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The Socialist Car – Automobility in the Eastern Bloc - Cornell Scholarship Online
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The Socialist Car: Automobility in the Eastern Bloc

Lewis H. Siegelbaum

Abstract

Across the Soviet Bloc, from the 1960s until the collapse of communism, the automobile exemplified the tension between the ideological imperatives of political authorities and the aspirations of ordinary citizens. For the latter, the automobile was the ticket to personal freedom and a piece of the imagined consumer paradise of the West. For the authorities, the personal car was a private, mobile space that challenged the most basic assumptions of the collectivity. The “Socialist Car”—and the car culture that built up around it—was the result of an always unstable compromise between official id ... More

Keywords: automobile, Soviet Bloc, personal car, collectivity, motor car, Eastern Europe, Socialist Car, automobility, car culture

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780801449918
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801449918.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Lewis H. Siegelbaum, editor
Professor of History, Michigan State University

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Contents

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Introduction

Lewis H. Siegelbaum

Part One Socialist Cars and Systems of Production, Distribution, and Consumption

3 Alternative Modernity?

György Péteri

Part Two Mobility and Socialist Cities

Part Three Socialist Car Cultures and Automobility

9 Autobasteln

Kurt Möser

10 “Little Tsars of the Road”

Lewis H. Siegelbaum