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Watching the red dawn: the American avant-garde and the Soviet Union

Haran, Barnaby



© Barnaby Haran 2016. All rights reserved. This book offers the first sustained examination of the cultural relations of the American and Soviet avant-gardes in a period of major transformation. From the formation of the USSR in 1922 until its recognition by the American government, American avant-garde artists, writers and designers watched the 'Red Dawn' with fascination, enthusiastically reporting on its post-revolutionary cultural developments in articles and books, and brought these works to an American audience in ground-breaking exhibitions. Americans also emulated and adapted aspects of Soviet culture, as in the case of the New Playwrights Theatre, a group that mixed Russian avant-garde theatrical techniques with jazz, vaudeville and slapstick comedy in plays about strikes and racial injustice. Figures discussed include Louis Lozowick, Jane Heap, Frederick Kiesler, Ralph Steiner, John dos Passos, Margaret Bourke-White and Langston Hughes. Watching the red dawn takes an innovative interdisciplinary approach, considering these developments in architecture, theatre, film, photography and literature, and will be invaluable for students and specialists in these subject areas. It provides a new perspective on American avant-garde culture of the inter-war years.


Haran, B. (2016). Watching the red dawn: the American avant-garde and the Soviet Union. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Book Type Authored Book
Online Publication Date Sep 1, 2016
Publication Date Apr 29, 2016
Deposit Date Apr 12, 2019
Publisher Manchester University Press
Pages 1-213
Book Title Watching the red dawn, The American avant-garde and the Soviet Union
ISBN 9781784997687; 9780719097225
Keywords Avant-garde; Architecture; Photography; Film; Theatre; Russia; Machine; America
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