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Dictatorship of the Air : Aviation Culture and the Fate of Modern Russia - Scott W. Palmer

Dictatorship of the Air

Aviation Culture and the Fate of Modern Russia

By: Scott W. Palmer, John Anderson (Editor), Von Hardesty (Editor)


Published: 1st August 2006
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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 pre-eminent 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 modernisation prolonged the nation's dependence on western technology and ultimately ensured the USSR's demise.

About the Author

Scott W. Palmer is a specialist on the history of modern Russian culture and technology. A frequent traveler to the Russian Federation, he has conducted eight extended visits to Russian archives since 1994. His research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the United States Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, the Fulbright-Hays Program, the International Council for Research Exchange, and the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies.

'This is a commendable and interesting book, illustrated with contemporary photographs and posters.' The Slavonic and East European Review (SEER)

List of Illustrationsp. xi
Notes on Usagep. xv
List of Key Terms and Abbreviationsp. xvii
Acknowledgmentsp. xix
Introduction: Russia's Culture of Flight in Historical Perspectivep. 1
Imperial Aviation, 1909-1917
The Dawn of Russian Aviationp. 11
Tsars of the Air in the Land of the Tsarsp. 11
Russia's Passion for Wingsp. 18
Public Air-Mindedness and National Identity in Late Imperial Russiap. 23
Compensatory Rhetoric and Aeronautical Transcendencep. 32
"The Air Fleet is the Strength of Russia"p. 37
Journey from St. Petersburg to Moscowp. 37
Aviation Between State and Societyp. 41
The Russian Warriorp. 55
The Marasmus of Imperial Aviationp. 58
Flights of Fancyp. 63
The Origins and Institutions of the Soviet Air Fleet, 1917-1929
Mandating Red Aviationp. 79
Continuity Amid Change in the History of Russiap. 79
"From a Dictatorship of the Earth to a Dictatorship of the Air"p. 82
Friends of the Air Fleetp. 85
"Aviation: Instrument of the Future"p. 98
The Images and Institutions of Soviet Air-Mindednessp. 103
"Sovietizing" the Heavensp. 103
A Soviet Ultimatump. 109
The Rhetoric and Reality of Compulsory Volunteerismp. 111
Militarization, Centralization, and the Colossalist Impulsep. 115
Aeronautical Iconography and Political Legitimacyp. 125
The "Turn to the Village"p. 125
"Our Religion is the Airplane"p. 127
Aeronautical Iconsp. 136
Air-Minded Ritualsp. 152
Aviation in Service to the Statep. 160
Compensatory Symbolism and the Politics of Legitimationp. 160
The Year of Big Flightsp. 170
An Aerial Embassy to Europep. 179
Land of the Sovietsp. 183
Soviet Aviation in the Age of Stalin, 1929-1945
Soviet Aviation and Stalinist Culturep. 195
The Great Breakp. 195
Technology Transfer, Tempos, and Terrorp. 197
The Airplane-Colossusp. 204
Stalin's Routep. 219
"Higher, Faster, Farther!"p. 229
Victoryp. 229
Stalin's Proud Falconsp. 233
Stalinist Aviation on the International Stagep. 244
Crises and Catastrophe on the Eve of World Warp. 247
Red Phoenixp. 259
Operation Barbarossap. 259
Russia's Warp. 261
Red Phoenixp. 265
A New Locus of Legitimacyp. 270
The Lasting Legacy of Dependencep. 275
Conclusion: Aviation Culture and the Fate of Modern Russiap. 282
Bibliographyp. 287
Indexp. 299
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521859578
ISBN-10: 0521859573
Series: Cambridge Centennial of Flight
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 328
Published: 1st August 2006
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.809 x 15.951  x 2.743
Weight (kg): 0.59