In Graphic Satire in the Soviet Union: Krokodil’s Political Cartoons
(University Press of Mississippi, 2019), Dr. John Etty
explains how Krokodil
magazine provided a venue in which the state, the magazine’s editors, and readers all participated in defining what it was permissible to laugh at in the USSR. A standard view of Krokodil
as propaganda would suggest that the magazine largely functioned as an arm of state ideology. In some cases, Krokodil
did serve this function, but more often than not, its contents were the product of a process of co-creation, with all three groups playing a creative role in producing the magazine’s contents. With an engaging mix of visual analysis and theoretical sophistication, the author provides a window into everyday reading materials consumed by Soviet citizens.
Aaron Weinacht is Professor of History at the University of Montana Western in Dillon, MT. He teaches courses on Russian and Soviet History, World History, and Philosophy of History. His research interests include the sociological theorist Philip Rieff and the influence of Russian nihilism on American libertarianism.