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Storming the Stratosphere: Space Exploration, Soviet Culture, and the Arts from Lenin to Khrushchev's Times

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By the era of the Stalinist 1930s, a nationalistic nexus had been created between Soviet air flight (and eventually rocketry) feats and the ideological competition with the West. Russians had been fascinated with global air and rocket flight developments before Stalin's time; however, with the increasingly nationalistic tones of Russian culture in the 1930s and 1940s, the stratosphere also became a sphere of contestation with the West. While this scientific and cultural competition would be accelerated in the time of Khrushchev's Sputnik era, the Russian public still engaged in the process in its own manner that included both national pride and genuine interest from below as in other countries.


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