№15 2023

УДК / UDK: 821.111(73).0


Author: Olga Yu. Panova
About the author:

Olga Yu. Panova, Doctor Hab. in Philology, Professor, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leninskie Gory 1, building 51, 119991 Moscow, Russia; Leading Researcher, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.


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The monograph by Russian-American researcher, translator and critic Galina Lapina Americans in Moscow: 1930–1940 is dedicated to pre-war Soviet-American theatrical, educational, cinematic, diplomatic, literary contacts. Among the heroes of the book are American Ambassador Joseph E. Davis and his chauffeur Charles Ciliberti, writers Langston Hughes and Dorothy West, playwright Sophie Treadwell, actress Blanche Yurka and other writers, artists, diplomats, journalists who came to the USSR in the 1930s and early 1940s. The book consists of five chapters; each of them is devoted to a certain episode of Soviet-American connections: the failed film project Black and White; The Promised Land, Sophie Treadwell's play about Soviet life; Moscow theater festivals of 1933–1937; history of the Anglo-American Institute (1933–1935), Moscow summer school for American students; a comparison of two books about the USSR — Joseph E. Davis’ Mission to Moscow (1943) and Charles Siliberti’s Backstage Mission to Moscow (1946), that show Soviet reality from the opposing points of view. The book that is, in fact, a collection of articles, is however marked by unity and integrity; it reconstructs the general context of the period in question on the basis of the extensive material. Memoirs, correspondence, archival documents, Soviet and American press form a vivid picture of Soviet-American relations in the pre-war decade. Many sources revealing American attitudes towards the USSR used by the author, have not yet been translated or published in Russia. Galina Lapina’s book encourages further research and publishing projects.

Acknowledgements: The research was carried out at A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences and was financially supported by the Russian Scientific Fund, grant no. 23-18-00393 “Russia and the West viewing each other: Literature at the intersection of culture and politics, XX century”, 

Keywords: Soviet-American contacts, travelogue, theatre, cinema, education, race problem, diplomacy.
For citation:

Panova, Olga. “Five Adventure Stories: Americans in Stalin's Moscow.” Literature of the Americas, no. 15 (2023): 297–307. 


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