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Post 18 Mar 2012, 18:22
It is my belief that during the Stalin era it was not easy to get a hold of foreign American or European music or films except those which were permitted by censorship. However my understanding is that under Kruschev this was relaxed and people could listen to American and British music. When the stricter Brezhnev came to office, were people still able to listen to this foreign music or was it forced out again? Also did the Soviet television show American programs or was this too extreme? It would seem Soviet citizens could certainly buy American music during the Brezhnev era as it has been discussed that the Beatles were popular in the USSR. This fact means nothing however. It is possible people were not allowed to listen to the Beatles but still got it illegally or that it was legal under Kruschev but then restricted under Brezhnev later again. People who adopted the hair style would be persecuted.

With regard to newspapers and magazines of foreign countries, could these also be purchased, even those ones which were not favourable to the Soviet Union? This I doubt very much would have been there until the Gorbachev years.

Thank you for any information.
Post 19 Mar 2012, 00:39
I used to know a guy who had a copy of 1984, printed in the USSR, but I dont recall when it was printed.
Post 19 Mar 2012, 15:57
In post-1950s Czechoslovakia, certainly. People could watch Austrian TV (although police shortened TV antennes of people suspected of watching it). Music, movies... that was all legal except for political speech. I still have Van Halen's 5150, Steve Miller Band Abracadabra, many Beatles LPs and others LPs my father brought in the 1980s and before. All those pressed in Czechoslovakia under the state record label, only 1 Madonna LP is made in Bulgaria (and sold in CSSR). My dad saw Alien and ET in a cinema in the years they came out. Also in Poland there were weird posters for many foreign movies like Terminator http://www.cracked.com/article_16990_lo ... sters.html http://www.cracked.com/article_18542_15 ... sters.html .

And I saw the book 1984 in a Beijing book shop 2 years ago when I was on a trip to China.
Post 27 Aug 2012, 13:55
Soviet citizens then were allowed entry in the British Council. This library contained the most 'radical' bourgoisie slanted books. Nonetheless, it is not what you read which makes or unmakes a person but his or her logic, or rational thinking and human nature. Compassion for the poor and exploited is a trait of a man or a woman endowed with good human nature, with due respect to all.
Post 27 Aug 2012, 14:28
PI wrote:
It is my belief that during the Stalin era it was not easy to get a hold of foreign American or European music or films except those which were permitted by censorship. However my understanding is that under Kruschev this was relaxed and people could listen to American and British music. When the stricter Brezhnev came to office, were people still able to listen to this foreign music or was it forced out again?


To my understanding, foreign media was always censored for political/ideological content. This was official policy. Unofficially, as technologies like cassette tapes spread, so too did a general relaxation about what people were allowed to listen to. For instance, people coming of age in the 70s and 80s will be sure to know all the hit tracks of American and European pop charts from those times, not because they were played on tv or on the radio, but because people made cassette tapes of pirated tracks and played them at home, at parties, school dances, etc.

PI wrote:
Also did the Soviet television show American programs or was this too extreme? It would seem Soviet citizens could certainly buy American music during the Brezhnev era as it has been discussed that the Beatles were popular in the USSR.


American films deemed ideologically harmless or even pro-socialist in message were regularly screened, and were based upon agreements with the American companies which made the films. As for foreign music, I'm not 100% sure about when Melodiya started reissuing modern foreign artists' work, but I know that it was done on a selective basis well before the mid-1980s.

PI wrote:
People who adopted the hair style would be persecuted.


What?


PI wrote:
With regard to newspapers and magazines of foreign countries, could these also be purchased, even those ones which were not favourable to the Soviet Union? This I doubt very much would have been there until the Gorbachev years.


I'm not 100% sure, but I believe Soviet media had a monopoly in the print media scene until the Gorbachev period. Having said that, Soviet television and newspaper reporters regularly quoted foreign journalists' reports in the 70s and 80s, so long as they were deemed neutral or favourable toward the Soviet position.

runequester wrote:
I used to know a guy who had a copy of 1984, printed in the USSR, but I dont recall when it was printed.


This was definitely from the glasnost period. Most of these 'anti-totalitarian classics' were first sensationally published in thick journals subscribed to by urban intellectuals back in the late 1980s, and then republished by upstart publishing companies in the early 1990s.
Post 27 Aug 2012, 18:07
The Czechoslovak state owned companies Supraphon and Opus printed most of both local and Western popular music on vinyl records and cassettes, including hard rock.
Post 27 Aug 2012, 19:34
Yeah, countries like Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and in some respects even East Germany seemed to have been more progressive than the USSR when it came to media freedom. They were on the correct path too because ultimately in the long term the Socialist Bloc would have had to adopt to the information revolution or perish.
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