“Down with Illiteracy”

Gromkaia chital'nia: podvizhnaia khrestomatiia dlia vzroslykh: posobie dlia izb-chitalen bibliotek, klubov i narodnykh domov, kul'turno-prosvetitel'nykh kruzhkov, shkol vzroslykh [Loud reading room. The mobile reader. A manual for reading rooms in libraries, workers’ clubs, houses of the people, cultural and educational reading groups and adult education centers], vol. II (of three published).

Moscow; Petrograd: Gos. Izd-vo, 1923-1925. Octavo (17 × 12 cm). Original printed card folder with tie strings containing 14 individual brochures; ca. XX pp per brochure. Light soil and moisture stain to folder; occasional underlining in pencil and red pen; still about very good.

Part of a widespread Soviet literacy campaign, this collection of brochures for newly literate adults, was intended for group reading out loud (or for “loud reading”) in a variety of newly-founded Soviet cultural institutions, from workers’ clubs to adult education centers. Illiteracy was a major issue in turn-of-the-century Russia, with literacy rates for 1897 at only 21% of the population (29% for men and 13% for women). This became a problem for the new Soviet state as the Bolsheviks tried to ensure political participation of a largely illiterate population. The volunteer organization “Down with illiteracy” (Doloi bezgramotnost) was formed in 1923, mobilizing over a million volunteers in literacy campaigns. This collection was published in the same year to aid in the effort, with each volume focused thematically: Vol. I “Village life”, Vol. II. “Foreign literature” and Vol. III “October revolution”. The brochures in the present volume are all translations from a variety of foreing languages from Armenian to German. Each short story or excerpt is followed by a suggested topic for political discussion, from “The Revolution of 1905” to “Women’s labor” and “Child homelessness and the Soviet State”.

As of Febrary 2021, KVK and OCLC only show the holding at Columbia (Gottesman Libraries).

Book ID: 50970

Price: $225.00