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By Andrew Mollo

"This quantity covers the peace-time and box uniforms of the metropolitan armies and aviation companies, which fought in Europe on the middle of the fight in global conflict I."

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Extra info for Army Uniforms of World War I: European and United States Armies and Aviation Services

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59 They were right to worry. The era of the great ­American travel­ing cir­cus had long since come to an end, in 1917, to be exact. 60 Still, in 1964, ­American au­di­ences came out for the So­viet show, which re­turned to the ­United ­States twice in 1967, a ­fourth time in 1972, and again in 1978. 62 It is well known that the So­viet peo­ple did not al­ways get what they ­wanted just be­cause they ­wanted it, and cer­tainly not be­cause foreign­ers Introduction 13 ­ anted it too. The pop­u­lar­ity of the cir­cus alone did not se­cure its favor w among So­viet cul­tural ad­min­is­tra­tors.

To se­cure the favor of the So­viet state while main­tain­ing the de­vo­tion of the So­viet peo­ple was no com­mon feat for a prod­uct of So­viet cul­ture, and this book ex­plains how the cir­cus ­achieved it. It asks what the cir­cus meant to so many who loved it and why the cir­cus came to mean so much in the So­viet Union. Squar­ing the Ring Part of the an­swer has to do with the cir­cus and part of the an­swer has to do with the So­viet Union. Since Eu­ro­pean show­men first ­launched the mod­ern cir­cus in the late eigh­teenth cen­tury, the va­riety, “am­biv­a­ lence,” and “multi­ple mean­ings”63 of the en­ter­tain­ment—“a thea­tre of contra­dic­tions”64 that “has ­proved open to ­widely dif­fer­ing ideo­log­i­cal in­flec­tions”65—have ac­counted for its ap­peal to so­ci­oec­o­nom­i­cally, dem­og ­ raph­ic­ ally, and po­lit­i­cally di­verse view­ers, who rec­og­nized in the spec­ta­cle dif­fer­ent and even contra­dic­tory mean­ings.

Dur­ing the war, the cir­cus and the rhet­o­ric sur­round­ing it ar­tic­u­lated the myth that no­body, not even a per­son with his or her head in the mouth of a lion, had any­thing to fear. It told the So­viet peo­ple that no mat­ter how un­fa­mil­iar life had be­come, every­thing would go back to nor­mal in the end. The war fi­nally did come to an end, but not every­thing went back to nor­mal. The So­viet ­Union’s al­lies in vic­tory soon threat­ened to over­take it, not only mil­i­tar­ily but also ec­o­nom­i­cally.

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