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The Socialist Car: Automobility in the Eastern Bloc Paperback – Illustrated, October 15, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"[These] essays are of a high standard and together provide us with an excellent resource for car cultures under twentieth-century socialist regimes.... [They] would make an excellent addition to any reading list concerned with modern Eastern Europe, material culture, and automobility."

-- Zachary Doleshal ― H-German

"As is clear from the eleven chapters covering more than six countries, there was no single consensus on how to reconcile consumers' desires for individual mobility with the ideological demands of collectivity... Together, the essays in this volume both explain and complicate commonly held notions about the deficiencies of consumer goods in the Eastern Bloc. The Socialist Car fills a noticeable gap in comparative studies of consumer culture as well as automobility, and will be of interest to scholars well beyond historians of Eastern Europe."

-- Sally West ― Canadian-American Slavic Studies

"Cars offer a fascinating prism through which to explore the socialist society that materialized in the Eastern Bloc after 1917.... The sociological and cultural approaches one might take in regard to the automobile are numerous and diverse and The Socialist Car does not disappoint."

-- Tim Harte ― Slavic and East European Journal

"In this exemplary volume, the seemingly narrow topic of automobility in the Eastern Bloc becomes a window into aspects of history as varied as factory production, Communist Party politics, urban planning, and the domestic lives of women.... The everyday experiences of European socialism really come alive in these pages as the singular attention to the car allows the era's larger social, economic, and political issues to be highlighted and interrogated in multiple, convincing ways."

-- Kimberly Elman Zarecor ― Technology and Culture

"Lewis H. Siegelbaum is well placed to lead the exploration of socialist automobility.. As a result, this collection of essays edited by Siegelbaum offers many insights on lived socialism in Eastern Europe and the USSR, especially in the post-Stalin era. The essays are diverse in their approachs and sources, which range from popular culture, cinema, and archival records to oral history.. The book, which is engaging and full of telling anectodes about lived socialism, is a valuable contribution not only to the historiography of the region but also to studies of automobility cultures worldwide."

-- Natalya Chernyshova ― Journal of Modern History

"These fine essays show that a clash of civilizations can play out in the everyday commodities such as cars. Automobility as it manifested under Socialism proves to be an incredibly rich subject, reaching from the design of vast metropolitan areas down to ways the average car owner cared for their vehicle. Luminita Gatejel's essay on Socialist car culture describes the 'ambiguous amalgam of Socialist superiority and the painful awareness of backwardness' that the car caused the Eastern Bloc and USSR to feel."

-- Mike Pursley ― PopMatters


"With its careful analyses of how official ideologies, production regimes, and private desires shaped Socialist car cultures, this book opensup fascinating perspectives on the history of the automobile. Broadly and imaginatively conceived, The Socialist Car addresses concerns that lie at the heart of twentieth-century consumer society across the globe."

-- Bernhard Rieger, University College London, author of Technology and the Culture of Modernity in Britain and Germany, 1890–1945

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Cornell University Press; 1st edition (October 15, 2011)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0801477387
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0801477386
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 18 years and up
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 12 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.12 x 0.53 x 9.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4 ratings

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5.0 out of 5 stars The socialist Car. Automobility in the Eastern Bloc
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 24, 2013
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fine book.
Reviewed in France on March 23, 2021
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