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The Firebird and the Fox

The Firebird and the Fox
Russian Culture under Tsars and Bolsheviks


  • Publication planned for: September 2019
  • availability: Not yet published - available from September 2019
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108484466

£ 29.99

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About the Authors
  • Showcasing the genius of Russian literature, art, music, and dance over a century of turmoil, within the dynamic cultural ecosystem that shaped it, The Firebird and the Fox explores the shared traditions, mutual influences and enduring themes that recur in these art forms. The book uses two emblematic characters from Russian culture - the firebird, symbol of the transcendent power of art in defiance of circumstance and the efforts of censors to contain creativity; and the fox, usually female and representing wit, cleverness and the agency of artists and everyone who triumphs over adversity - to explore how Russian cultural life changed between 1850 and 1950. Jeffrey Brooks reveals how high culture drew on folk and popular genres, then in turn influenced an expanding commercial culture. Richly illustrated, The Firebird and the Fox assuredly and imaginatively navigates the complex terrain of this eventful century.

    • Beautifully illustrated, with a colour plate section including many illustrations which have never before been republished
    • Explores how Russia moved from the periphery of European culture to the cutting edge
    • Places classic works by Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Akhmatova, Malevich, Chagall, and other Russian 'greats' in their cultural context
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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: September 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108484466
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • contains: 32 b/w illus. 16 colour illus.
    • availability: Not yet published - available from September 2019
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Introduction: an age of genius
    Part I. Emancipation of the Arts (1850–1889):
    1. Freedom and the fool
    2. Desire and rebellion
    3. Artists and subjects
    4. Anton Chekhov in his time
    5. The writer as civic actor
    Part II. Politics and the Arts (1890–1916):
    6. After realism: art and authority
    7. The performing arts: Diaghilev's Ballets Russes
    8. Celebrity, humor, and the avant-garde
    Part III. The Bolshevik Revolution and the Arts (1917–1950):
    9. A new normal
    10. Irony and power
    11. An era of the fox
    12. Goodness endures

  • Author

    Jeffrey Brooks, The Johns Hopkins University, Maryland
    Jeffrey Brooks is Professor in the Department of History at The Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of When Russia Learned to Read (1985), which was awarded the 1986 Wayne S. Vucinich Prize, Thank You, Comrade Stalin (1999), and Lenin and the Making of the Soviet State (2006), with Georgiy Chernyavskiy.

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