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Brezhnev's Folly: The Building of BAM and Late Soviet Socialism (Paperback)
  • Brezhnev's Folly: The Building of BAM and Late Soviet Socialism (Paperback)
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Brezhnev's Folly: The Building of BAM and Late Soviet Socialism (Paperback)

(author)
£30.50
Paperback 232 Pages / Published: 30/04/2011
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Provides the first scholarly account of the Baikal-Amur Railway (BAM), Russia's most ambitious public construction project to be attempted in the final decades leading up to the collapse of the USSR. This is a rich social history based on a combination of original scholarly research and interviews with many of those who worked on BAM.

Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
ISBN: 9780822961383
Number of pages: 232
Weight: 340 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"Ward's excellent history charts the rise and fall of a vast and impractical construction project. . . . Imparts both meaning and insight to everyday life in Brezhnev's Soviet Union. . . . Ward excels at peopling BAM's construction sites with a fascinating cast of belligerent, disorganized workers who drink, steal, worry about the environment, . . . and dream of amassing capital rather than building socialism. . . . A fine, readable work on a neglected topic that offers insights not just into the construction of BAM, but into the larger realm of youth culture and work culture under Brezhnev."
"-Technology and Culture"


"This excellent monograph details the construction of one of the largest public works projects of all time, the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) Railway. . . . The last instance of 'Soviet gigantomania' and a pet project of Leonid Brezhnev. . . BAM was envisioned as a demonstration of ideological fervor and Soviet prowess. . . . In fact, BAM was a disaster from start to finish. . . . "Brezhnev's Folly" benefits from the author's thorough familiarity with rich archival materials as well as personal interviews. . . . It deserves the attention of every specialist in modern Russian history."
"-The Russian Review"


"Ward's important study successfully situates BAM within Brezhnev's 'developed socialism,' and it indicates the bankruptcy of late Soviet efforts to demonstrate the glories of enlightened rule. Important for specialists on Soviet politics and history, and more generally for historians of technology."
"-Slavic Review"


"A fascinating case study of youth, gender, ethnicity, and an emergent ecological consciousness in Brezhnev's USSR. This book also focuses on the near farce of an out-of-touch effort by the Soviet state to have BAM's builders inhabit a visionary future while living in a squalid present. This disconnect between officialdom's happy propaganda and the brutal reality of everyday life on BAM validates Havel's insistence that late communism can be reduced to mendacity incarnate. An important work that should become a classic in the field."
-Matthew Payne, Emory University


"Ward's important study successfully situates BAM within Brezhnev's 'developed socialism, ' and it indicates the bankruptcy of late Soviet efforts to demonstrate the glories of enlightened rule. Important for specialists on Soviet politics and history, and more generally for historians of technology."

"--Slavic Review"


"Ward's excellent history charts the rise and fall of a vast and impractical construction project. . . . Imparts both meaning and insight to everyday life in Brezhnev's Soviet Union. . . . Ward excels at peopling BAM's construction sites with a fascinating cast of belligerent, disorganized workers who drink, steal, worry about the environment, . . . and dream of amassing capital rather than building socialism. . . . A fine, readable work on a neglected topic that offers insights not just into the construction of BAM, but into the larger realm of youth culture and work culture under Brezhnev."
"--Technology and Culture"


"This excellent monograph details the construction of one of the largest public works projects of all time, the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) Railway. . . . The last instance of 'Soviet gigantomania' and a pet project of Leonid Brezhnev. . . BAM was envisioned as a demonstration of ideological fervor and Soviet prowess. . . . In fact, BAM was a disaster from start to finish. . . . "Brezhnev's Folly" benefits from the author's thorough familiarity with rich archival materials as well as personal interviews. . . . It deserves the attention of every specialist in modern Russian history."
"--The Russian Review"


"A fascinating case study of youth, gender, ethnicity, and an emergent ecological consciousness in Brezhnev's USSR. This book also focuses on the near farce of an out-of-touch effort by the Soviet state to have BAM's builders inhabit a visionary future while living in a squalid present. This disconnect between officialdom's happy propaganda and the brutal reality of everyday life on BAM validates Havel's insistence that late communism can be reduced to mendacity incarnate. An important work that should become a classic in the field."
--Matthew Payne, Emory University


