Authoritarian Laughter

Authoritarian Laughter Political Humor and Soviet Dystopia in Lithuania

Hardback (15 Dec 2022)

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Publisher's Synopsis

Winner of the 2024 BASEES (British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies) Women's Forum.

Authoritarian Laughter explores the political history of the satire and humor magazine Broom published in Soviet Lithuania. Artists, writers, and journalists were required to create state-sponsored Soviet humor and serve the Communist Party after Lithuania was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1940. Neringa Klumbyte investigates official attempts to shape citizens into Soviet subjects and engage them through a culture of popular humor.

Broom was multidirectional-it both facilitated Communist Party agendas and expressed opposition toward the Soviet regime. Official satire and humor in Soviet Lithuania increasingly created dystopian visions of Soviet modernity and were a forum for critical ideas and nationalist sentiments that were mobilized in anti-Soviet revolutionary laughter in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Authoritarian Laughter illustrates that Soviet Western peripheries were unstable and their governance was limited. While authoritarian states engage in a statecraft of the everyday and seek to engineer intimate lives, authoritarianism is defied not only in revolutions, but in the many stories people tell each other about themselves in jokes, cartoons, and satires.

Book information

ISBN: 9781501766688
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Imprint: Cornell University Press
Pub date:
DEWEY: 947.93
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: 306
Weight: 907g
Height: 229mm
Width: 152mm
Spine width: 27mm