Manual Imagining Flight: Aviation and Popular Culture (Centennial of Flight Series)

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Siddiqi writes about people who paved the road in space - the bumpy road through Stalin's GULAG toward worldwide recognition. This is the story of people who made history. Superbly written and based on fundamentally new archival research, The Red Rockets' Glare illuminates the complex origins of spaceflight enthusiasm in Russia and the USSR in the century before the launch of Sputnik. It is destined to become the classic work on the origin of the Soviet space program.

Neufeld, Smithsonian Institution 'Asif Siddiqi is to be commended for gathering such an impressive array of secondary sources, memoirs, and newly discovered archival materials to describe the origins and evolution of the Soviet rocketry program. This is an innovative and significant contribution to both Russian history and the history of spaceflight.

The Red Rockets' Glare

Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies, Brown University "Asif Siddiqi's book is a pathbreaking work in the history of rocketry and spaceflight and the history of Soviet science and technology. Neufeld, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution "Asif Siddiqi is to be commended for gathering such an impressive array of secondary sources, memoirs, and newly discovered archival materials to describe the origins and evolution of the Soviet rocketry program.

Like Bailes, Siddiqi interweaves social and political history with the narrative of technology development, making this volume essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the interplay of science, technology, and Russian society in the twentieth century.


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Jenks, The Russian Review "Based on massive research in the Russian Academy of Sciences archive; the economic, military, and scientific-documentation archives of the Soviet state; and a huge amount of published material, Red Rocket's Glare not only tells its fascinating story well, but is of such high intellectual rigor as to transcend the boundaries of several historical categories and genres. Siegelbaum, The Journal of Modern History " Help Centre. Track My Order. My Wishlist Sign In Join. Be the first to write a review.

Add to Wishlist. Ships in 10 to 15 business days. Link Either by signing into your account or linking your membership details before your order is placed. Description Table of Contents Product Details Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! Industry Reviews 'Asif Siddiqi, who has already written the best books on the Soviet space effort, has now given us a wonderful exploration of the social and cultural dimensions of this effort; he has given voice to those on the periphery: the populist phenomena of utopian ideas and popular imagination.

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Introduction; 1. A space for science and a science for space; 2. Imagining the cosmos; 4. Local action, state imperatives; 5.

And afterwards they just got desperate and savage. Belgian literature before has no novels of this type. But a pacifist theatre piece in indicates that there were ways, for an enlightened observer, to anticipate a certain number of characteristics of the coming conflict. In terms of its writing, the work is nothing memorable. The style is neither here nor there, the scenario is rather obvious, and the play is full of good sentiments.

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Two families from the imaginary kingdom of Alfanie Germany receive a young friend from the neighbouring empire of Romagne France for dinner at their home. War is suddenly declared between the two countries, under the pretext of some ridiculous territorial rivalry. It ends with an armistice and arbitration before the Arbitration tribunal at The Hague, but only after terrible losses and the death of the old friend from Romagne. The author imagines paralysis at the front, apprehension of the civilians in the rear, and combat described as "butchery". In particular, it derives the lessons from the reports on the first Balkan war, as proven by the account given by Wilhelm, a young man returning from the front:.

I don't have much to tell… You see nothing… You know nothing… They lead you like cattle… and death comes from an unknown source. That's war. I had a completely different idea… […] the killing is from so far away that you can't even see the other person. The combatants hide as well as they can… […] bravery isn't good for anything anymore… […] Being visible in today's war means committing suicide ".

Three years later, Belgian combatants will write of nothing else, as was the case of young Louis de Lalieux de la Rocq, as he tries to make his family understand modern war in a letter from August " You kill and are killed without seeing each other. We live like moles, it's more boring and less interesting, perhaps ". Louis will be killed two years later.

As far as Albert Bailly goes, his pacifist convictions will vanish with the spectacle of invaded Belgium. The combatants hide as well as they can… […] bravery isn't good for anything anymore… […] Being visible in today's war means committing suicide. One cannot help but be struck by the similarity between Bailly's play and the scenario of a remarkable work, one of the first fiction films shot in Belgium: Maudite soit la guerre War is Hell.


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It was shot in by Alfred Machin, a French producer referred to as "artistic director" at the time , who sets up Belgium's first cinema studio in Molenbeek: the Karreveld. A native of Northern France, A.

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Machin started filming in Belgium in and has extensive experience as a photographer and producer of documentaries. But with Maudite soit la guerre War is Hell , he triumphs while producing one of the first grand spectacle films in history. Like with Bailly, the scenario is very conventional. Once again, a young man is visiting a host family in a neighbouring country.

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But Machin makes this young stranger Grille in the Belgian version, Hardoff in the Dutch version an aviator, just like the son of the family that is putting him up. We understand that the latter had been received the previous year for some work experience in his guest's country, to whom he is returning the favour this year. After war is declared, the two friends do battle in the air, and both are killed. While the storyline hardly deserves being part of posterity, Alfred Machin nevertheless produces the first high budget fictional war film.

He is not without personal military experience, having served in the French army in North Africa. He is also fascinated by aviation, having first gone into the air as a passenger in and on this occasion filming from the aircraft! For "Maudite soit la guerre" War is Hell , he obtains the help of the Belgian army, which lets him use its planes two Farman biplanes in different models , observation balloons, vehicles and even infantrymen as extras.

It's also true that, during the same year, Alfred Machin made two documentaries, i. But great resources do not necessarily lead to great films.


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The difference is made by the talent of Alfred Machin: for the first time, spectators see airplanes on the screen bombing troops on the ground, destroying observation balloons and, finally, fighting it out in the air. Some poorly informed people claimed that the producer was a "visionary", creating "science fiction" in his representation of the conflict. In reality, the film primarily shows masses of men fighting in a not very modern manner, rather along the lines of battles from the early 19th century. As far as aerial bombardments goes, the first occurred in during the Italo-Turkish war, and at the time when the film is being shot, others were in progress in Morocco and in the Balkans.

Machin is therefore not a visionary, but simply a fan of aviation who is keeping up-to-date with current events. It was in the staging, however, that he was truly innovative. Not only did Alfred Machin not hesitate to film outdoors, but, thanks to Maudite soit la guerre , it was on Belgian territory that the first close-up occurred in cinema history…. What can we learn from Maudite soit la guerre about how war could be represented in ? First of all, the circumstances of the film's distribution are interesting.

Completed in the autumn of , it is only shown for the first time in early May Indeed, Maudite soit la guerre is out of place even if only for its title within the French cinematographic landscape. In , in fact, cinemas are filled with a series of war films and patriotic documentaries. It is therefore possible that the delay of the film's release was due to its content.

In any case, if it was shown on 1 May under its actual name in Belgium and translated rather well as War is Hell in the United States, its Paris premiere was not until the end of the month, under the title… Mourir pour la Patrie Dying for the Homeland , a much more consensual title.

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Striking to today's spectator is the clearly limited character of the producer's supposed "pacifism". Other than its title and the final scene in which we see the heroine weeping for her lost love in a close-up, don't forget!