologically significant, and the literary fruit of the pilgrimages. Until now, the American travelogue has not been recognized and studied as a particular kind of narration with its own canons. Arguing that the primary cultural model for Russian writers’ journey to America is Dante’s descent into Hell, Federova ultimately reveals how America is represented as the country of “dead souls” where objects and machines have exchanged places with people, where relations between the living and the dead are inverted.