Item #1798 [TSENTRIZDAT]


Item #1798

1) Russko-angliiskii razgovornik. Pervyi vypusk: Puteshestvie [i.e. Russian-English Phrasebook. The First Issue: Traveling] / Compiled by S. Zaimovskii, T. Levitskaia and M. Morozov. Moscow: Izd. Tsentrizdata, 1930. 126, [2] pp. 17,2x12,5 cm. In original series wrappers with letterpress design. Fragments of spine lost, front cover rubbed, with publisher’s name affected, otherwise very good internally.

2) Russko-angliiskii razgovornik. Vtoroi vypusk: Bol’shoi gorod (London i N’iu-Iork) [i.e. Russian-English Phrasebook. The Second Issue: A City (London and New York)] / Compiled by Sh. Lebedev and D. Kinkade, edited by A. Wicksteed. Moscow: Tsentrizdat, 1930. 232, [2] pp.+2 pp. of ads. 17,5x12,5 cm. In original series wrappers with letterpress design. Front cover detached, small fragments of spine lost, small tears of covers, pencil underlines on pages, otherwise very good internally.

3) Russko-angliiskii razgovornik. Tretii vypusk: V Moskve [i.e. Russian-English Phrasebook. The Third Issue: In Moscow] / Compiled by A. Polevaia and Ia. MacPherson. Moscow: Tsentrizdat, 1930. 133, [3] pp. 17,5x12,5 cm. In original series wrappers with letterpress design. Minor tears of spine, otherwise mint.

This series of phrasebooks was commissioned by the All-Union Association for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries. According to an advertisement printed at the end, 5 issues of Russian-English and 5 issues of Russian-German phrasebooks were planned for 1930. The next year the same portions were supposed to be published. Nevertheless, 1931 issues became the second edition of the 1930 series. Unfortunately, too little was preserved up to day and it is unknown certainly if all the issues were released.
In early industrialization years coinciding with the first five-year plan, numerous foreign specialists were employed by Soviet enterprises. In particular, well-known foreign architects and engineers were engaged in great socialist constructions as Dneprostroi along with lots of regular workers. At the same time, Soviet delegations were sent to the USA to observe their experience in contemporary technologies.
Tsentrizdat (The central publishing house of the peoples of USSR) worked from 1924 to 1931. Based in Moscow, it was formed following Lenin’s idea, articulated on the Xth party meeting, “to help the working masses of the non-Russian nations [i.e. nevelikorusskim narodam] to catch up with the Central Russia, that is ahead”. By 1930 it printed periodical and non-periodical editions in 55 different languages, using Latin, Cyrillic, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese scripts, etc.
These phasebooks are noteworthy because of their strict socialist nature. For instance, the second issue contains dialogues about Ford and his business principles, sufferings of the working class, the unemployment problem, the 1920s world crisis, etc. While the Soviet Union imported a huge amount of Ford automobiles, any Soviet user of this book was able to say “Surely, Ford is one of the most reactionary representatives of American capitalism and one of the chief supporters of the fascist organization Ku Klux Klan. There is no doubt he is one of the most dangerous and extreme enemies of the world proletariat”.

Worldcat doesn’t track this edition.

Price: $950.00

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