"An interesting and important analysis. . . Scholars and students will discover much with which to argue, but at the same time an accessible, unusual, and well-documented work of history."
"--The Journal of Modern History"


Ward s excellent history charts the rise and fall of a vast and impractical construction project. . . . Imparts both meaning and insight to everyday life in Brezhnev s Soviet Union. . . . Ward excels at peopling BAM s construction sites with a fascinating cast of belligerent, disorganized workers who drink, steal, worry about the environment, . . . and dream of amassing capital rather than building socialism. . . . A fine, readable work on a neglected topic that offers insights not just into the construction of BAM, but into the larger realm of youth culture and work culture under Brezhnev.
" Technology and Culture""


This excellent monograph details the construction of one of the largest public works projects of all time, the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) Railway. . . . The last instance of Soviet gigantomania and a pet project of Leonid Brezhnev. . . BAM was envisioned as a demonstration of ideological fervor and Soviet prowess. . . . In fact, BAM was a disaster from start to finish. . . . "Brezhnev s Folly" benefits from the author s thorough familiarity with rich archival materials as well as personal interviews. . . . It deserves the attention of every specialist in modern Russian history.
" The Russian Review""


Ward s important study successfully situates BAM within Brezhnev s developed socialism, and it indicates the bankruptcy of late Soviet efforts to demonstrate the glories of enlightened rule. Important for specialists on Soviet politics and history, and more generally for historians of technology.
" Slavic Review""


A fascinating case study of youth, gender, ethnicity, and an emergent ecological consciousness in Brezhnev's USSR. This book also focuses on the near farce of an out-of-touch effort by the Soviet state to have BAM's builders inhabit a visionary future while living in a squalid present. This disconnect between officialdom's happy propaganda and the brutal reality of everyday life on BAM validates Havel's insistence that late communism can be reduced to mendacity incarnate. An important work that should become a classic in the field.
Matthew Payne, Emory University"


An interesting and important analysis. . . Scholars and students will discover much with which to argue, but at the same time an accessible, unusual, and well-documented work of history.
" The Journal of Modern History""


"Ward's excellent history charts the rise and fall of a vast and impractical construction project. . . . Imparts both meaning and insight to everyday life in Brezhnev's Soviet Union. . . . Ward excels at peopling BAM's construction sites with a fascinating cast of belligerent, disorganized workers who drink, steal, worry about the environment, . . . and dream of amassing capital rather than building socialism. . . . A fine, readable work on a neglected topic that offers insights not just into the construction of BAM, but into the larger realm of youth culture and work culture under Brezhnev."
--Technology and Culture


"This excellent monograph details the construction of one of the largest public works projects of all time, the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) Railway. . . . The last instance of 'Soviet gigantomania' and a pet project of Leonid Brezhnev. . . BAM was envisioned as a demonstration of ideological fervor and Soviet prowess. . . . In fact, BAM was a disaster from start to finish. . . . Brezhnev's Folly benefits from the author's thorough familiarity with rich archival materials as well as personal interviews. . . . It deserves the attention of every specialist in modern Russian history."
--The Russian Review


"Ward's important study successfully situates BAM within Brezhnev's 'developed socialism, ' and it indicates the bankruptcy of late Soviet efforts to demonstrate the glories of enlightened rule. Important for specialists on Soviet politics and history, and more generally for historians of technology."

--Slavic Review


"A fascinating case study of youth, gender, ethnicity, and an emergent ecological consciousness in Brezhnev's USSR. This book also focuses on the near farce of an out-of-touch effort by the Soviet state to have BAM's builders inhabit a visionary future while living in a squalid present. This disconnect between officialdom's happy propaganda and the brutal reality of everyday life on BAM validates Havel's insistence that late communism can be reduced to mendacity incarnate. An important work that should become a classic in the field."
--Matthew Payne, Emory University


"An interesting and important analysis. . . Scholars and students will discover much with which to argue, but at the same time an accessible, unusual, and well-documented work of history."
--The Journal of Modern History

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