1st Edition

Physical Culture and Sport in Soviet Society Propaganda, Acculturation, and Transformation in the 1920s and 1930s

By Susan Grant Copyright 2013
    276 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    288 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    From its very inception the Soviet state valued the merits and benefits of physical culture, which included not only sport but also health, hygiene, education, labour and defence. Physical culture propaganda was directed at the Soviet population, and even more particularly at young people, women and peasants, with the aim of transforming them into ideal citizens. By using physical culture and sport to assess social, cultural and political developments within the Soviet Union, this book provides a new addition to the historiography of the 1920s and 1930s as well as to general sports history studies.

    1. Culture of the Body.  2. The Genesis and Organization of Soviet Fizkul’tura.  3. The Creation of an Ideal Young Citizen.  4. The Quest for an Enlightened Female Citizen.  5. The Pursuit of a Rural Civilized Citizen.  6. Visualizing the New Soviet Citizenry.  7. The New Soviet Citizen in Reality.  Conclusion.  Appendix 1: Biographical Index.  Appendix 2: Organizational and Institutional Index


    Susan Grant is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of History and Archives at University College Dublin.

    "The effort to create a New Soviet Person in 1920s and 1930s Soviet Russia targeted the body as much as the mind. Yet most historical investigations into the New Soviet Person focus on the former. So much so that the prevalence of the ‘soul’ in our academic lexicon gives the impression that the Bolshevik effort to engineer new people was merely pneumatological. But, as Susan Grant’s study of Soviet physical culture and sport reminds us, the corporal was just as much an object of Bolshevik concern. In fact, as Grant details, the body and mind of Soviet man were braided together, making physical culture one of the many ‘programmes of identity’ in revolutionary Russia."Sean Guillory, University of Pittsburgh, Revolutionary Russia, 2014, Vol. 27, No. 1, 67–89