Copying Cartoons: An Intimate History of the Stalinist Caricature

In: Experiment
Stephen M. Norris Walter E. Havighurst Professor of Russian History, Miami University (OH) Oxford, OH USA

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“Copying Cartoons” examines a set of albums used by Aleksandr Avgustovich Frolovskii (1867–1942). In the 1930s, Frolovskii, a retired math teacher, purchased the albums and used them to redraw political caricatures published in newspapers such as Pravda (Truth) and Izvestiia (The News) and journals such as Krokodil (Crocodile). Frolovskii was particularly drawn to the works of Boris Efimov, the principal political caricaturist for Izvestiia, and redrew over 100 of Efimov’s cartoons. Frolovskii’s albums, as this chapter argues, serve as both a visual history of the Stalin era and a record of what it meant to be “Soviet” during the Great Purges.

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