Between Truth and Time: A History of Soviet Central by Christine Elaine Evans

By Christine Elaine Evans

The first full-length, archive-based background of Soviet crucial Television’s creation and programming within the many years ahead of perestroika

within the first full-length learn of Soviet relevant tv to attract broadly on archival assets, interviews, and tv recordings, Evans demanding situations the concept Soviet mass tradition within the Brezhnev period was once boring and formulaic. Tracing the emergence of play, clash, and festival on Soviet information courses, serial movies, and diversity and online game indicates, Evans exhibits that Soviet significant Television’s preferred exhibits have been experimental and inventive, laying the foundation for Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms and the post-Soviet media system.

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Extra resources for Between Truth and Time: A History of Soviet Central Television

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56 Although this book discusses shows that were seen and remembered by most Soviet television viewers, I cannot reconstruct the specific linguistic, regional, national, and international contexts in which those shows appeared for different households in very different corners of the vast Soviet Union. I focus on reception largely from the perspective of Central Television’s producers, using sources of information about audiences to which they had access—viewer letters and sociological surveys. 57 They had their audiences always in mind, from distant viewers whose reactions they imagined for themselves or measured imperfectly with letters and surveys, to the more proximate and influential audiences inside Central Television, in the press, and in the Central Committee.

26 Within the state media, the key site of this politically innovative activity was television, and television entertainment in particular, that arena of personal and local communal pleasures, memories, and emotions in which the Soviet state now sought to root itself as traditional public rituals and language became increasingly emptied of meaning. These experiments on Central Television—with all their limitations and artificiality—foreshadowed and helped make possible Gorbachev’s fateful experiments with the Soviet system after 1985.

Entitled President-2042, the show offered young people born after 1991 the opportunity to compete for “election,” by Rain’s audience, as the future Russian president in 2042—the year made famous by the writer Vladimir Voinovich’s alarmingly prescient dystopian novel, Moscow 2042, published in 1986. The show’s promotional campaign stressed the ephemeral nature of the Putin era. “In 2042,” the show’s trailer noted, “Vladimir Putin will be 90 years old, and Dmitry Medvedev 77. ” President-2042 thus does not question television’s centrality to the Russian political process, but it does offer another account of how it might be used.

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