Intourist’s Pocket Guide to Stalin’s USSR


Intourist was created in 1929 to promote the USSR’s image overseas

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Intourist's Pocket Guide to Stalin's USSR






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First edition. 16mo. pp. [xii]. 706, [xxx] adverts + 2 folding maps (general maps of the USSR); with 2 further maps (plans of Moscow and Leningrad, each 34.5 x 48.5 cm, printed in 3 colours, blank versos), as called for, bound separately in printed wraps. Some wear and light soiling to dustwrapper of the main guide and wraps of the city plans, short tear along one fold of the map of Leningrad; old ownership inscription, ‘W. Hackett, 22.12.36’.

Intourist was created in 1929 to promote the USSR’s image overseas. Stalin’s Russia wasn’t a closed country by any means, although many western visitors arrived as part of delegations sent by trade unions and other sympathetic groups. This English-language guide has sections covering economic geography, the Five Year Plan and labour legislation as well as descriptive text about the USSR and its principal cities. Among the vignettes in the margins of the map of Moscow modern factories get equal billing with more conventional attractions such as the planetarium, and Soviet sites such as Lenin’s Mausoleum. The same is true of the map of Leningrad, although historic pre-revolutionary sites such as the Admiralty and the rostral columns are prominent. Issuing the plans separately was convenient for sightseeing, but they have frequently become separated from the main publication.