This study examines five children’s books produced in Soviet Central Asia and the Crimea between 1926 and 1932. While stemming from pre-Soviet intellectual movements among Muslims in the Russian Empire, these books represent a new kind of product that was created for children who were educated in new Soviet schools. The earlier books demonstrate an active effort to increase literacy among the Uzbeks and Turkmen and show little overt Soviet content. However, the Crimean Tatar book from 1932, while continuing the format of the children’s books of the 1920s, is overtly Soviet and didactic in content. The physical make-up of these books also reveals that they were essentially considered specialty products. By the 1920s, children thus were seen as a set-apart category of readers in Soviet Central Asia. Moreover, by 1932 and at least among the Crimean Tatars, children’s books began to function as a mechanism to disseminate Soviet ideology.
New Books for New People: Soviet Central Asian Children’s Books (1926–32)
Christopher M. Murphy; New Books for New People: Soviet Central Asian Children’s Books (1926–32). Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 1 August 2012; 32 (2): 310–322. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/1089201X-1628953
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