3rd ed. Moscow: Krasnaya nov’,
1924. 173,  pp.: ill. 23x15,5 cm. In original photomontage wrappers. Tears and
losses of the spine, small tear of the side margin of a few pages in the beginning (not
affecting text), previous owner’s signature on the t.p., underlinings in text. Otherwise a
good edition. There was an attempt to remove Trotsky’s face from the front cover, but
unsuccessfully and that piece is restored with no loss to the cover.
Rare. One of 7000 copies. There were 4 editions of the book altogether
(without a significant design) but only the third edition with both covers designed by
This is a guide to the organization and technology of newspaper business
by Platon Kerzhentsev (1881-1940), a Soviet public figure and journalist, propaganda
activist, one of the founders of Proletkult. Since 1918 he worked in newspapers and
even was appointed head of the Russian Telegraph Agency ROSTA in 1919. He was
behind the creation of dozens of local offices which printed famous ‘Okna satiry ROSTA’ [i.e. ROSTA posters]. At his initiative, a school of journalism for workers was established
at ROSTA. That year was published the first edition of his book on the newspaper
business. Interesting that during the time of this edition’s publication Kerzhentsev
worked on scientific management of labour, and in particular, he led the Vremya
League, whose goal was to fight for the efficient use of time (that’s why he is now
called the founder of the Soviet school of time management). In this 3rd edition, he
added a page on this matter.
In the introduction to the 3rd edition, the author noted that the book is
very popular among print workers and the second edition was sold in one month.
This edition has a few changes and additions but remained a ‘short portable textbook
for initial acquaintance with newspaper business’. In his book, Kerzhentsev described
the meaning and types of newspaper, how to build an editorial office, one day of
the newspaper office, articles and sections, layout, ROSTA, new school of journalism,
workers-correspondents, print house, magazines and their difference from newspapers,
etc. He gives a lot of practical pieces of advice and examples of right and wrong.
Kerzhentsev is not inventing the wheel here rather than using examples of Western
media world with his own experience of agitation and newspaper work. The material
is supplied here in a very easy manner which was usual in the early Soviet era when
there was a big demand in different guidebooks from hygiene to shooting a movie.
Klutsis’ most successful pieces of work of 1924 were photo-slogan montages
for magazine covers. In the same style, he designed cover for Kerzhentsev, its design
reflecting the editorial content of the book which concerned the scientific organization
of labour: “Give headlines and subtitles to all written, underline individual phrases and
words, this will help the reader to understand more easily” (from this Kerzhentsev’s
One copy at the Getty Research Institute according to WorldCat.
SoldStatus: On Hold