Americans experience Russia: Encountering the enigma, 1917 to the present



Americans Experience Russia analyzes how American scholars, journalists, and artists envisioned, experienced, and interpreted Russia/the Soviet Union over the last century. While many histories of diplomatic, economic, and intellectual connections between the United States and the Soviet Union can be found, none has yet examined how Americans' encounters with Russian/Soviet society shaped their representations of a Russian/Soviet 'other' and its relationship with an American 'west.' The essays in this volume critically engage with postcolonial theories which posit that a self-valorizing, unmediated west dictated the colonial encounter, repressing native voices that must be recovered. Unlike western imperialists and their colonial subjects, Americans and Russians long co-existed in a tense parity, regarding each other as other-than-European equals, sometime cultural role models, temporary allies, and political antagonists. In examining the fiction, film, journalism, treatises, and histories Americans produced out of their 'Russian experience,' the contributors to this volume closely analyze these texts, locate them in their sociopolitical context, and gauge how their producers' profession, politics, gender, class, and interaction with native Russian interpreters conditioned their authored responses to Russian/Soviet reality. The volume also explores the blurred boundaries between national identities and representations of self/other after the Soviet Union's fall. © 2013 Taylor & Francis. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Chatterjee, C; Holmgren, B

Duke Editors

Published Date

  • December 1, 2013

Start / End Page

  • 1 - 232

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9780203082102

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.4324/9780203082102

Citation Source

  • Scopus