September 01, 2021

Censored Roots: Russian Life at 65

Censored Roots: Russian Life at 65

Arriving fourteen inches tall and discreetly wrapped in brown paper, issues of Soviet Life were an oxymoronic combination of the illicit and overt. The magazine’s presentation suggested what you would read cover to cover: general interest articles that were expansive – “a mixture of things,” according to Russian television personality and former Soviet Life Senior Editor Vladimir Pozner – and assuredly propaganda.

This October marks the sixty-fifth anniversary of Russian Life (nee Soviet Life), and we interviewed Pozner earlier this year to learn about the magazine’s editorial policies at its inception.

Though Soviet Life was limited to a maximum circulation of 62,000 copies in the US in the 1980s, a 1983 review in the Christian Science Monitor alleged that the magazine could sell “barely half that.” How effective could such a publication be as a tool of influence?

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Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

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