USSR in Construction, No 6, 1934

Dedicated to Soviet Science This is a groovy one.  And excitingly designed by El Lissitsky! The inside cover features this list of German scientists repressed by the Nazi state.  Soviet culture from this period seems in retrospect, and for the most part, crass and cynical.  Particularly so when we look at the Stalin cult.  But […]

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USSR in Construction, No 7, 1938

Soviet Railways This issue is dedicated to celebration of Soviet traindom, another ‘progress’ trope of the Leninist and Stalinist eras. This locomotive’s name is Joseph Stalin. This is a four-page fold out.  These full-figure photos of Lenin and Stalin fold out to reveal: five locomotives (two of them named after Stalin) and a heroic railwayman. […]

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USSR in Construction, No 1, 1935

The ‘Maxim Gorki’ Agitational Air Squadron I read somewhere that this issue of the magazine shipped with some kind of aluminum decoration, I’m unclear on what that means, but there’s no aluminum with my copy.  Regardless this is a great cover, very graphic. A nice cut-away diagram. In the centre is People’s Commissar of Defense […]

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USSR in Construction, No 8, 1938

Soviet Food Industry This issue is devoted to a classic Stalinist trope: abundance.  The much-repeated theme of socialist cornucopia of overflowing with goods was a standard image during the era of the five year plan. This issue is a survey of abundance brought to the Soviet people by A Mikoyan, who came up under Lenin, […]

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USSR in Construction, No. 2, 1937

Tadjik Soviet Socialist Republic A beautiful cover on this one.  A kind of report from the periphery of the empire. Titles of photos essays like ‘Girls Unveiled’, and the like. During the period this magazine was made the ‘stans and south Asian republics were a popular refuge for artists who fell afoul of the conventions […]

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