Between Truth and Time

A History of Soviet Central Television

Christine Elaine Evans

View Inside Price: $85.00


August 23, 2016
360 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
20 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300208436
Cloth

Also available in:
Paper

The first full-length, archive-based history of Soviet Central Television’s production and programming in the decades before perestroika

In the first full-length study of Soviet Central Television to draw extensively on archival sources, interviews, and television recordings, Evans challenges the idea that Soviet mass culture in the Brezhnev era was dull and formulaic. Tracing the emergence of play, conflict, and competition on Soviet news programs, serial films, and variety and game shows, Evans shows that Soviet Central Television’s most popular shows were experimental and creative, laying the groundwork for Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms and the post-Soviet media system.

Christine E. Evans is assistant professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She lives in Milwaukee, WI.

“This book will resonate with anyone interested in both the history of mass communications and late state socialism.” —Lewis Siegelbaum, Jack and Margaret Sweet Professor of History at Michigan State University

 

“This engagingly written book will be of great interest to those interested in late socialism (inside and outside the USSR), and media more generally. It intersects with conversations about late socialism, the role of intellectuals in the USSR, youth, media technology, celebrity, class, cultural politics, and the question of political legitimacy in authoritarian regimes.” —Diane Koenker, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

“This engagingly written book will be of great interest to those interested in late socialism (inside and outside the USSR), and media more generally. It intersects with conversations about late socialism, the role of intellectuals in the USSR, youth, media technology, celebrity, class, cultural politics, and the question of political legitimacy in authoritarian regimes.” —Diane Koenker, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

"Evans handles matters of reception and production with great intelligence, theoretical sophistication and admirable clarity. Her rigorous research in Soviet-era archives deeply enriches our understanding of what seemed to outsiders to be the most boring and conservative of Soviet media. She has found a series of sweet spots between producers and consumers for which the best of cultural studies has always striven. This path-breaking book is a must-read for students at all levels in a wide range of disciplines."--Robert Edelman, University of California, San Diego

"In exhuming 1970’s Soviet television, Christine Evans makes a fascinating discovery. Both the experimentalism of Gorbachev’s era and the neo-rigidity of Putin’s got their start under, yes, Leonid Brezhnev. Tocqueville told us this is how revolutions—and counter-revolutions—work, but Evans brings his insight to life. A subtle, illuminating, entertaining book.”—Stephen Sestanovich, author of Maximalist: America in the World from Truman to Obama

“Through her impeccable study of primary sources, Evans demonstrates how the censored creativity of the Brezhnev era laid the groundwork for television which would catalyse perestroika—and ultimately change the world.”—Will Nicholl, The Spectator

“An excellent new book that addresses how Soviet Central Television brought serious news and entertainment to Brezhnev-era Soviet culture, dispelling the myth that Brezhnev’s era was one of dullness and stagnation.”—Choice
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