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FUEL Publishing

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Hardcover, 5 x 8 in. / 248 pgs / 255 color / 5 bw.

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Catalog: SPRING 2017 p. 24   

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ISBN 9780993191152 TRADE
List Price: $32.95 CDN $42.50

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Playful Yet Sobering Anti-Alcohol Posters of the Soviet Union

Hyperallergic

  

FUEL PUBLISHING

Alcohol: Soviet Anti-Alcohol Posters

Edited by Damon Murray, Stephen Sorrell. Text by Alexei Plutser-Sarno.

Featured image is reproduced from 'Alcohol: Soviet Anti-Alcohol Posters.'Soviet propaganda against the demon drink: the latest in Fuel’s Russian pop culture series
From the acclaimed authors of the Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedias and Soviet Space Dogs comes Alcohol, a glorious and exhaustive collection of previously unpublished Soviet anti-alcohol posters. The book includes examples from the 1960s through to the 1980s, but focuses on posters produced during Mikhail Gorbachev’s campaign initiated in 1985. These posters attempted to sober up Soviet citizens by forcing them to confront the issues associated with excessive alcohol consumption. This government-led urgency allowed the poster designers to present the anti-alcohol message in the most graphic terms: they depicted drunks literally trapped inside the bottle or being strangled by “the green snake.” Their protagonists are paralytic freeloaders and shirkers who always neglect their families, drive under the influence, produce substandard work, are smashed when pregnant and present a constant danger to fellow citizens. A two-part essay by renowned cultural historian Alexei Plutser-Sarno attempts to explain, from a Russian perspective, the reasons behind this phenomenon.

Featured image is reproduced from 'Alcohol: Soviet Anti-Alcohol Posters.'

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Hyperallergic

Allison Meier

Diverse in their graphics... popping with clever visual metaphors.

Alcohol: Soviet Anti-Alcohol Posters

in stock  $32.95


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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/6/2017

Alcohol: Soviet Anti-Alcohol Posters

Alcohol: Soviet Anti-Alcohol Posters

"Vodka has brought much evil and wrongdoing to the family," reads the copy on this 1977 poster by I. Fridman. (Naturally, the label on the bottle reads, "Vodka.") Reproduced from Alcohol: Soviet Anti-Alcohol Posters, this is just one of 260 artworks collected by Damon Murray and Stephen Sorrell of FUEL Publishing meant to help the notoriously overindulgent dipsomaniacs of the Soviet Union "overcome drinking and alcoholism and to eradicate bootlegged alcohol," as later directed by Mikhail Gorbachev. During Gorbachev's period of prohibition, many Soviet citizens turned to alcohol surrogates including colognes, glues, drain cleaners, medications and moonshine, among others. "The results of Gorbachev's anti-alcohol campaign were the disintegration of the country's economy and the mass drinking that followed," Alexei Plutser-Sarno writes. "According to official statistics alone, consumption of spirits in Russia grew by 233% between 1988 and 1998. If the consumption of bootlegged and surrogate alcohol is taken into account, the figure is much higher." continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/5/2017

1972 Soviet Anti-Alcohol poster by A.E. Bazilevich

1972 Soviet Anti-Alcohol poster by A.E. Bazilevich

"Russians, more than any other people in the world, are devoted to drinking," German traveler Adam Olearius observed in 1647. "After overindulging in spirits, like savage beasts they fall without measure or restraint on whatever undertaking their passionate desires lead them to. The sin of drinking is equally widespread across all estates—men and women, young and old, ecclesiastics and laity, commoners and nobility—to such a degree that the sight of a drunkard lying in a puddle on the street is an everyday occurrence." This 1972 poster by Ukranian designer A.E. Bazilevich is reproduced from staff favorite Alcohol: Soviet Anti-Alcohol Posters, published by FUEL. The text reads, "Not among trees or grasses, the serpent has warmed up among us. Don't suck on him, mammals, or you'll turn into a reptile yourself." continue to blog


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