In Imagining America, historian Alan M. Ball explores American influence in two newborn Russian states: the young Soviet Union and the modern Russian Republic. Ball deftly illustrates how in each era Russians have approached the United States with a conflicting mix of ideas-as a land to admire from afar, to shun at all costs, to emulate as quickly as possible, or to surpass on the way to a superior society. Drawing on a wide variety of sources including contemporary journals, newspapers, films, and popular songs, Ball traces the shifting Russian perceptions of American cultural, social, and political life. As he clearly demonstrates, throughout their history Russian imaginations featured a United States that political figures and intellectuals might embrace, exploit, or attack, but could not ignore.
Alan M. Ball is associate professor of history at Marquette University and the author of Russia's Last Capitalists: The Nepmen, 1921-1929 and And Now My Soul is Hardened: Abandoned Children in Soviet Russia, 1918-1930.
Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Introduction: The Land of the Benzine Pegasus Part 3 The Early Soviet Era Chapter 4 Soviet Americanism Chapter 5 Heavenly Miracles Chapter 6 Happy Endings and Jolly Guys Chapter 7 Arch-Bourgeois Machines Chapter 8 Catch and Surpass Part 9 The Contemporary Era Chapter 10 Holy Communion at McDonald's Chapter 11 The American Model Chapter 12 Counter Strike Chapter 13 Conclusion: Gud-Bai Amerika?