Educational, Literary and State Authorities and the Publishing Trajectories of Legacy Children’s Literature in Early Soviet Russia
Beginning in the early 1920s, Bolshevik leaders proclaimed the need to radically revise the pre-revolutionary legacy of children’s literature and to create new Soviet books for children. In ourpaper, we seek to disentangle what factors played a role in the chances of legacy authors andworks to be included in the limited selection of appropriated children’s classics by the 1930s.Based on thе comprehensive bibliographic data on books for children printed between 1918and 1932 along with several authoritative Soviet sources recommending books for children, weuse statistical modeling to assess what authorities effectively served as a kind of “securitycertificate” protecting certain authors and books from the default purge policy. Our resultsindicate that inclusion in the 1923 Narkompros list of authors whose work was pronounced astate monopoly, as well as inclusion in the Gorky’s list of books suggested for his “WorldLiterature” publishing house both had a significant positive effect on the number of printings bythe given author. Contrary to our expectations, the popularity of the author in the pre-revolutionary anthologies for children did not promise any significant publishing growthprospects in the 1920s and early 1930s.