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During two trips to the Soviet Union, physicians Dr. Harry Bakwin and Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin collected posters promoting the First Five Year Plan. This collection contains nineteen Soviet propaganda posters produced in the early 1930’s. These represent propaganda from the First Five Year Plan, encouraging production, promoting the Komsomols (the teenage members of the Communist Youth League), and representing an idealized Soviet state. There are also several posters recalling the Bolshevik Revolution, and demonizing capitalists as fanged corporate fat-cats wearing tuxedos and top hats and carrying bags of money. This collection includes several posters from famous Soviet artists, including Viktor Deni, who was well-known as a satirist and cartoonist before being recruited as a propaganda poster artist.
Samuel Northrup Harper (1882-1943), son of the University’s first president, William Rainey Harper, was a Professor of Russian Language and Institutions at the University of Chicago and the first American-born scholar to devote an academic career to the study of Russia. As such, he played an important role in interpreting the events of the Russian Revolution and early Soviet period to those involved in forming American foreign policy towards Russia. In 1904, he made the first of his 18 trips to Russia, in the course of which he amassed an invaluable collection of pamphlets, which are housed in the Library’s Department of Special Collections. The subjects of these pamphlets cover a wide range of topics, including agricultural workers societies, the army, art, banks, health, collectivization, commerce, communist party activities of all kinds, economic planning, education, foreign affairs, industry, labor legislation, police, religion, women and youth. The collection also contains the publications of a variety of organizations such as the Obshchestvo sblizheniia mezhdu Rossiei i Amerikoi, Soiuz ob”edinennago dvorianstva, Soiuz Russkago naroda, Soiuz uvechnykh voinov, Vremennoe pravitel’stvo, Vserossiiskii krest’ianskii soiuz and the Zemskie sobory. Other pamphlets include material on various contemporary personages such as Bukharin, Kaganovich, Kalinin, Kerenskii, Kropotkin, Lenin, Molotov, Nikolai II, Plekhanov, Rasputin, Stalin, Trotskii, Voroshilov and Zhdanov.
Each pamphlet has a letter/number code associated with each piece. The letter code refers to the subject category the piece has been assigned to and the number refers to the item number for each pamphlet in that subject category
Samuel Northrup Harper (1882 -1943), professor of Russian Language and Institutions at the University of Chicago, was the first American to devote an academic career to the study of Russia. As the foremost American expert during the Revolution of 1919 and the early years of the Soviet regime played a unique role in interpreting events in Russia to those who made, or influenced, American policy.