Ilf and Petrov’s American Road Trip , Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov, Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press / Cabinet Books, 2007. Th e combination of the Russian revolutionary sweep with American eﬃciency is the essence of Leninism in Party and state work. Joseph Stalin, Foundations of Leninism (1924) 1 Reyner Banham once claimed that he had learned to drive in order to read Los Angeles in the original. In 1935, Pravda correspondents Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov drove an almost complete circuit around the United States, in search of the ‘real America’. Th at this meeting of future irreconcilables should seem unusual is somewhat anachronistic. Consider, for instance, the inception of the very term ‘Leninism’, not to mention its codiﬁcation into a recognisable doctrine in a series of lectures delivered by the Bolshevik General Secretary in 1924 to the young technocrats brought into the party in the posthumous ‘Lenin Levy’, later published as Foundations of Leninism . In amongst the more expected disquisitions on party practice and morality, or appeals to the saintly leader, is the enshrining of a curious and under-investigated element of the Leninist corpus, namely what was occasionally called Taylorism or Fordism, but more simply Amerikanizm
Historical Materialism – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2008
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