Performing Justice: Agitation Trials in Early Soviet Russia

Hardcover (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$46.24
(Save 32%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $3.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 94%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (24) from $3.99   
  • New (8) from $5.75   
  • Used (16) from $3.99   

Overview

After seizing power in 1917, the Bolshevik regime faced the daunting task of educating and bringing culture to the vast and often illiterate mass of Soviet soldiers, workers, and peasants. As part of this campaign, civilian educators and political instructors in the military developed didactic theatrical fictions performed in workers' and soldiers' clubs in the years from 1919 to 1933. The subjects addressed included politics, religion, agronomy, health, sexuality, and literature. The trials were designed to permit staging by amateurs at low cost, thus engaging the citizenry in their own remaking. In reconstructing the history of the so-called agitation trials and placing them in a rich social context, Elizabeth A. Wood makes a major contribution to rethinking the first decade of Soviet history. Her book traces the arc by which a regime's campaign to educate the masses by entertaining and disciplining them culminated in a policy of brute shaming.Over the course of the 1920s, the nature of the trials changed, and this process is one of the main themes of the later chapters of Wood's book. Rather than humanizing difficult issues, the trials increasingly made their subjects (alcoholics, boys who smoked, truants) into objects of shame and dismissal. By the end of the decade and the early 1930s, the trials had become weapons for enforcing social and political conformity. Their texts were still fictional—indeed, fantastical—but the actors and the verdicts were now all too real.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Performing Justice is a fascinating story, skillfully told and extensively researched, of how theater and revolution got mixed up in early Soviet Russia."—Sheila Fitzpatrick, University of Chicago

"Elizabeth A. Wood traces how a creative educational experiment—the agitation trial—turned into a method of oppression. This excellent book should be read as a primer on the utopian and dystopian possibilities inherent in the Russian Revolution."—Lynn Mally, author of Revolutionary Acts

"Elizabeth A. Wood's landmark book does not only tell the story of these ancestors of the Moscow show trials of the 1930s. Her interdisciplinary insights from anthropology, sociology, and history show the complexity of didactic, discursive, performative, and ritualistic aspects of these trials. Performing Justice explains a great deal about formative early Soviet practices in general."—Arch Getty, UCLA

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801442575
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.16 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Table of Contents

1 A question of origins 15
2 Experimental trials in the Red Army, 1919-20 37
3 The trial of Lenin 57
4 Teaching politics through trials, 1921-23 68
5 The culture of everyday life, 1922-24 85
6 Melodrama in the service of science 105
7 The trial of the new woman 128
8 The crisis in the clubs and the erosion of the public sphere 150
9 Shaming the boys who smoke cigarettes 174
10 Fiction becomes indistinguishable from reality, 1928-33 193
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)