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BOOK OF THE MONTH
THE INTELLIGENCE TRAP
David Robson
499
As a rule, I have found that the greater brain a man has, and the better he is educated,...(+)
Author Spotlight
ERIC E. SCHMIDT is the former Executive Chairman of Alphabet, Google's holding company, and served as ...(+)
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Hammer And Tickle
Ben Lewis

Classification : Humour
Pub Date : May 01, 2009
Imprint : Phoenix Paperbacks
Page Extent : 376
Binding : PB
ISBN : 9780753825822
Price : 599

About the book
Q: Why, despite all the shortages, was the toilet paper in East Germany always 2-ply?
A: Because they had to send a copy of everything they did to Moscow.

Communist jokes are the strangest, funniest, most enchanting and meaningful legacy of the 80 years of political experimentation in Russia and Eastern Europe, known as Communism. The valiant and sardonic citizens of the former Communist countries - surrounded by an invisible network of secret police, threatened with arrest, imprisonment and forced labour, confronted by an economic system that left shops empty, and bombarded with ludicrous state propaganda - turned joke-telling into an art form. They used jokes as a coded way of speaking the truth.

HAMMER AND TICKLE takes us on a unique journey through the Communist era (1917-1989), and tells its real history through subversive jokes and joke-tellers, many of whom ended up in the gulags. It is also illustrated with a combination of rare and previously unpublished archive material, political cartoons, caricatures, photographs and state-sponsored propaganda. Humorous, culturally poignant and historically revealing, this is the story of a political system that was (almost) laughed out of existence.

Read Review   Want to write a review?
Charming, highly original, elegantly written and valuable piece of cultural history... This is very funny book. Like the best Communist jokes, it is funniest when it is grimmest'
Wonderful... this isn't just a joke book. Instead, Lewis embarks
on a deeply scholarly examination and analysis of the communist joke... an excellent job'
Marvellously original; a fine tribute to the joyous, humane anarchy of laughter, whose nearest political analogue is that ramshackle, chaotic system of political wishful thinking called democracy'
     
Ben Lewis
Books by Ben Lewis
Hammer And Tickle (HB)