Dictatorship of the Air: Aviation Culture and the Fate of Modern Russia

Dictatorship of the Air: Aviation Culture and the Fate of Modern Russia

by Scott W. Palmer
Pub. Date:
Cambridge University Press
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Dictatorship of the Air: Aviation Culture and the Fate of Modern Russia

Focusing on one of the last untold chapters in the history of human flight, Dictatorship of the Air is the first book to explain the true story behind twentieth-century Russia’s quest for aviation prominence. Based on nearly a decade of scholarly research, but written with general readers in mind, this is the only account to answer the question “What is ‘Russian’ about Russian aviation?” From the 1909 arrival of machine-powered flight in the “land of the tsars” to the USSR’s victory over Hitler in 1945, Dictatorship of the Air describes why the airplane became the preeminent symbol of industrial progress and international power for generations of Russian statesmen and citizens, The book reveals how, behind a facade of daredevil pilots, record-setting flights, and gargantuan airplanes, Russia’s long-standing legacies of industrial backwardness, cultural xenophobia, and state-directed modernization prolonged the nation’s dependence on western technology and ultimately ensured the USSR’s demise.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521130431
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 04/13/2009
Series: Cambridge Centennial of Flight Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 328
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Part I. Imperial Aviation, 1909–17: 1. The dawn of Russian aviation; 2. 'The air fleet is the strength of Russia'; Part II. The Origins and Institutions of Soviet Red Air Fleet, 1917–29: 3. Mandating 'red' aviation; 4. The images and institutions of Soviet air-mindedness; 5. Aeronautical iconography and political legitimacy; 6. Aviation in service to the state; Part III. Soviet Aviation in the Age of Stalin, 1929–45: 7. Aviation and Stalinist culture; 8. 'Higher, faster, farther!'; 9. Red Phoenix; Conclusion: Aviation culture and the fate of modern Russia.

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