Bolshevik Visions

First Phase of the Cultural Revolution in Soviet Russia, Part 1
Second Edition
William G. Rosenberg, Editor
The first volume of a collection of writings by early Soviet critics and theorists


For all of its upheaval, revolution provides that rarest of opportunities: the possibility of creating;a new social and cultural architecture. Bolshevik Visions has been revised for its second printing and made into a two-part collection of writings by early Soviet critics and theoreticians. These writings allow us to see both the diversity of opinion about what these writers thought the new order should be, and its radical visionary essence. They were, and still are, coping with fundamental questions of the Soviet revolution:

If old morals are discredited, what should take their place?
If established art lacks imagination, what, if any, should be the limits on artistic creativity?
If law is corrupt, on what basis should a new legality be established?
What in essence should a communist "be like"?
What values should underly his or her education and outlooks?
What, in the end, is the meaning of a socialist community?

Like their present day counterparts in Gorbachev's new Russia, the critics represented in this collection are exhilarated by the very possibility of radical change, but also caught in a welter of contradiction. Their views are grouped under a variety of topics, each introduced by the editor: The Ideal Communist, Sex Roles, Marriage and the Family, Social Welfare, Religion, Habits of Language, Customs, Proletarian Law, Labor and Education, Film, Architecture, City Planning, and the Arts.

"It should be emphasized, however, that the materials in these books are about visions, not realities; about the hopes, partly utopian, of artists, educators, and jurists, not the actualities of Bolshevik practice. Nor were they collected because of their relationship to the perspectives and cultures of perestroika and glasnost'. The materials were assembled, simply, to help illuminate an exciting and neglected area of Russia's revolutionary experience. . . . Whether there was merit in these first visionary efforts to 'build a new life,' and whether they offer possibilities for the present generation, is for readers to judge for themselves." ---from the editor's introduction

Look Inside

Contents of Part 1

Illustrations in Part 1     xiii
Introduction to the Second Edition     1
Note on Transliteration     12

I. What a Communist Ought to Be Like

Introduction     15

Tasks of the Youth Leagues (Bourgeois and Communist Morality) [1920]
V.I. Lenin     21

What a Communist Ought to Be Like [1922]
N. Krupskaya     26

Communist Ethics [1922]
A.A. Solts     30

Bringing Up the Young Generation [1922]
N. Bukharin     43

Revolution and the Cultural Tasks of the Proletariat [1918]
P.I. Lebedev-Polyansky     50

II. The New Man and the New Woman: Sex Roles, Marriage, and the Family

Introduction     61

The Family and the Communist State [1918]
A. Kollontai     67

From the Old Family to the New [1923]
L. Trotsky     77

Make Way for the Winged Eros [1923]
A. Kollontai     84

The Sex Life of Man [1924]
L.A. and L.M. Vasilevsky     95

The Law, Life, and Everyday Living [1925]
Letters to Pravda and Izvestiya    99

The "Winged Eros" of Comrade Kollontai [1923]
P. Vinogradskaya     112

My Life (The Story of Maria Fedotovna Filipenko) [1924]
M.F. Filipenko     121

III. Socialism and Social Welfare

Introduction     127

The Tasks of Public Health in Soviet Russia [1919]
N. Semashko     130

The Tasks of Social Welfare in Soviet Russia [1919]
A. Vinokurov     133

Work of the People's Commissariat of Health [1921]
N. Semashko     139

How Can We Protect the Children? [1924]
The Mother of a Child     146

Protection of a Mother, Baby, and Child in Russia [1921]
N. Semashko     149

IV. Proletarian Legality

Introduction     153

Proletarian Law [1919]
P. Stuchka     159

Guiding Principles of Criminal Law in the R.S.F.S.R. [1919]
People's Commissariat of Justice     165

The Proletarian Revolution and Criminal Law [1919]
I. Kozlovsky     170

The Proletariat and Civil Law [1919]
A. Goikhbarg     178

The Old and New Court [1918]
P. Stuchka     185

Five Years of Revolution in Law [1922]
P. Stuchka     190

The General Theory of Law and Marxism [1924]
E. Pashukanis     197

V. Religion, Language, and Other "Awkward Habits" of Everyday Life

Introduction     215

Habit and Custom [1923]
L. Trotsky     219

The Fight against Prostitution [1921]
A. Kollontai     224

The Struggle for Cultured Speech [1923]
L. Trotsky     230

"Thou" and "You" in the Red Army [1922]
L. Trotsky     234

Communism and Religion [1923]
S. Kheglund (Z. Hoglund)     236

Is the Communist Movement Anti-Religious? (An Answer to Kheglund) [1923]
E.E. Yaroslavsky     239

On Anti-Religious Agitation and Propaganda among Women Workers and Peasants [1921]
Central Committee, RKP     244

"Calling All Believers," "Science or Religion?" "Without God, with Man" [1923]
The Editors of Bezbozhnik     248

"A Day of Testing in the Commune" [1921]
Pravda, Agitprop essay     254

Notes     257
Suggestions for Further Reading     259
Contents for Part 2     265

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 292pp.
  • 7 B&W illustrations.
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  • Paper
  • 1990
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  • 978-0-472-06424-3

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