Iconography of Power: Soviet Political Posters Under Lenin and Stalin
University of California Press, 1997

Victoria E. Bonnell


book cover

22 January 2003 |

Mass propaganda took many different forms during the early years of Soviet power, but there was a privileging of the eye in the task of political education. This meant that a great deal of effort and ingenuity went into the production of visual propaganda of all types. Visual methods for persuasion and indoctrination appealed to Bolshevik leaders because of the low level of literacy in the country and the strong visual traditions of the Russian people. .On the eve of the First Five Year Plan, a substantial proportion of the population (especially peasants) was still poorly equipped to read simple texts, such as newspapers. Visual propaganda, which greatly minimized the need to comprehend the written word, offered a means of reaching broad strata of the population with the Bolshevik message.


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