People’s Co-op Bookstore

Posted in 1980s, Uncategorized on March 23, 2014 by Philip Dion


Located for ages on Commercial Drive in Vancouver , the People’s Co-op Bookstore has played an important part in my collection.  A left wing book store associated with Canadian CP, it was the outlet for the Soviet presses in Vancouver.  After the folding of Progress, Aurora and the other Soviet presses in 1991 the store was left with a huge backstock of Soviet books.  Some of these books have been on the shelves but many have been boxed in the back for years.  That will all change soon.

The People’s Co-op Bookstore is going to have a Soviet book sale, they are bringing out all their ‘dead’ stock and will be selling it off at the end of April.  This is very exciting!   I think they would be happy to ship these books to out-of-town customers, so don’t hesitate to inquire.

Here is one of the books I have gotten from the store: Soviet Rock!


Outer Space or Bust

Posted in 1980s, Soviet Space Flight on July 10, 2013 by Philip Dion

Gennadi Chernenko – Outer Space or Bust

A children’s book with a lot of text and many, many fine illustrations.  No date on the book, but it has an ISBN (5050017122) so it is likely from the 1980′s.  Some nice illustrations of Gagarin and Korolev, as well as many fanciful visions of the future of Soviet space flight.

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The Book of Tasty and Healthy Meals

Posted in Stalin J.V. on May 30, 2013 by Philip Dion

I don’t usually post my Russian books on this blog, I’ve tried to limit it to my English collection, but here we go:

From 1952,  from Prishchepromisdat Publishers, The Book of Tasty and Healthy Meals, or at least that’s how I translated the title.  Perhaps a reader will correct my translation.  By professor  O. P. Molchanova, professor D. I. Lobanov, M. O. Lifshits, and N P Tsyplenkov.  A glorious and gilded cookbook, a Stalinist celebration of gastronomic abundance and the peaceful, plentiful domestic bliss of victorious socialism.  We begin with the embossed cover:2013-05-29 17.56.27

The inside cover is a centerfold of the great Soviet domestic banquet.

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My cookbook starts with a quote from the great father of the peoples, Comrade Stalin.  Can you top that, Jamie Oliver?

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These montages remind me of the work found in USSR in Construction; it’s rare to find photomontage in late Stalinist publications like this one.

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And then we have these extraordinary colour plates.  Enjoy.

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Leninabad is 2500

Posted in 1980s, Architecture on May 25, 2013 by Philip Dion

Leninabad is 2500

From 1986, Irfon press published album celebrating Leninabad, the once and future city of Khujand, Azerbaijan.  This book is filled with photos emphasizing the modern look of this ancient city, highlighting the 1970s style of ‘national’ socialist realist architecture.  Of course there are the requisite statuary and happy people with medals, but the architecture is what makes this book special.

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All these photos now look like they’ve been instagrammed to have that washed out but saturated look, but there was a time when all photos looked that way.

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Soviet Turkmenistan

Posted in Architecture, Design on May 10, 2013 by Philip Dion

P. Kosyrev – Soviet Turkmenistan

A 1956 medium-size celebration of the great Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic, now a slightly terrifying petro-tyranny that could teach Stalin himself how to run a cult of personality.  But back in the good old days a land of tankers and buses.   Lovely dustjacket, embossed cover and ethnically-appropriate designs throughout, this book also documents some fine examples of socialist-realist architecture as practiced in the ‘stans.

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Kirov Street, Krasnovodsk

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Oilmen’s House of Culture, Nebit-Dag

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Central Department Store, Ashkhabad

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Oguljan Potanova, Isa Orazkuliev and Emshik Orazov, leading Tashauz Region collective farmers, who were among the exhibitors at the USSR Agricultural Exhibition in Moscow

Views of the USSR

Posted in Design on March 11, 2013 by Philip Dion

Views of the USSR

A photo album of natural wonders from across the Soviet Union.  Published by the Foreign Language Publishing House, not dated, but it looks to be from the late ’50s or ’60s.  The photos are organized by region, each region starting with a beautiful black ink illustration, on a coloured paper, something I’ve never seen before.  Feast your eyes.















Physics for Entertainment

Posted in Soviet Children's Book on December 22, 2012 by Philip Dion

Y. Perelman – Physics for Entertainment, Book 1

A very attractive children’s popular science book from the Foreign Language Publishing House, designed by L. Lamm.  Full of great line drawing illustrations.

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I’m sure this book will bring back fond memories for some readers, some who even wore the pioneer’s kerchief.


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