The Commissariat of Enlightenment by Ken Kalfus

The Commissariat of Enlightenment

Ken Kalfus

Set against the backdrop of a turbulent era in Russian history, before and after the 1917 Revolution. The book explores in a matter-of-fact way how images and icons are manipulated and exploited for propaganda. It's the small details that get the reader thinking about this period in Russian history and how the story has a resonance with contemporary society.

Extract

Gribshin had come to understand that deceit was ingrained in cinematographic reporting, as it was in every kind of storytelling. You were presented with a set of facts, sometimes laboriously uncovered and often imperfectly known, and it was your task to order them in a way that imparted meaning. No story was possible without some sense to be manufactured from it.

Parallels
  • Ten Days That Shook the World by John Reed
  • Santa Evita by Tomos Eloy Martinez
  • The Last Bolshevik - film documentary