The Commissar Vanishes

The Falsification of Photographs and Art in Stalin's Russia

Ranked #78 in Communism

The Commissar Vanishes offers a chilling look at how one man - Joseph Stalin - manipulated the science of photography to advance his own political career and to erase memories off his victims. On Stalin's orders, purged rivals were airbrushed from group portraits, and crowd scenes were altered to depict even greater legions of the faithful. In one famous image, several Party members disappeared from an official photograph, to be replaced by a sylvan glade. For the past three decades, author and photohistorian David King has assembled the world's largest archive of photographs, posters,... more

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Viktor Mayer-Schönberger This book is intriguing because it’s not focusing on something that happens in our mind. It is about what others do to our externalised memory. (Source)

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