cover image The Bolshevik Poster

The Bolshevik Poster

Stephen White. Yale University Press, $50 (152pp) ISBN 978-0-300-04339-6

``You find posters on all the walls, in thousands of Moscow shops, on telegraph poles, in pubs, in factories, everywhere you find posters,'' said a traveler of 1920. Then, the Soviet civil war poster was a call to arms, an exhortation to have anti-cholera inoculations, a celebration of May Day. A 1918 lithograph by Alexander Apsit, one of the first Soviet poster artists, depicts the bad old days and offers a representative title The Tsar, the Priest and the Rich Man on the Shoulders of the Labouring People . White ( Britain and the Bolshevik Revolution ) writes a fast-moving history of this unique confluence of art and ``agitational literature,'' reporting on the effectiveness of individual posters, describing the people and circumstances that brought about the (relatively) famous ``Rosta windows,'' and introducing some of the more exceptional artists, including Vladimir Mayakovsky, Dmitri S. Moor, Mikhail Cheremnykh and Victor Deni. (Dec.)