Much has been written about the workings of communist governments in the USSR and the Soviet bloc, yet there is still a great deal to explore regarding their relationship to the everyday lives of the citizens living under them. This third volume builds on the editors' Style and Socialism and Socialist Spaces, showing how the rise of consumer culture took a unique form in these countries. Essays from top scholars address topics ranging from fashion and game shows to smoking and camping. The authors of the essays in this collection investigate the ways in which pleasurable activities, like many other facets of daily life, were both a space in which these communist governments tried to insinuate themselves and thereby further expand the reach of their authority, and also an opportunity for people to assert their individuality.
David Crowley is head of the Department of the History of Design, Royal College of Art. Susan E. Reid is Reader in Russian Visual Arts in the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies at the University of Sheffield. They coedited Socialist Spaces: Sites of Everyday Life in the Eastern Bloc (2002) and Style and Socialism: Material Culture in Post-War Eastern Europe (2000).