This volume offers new perspectives on the appeal and profound cultural meaning of socialism over the past two centuries. It brings together scholarship from various disciplines addressing diverse national contexts, including Britain, China, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and the USA. Taken together, the contributions highlight the aesthetic, narrative, and religious dimensions of socialism as it has developed through three broad phases in the modern era: early nineteenth-century beginnings, mass-based political organizations, and the attainment of state power in the twentieth century and beyond. Socialism did not attract millions of people primarily because of logical argument and empirical evidence, important though those were. Rather, it told the most compelling story about the past, present, and future. Refocusing attention on socialism's imaginative dimensions, this volume aims to revive scholarly interest in one of the modern world¹s most important political orientations.
List of Figures.
List of Contributors.
Introduction: Socialist Imaginations, Stefan Arvidsson, Jakub Beneš, Anja Kirsch
Part I: The Nineteenth-Century Socialist Future
Chapter 1. Contested Christianities: Communism and Religion in July Monarchy France, Julian Strube
Chapter 2. Religious Dreams of a Socialist Future: The Case of Owenism, Edward Lucas
Chapter 3. Beyond the ‘Grand Designs’: Owenism, Architecture, and Utopia, David Leopold
Part II: Ideals for the Working-Class Movement
Chapter 4. "If that is Socialism, we won’t help its advent": The impact of Edward Bellamy’s utopian novel Looking Backward on socialist thought in late-nineteenth-century Western Europe, Philipp Reick
Chapter 5: Christian philanthropy, or political class struggle? Imaginations of Socialism and Christianity in Swedish prose-fiction of the early 1900s, Beata Agrell
Chapter 6. ‘The Omnipotence of Spring’: Ideas of Progress in Norwegian Socialism before 1940, Åsmund Borgen Gjerde
Part III: The Imagination of Socialism in Power
Chapter 7. Imaginations of Insecurity: Representations of the State Security Service in East German Television in the late 1960s and 1970s, Sebastian Haller
Chapter 8. Frugal deaths: socialist imaginations of death and funerals in modern China, Philipp Hetmanczyk
Chapter 9. Xi Jinping’s China: Keeping the Imagination Alive Under Socialism in Power, Roland Boer
Chapter 10. Afterword: Socialist Cultures and Sociabilities, Gregory Claeys