[RODCHENKO AND STEPANOVA] The Red Army and Navy
Moscow: State Art Publishers, 1939. Item #1664
 pp.: ill., including 2 fold-outs. 39,5x26,5 cm. In original red cloth with lettering on spine and stamped lettering & red star on front cover. Illustrated endpapers. Slightly rubbed, otherwise mint.
First and only edition. Rare. In English.
A parade book propagating the USSR as a military superpower. The book was published for the 1939 New York World's Fair. Its design is reminiscent of issues of the magazine 'The USSR in Construction': No.1 for 1937 on the Red Navy created by the Lissitzky duo and No.10 for 1938 on Komsomol members in the Soviet Navy created by S. Telingater.
Pictures for this particular propaganda piece were collected from previous publications on this topic. The book is fully illustrated with about 200 black-and-white photographs of military forces, vehicles, and Soviet youth trained for any possible alert. Relevance is raised by a picture devoted to the Lake Khasan incident as a Japanese attempt to encroach on Soviet territory in 1938. Photographer Viktor Temin photographed a Red Army man lifting a bullet-riddled Red banner in the Far East. The front endpaper features a tank view, and the back endpaper shows Georgy Petrusov's photo "Ship's Guns." One of the fold-outs publishes Dmitry Debabov's picture of endless ranks of soldiers standing on the Red Square. After large-scale purges of commanding officers, the entire Red Army and Navy personnel swore a new oath of allegiance to Stalin and Voroshilov on February 23, 1939.
"The Red Army and Navy" was among the last pre-war editions Alexander Rodchenko and Varvara Stepanova designed. Their other oeuvre of that time is "The Soviet Aviation."
Karasik. The Soviet Photobook, 1920-1941. P. 474
Copies are found in Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, California, Stanford, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Arkansas, Denver, Minnesota, Sewanee, Miami, Michigan, Chicago, Georgia, Florida, Duke, Arizona, Delaware, Syracuse, Fairleigh Dickinson, New York, Brown Universities, Getty Institute, Art Institute of Chicago, Air Force Academy, Army War College, Bard and Westmont Colleges, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, NYPL, Cleveland and Saint Louis Public Libraries, Dartmouth Library, National Gallery of Art.