Soviet Pamphlets: Revolution and War

Political pamphlets played an important role in Soviet propaganda and education efforts, as they provided an easy-to-print and low-cost method for disseminating information to Soviet citizens. These pamphlets ranged across many different subjects, promoting literacy among peasants, biographical sketches of popular figures such as Lenin, and pamphlets such as these, which cover a variety of topics related to the Soviet revolutions and military. The pamphlets include literacy manuals for soldiers, descriptions of the experiences of a war correspondent, and a booklet addressing the question of whether the Tsar’s family were still alive. Items highlighted in this exhibit will be of interest to researchers and patrons interested in Russian history, the development of Soviet communism, and, of continued contemporary interest, the use of propaganda to shape public opinion.

This exhibit aims to highlight this broad spectrum of pamphlets tied together by their military themes, illuminating the commonalities between them while also showing how the Soviet government utilized print--often with striking graphics interspersed with the text--to further its agendas, whether they be educational and for the good of its citizens (as in the case of the pamphlets promoting literacy among soldiers) or aimed at bolstering military might, as in the case of the pamphlet encouraging youth to enroll in military schools. While the documents displayed here date from 1917 through to the early 1930s, the way in which they highlight the use of media to promote a state’s agenda is relevant to a broader discussion of how governments use information to influence their citizenry.

The items featured here are physically housed in the UT Libraries’ Library Storage Facility. They can be requested for pick-up through the UT Libraries catalog, and can be viewed digitally at the links provided on the other pages of the exhibit.

Citation: Goodale, Ian, curator. (2020). Soviet Pamphlets: Revolution and War.

Further reading:

Babelʹ, I. (Isaak), Nathalie. Babel, and Peter Constantine. Red Cavalry. New York: W.W. Norton, 2003.

Daniels, Robert V. (Robert Vincent). The Russian Revolution. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice-Hall, 1972.

Fitzpatrick, Sheila. The Russian Revolution. Fourth edition. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2017.

Timofeeva-Egorova, A. A. (Anna Aleksandrovna), Margarita. Ponomaryova, and Kim. Green. Red Sky, Black Death : a Soviet Woman Pilot’s Memoir of the Eastern Front. Bloomington, Ind: Slavica Publishers, 2009.