Stalin on Stamps and other Philatelic Materials: Design, Propaganda, Politics

Alexander Kolchinsky


Stamps, postcards, and illustrated covers present a valuable and underappreciated resource in historical research, particularly when they deal—directly or indirectly—with images of national leaders. Th eir content and design refl ect and sometimes even anticipate political developments. Th e case of Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union from 1929 to 1953, is especially complex due to his extraordinary national and international infl uence. Th is work analyzes the usage of Joseph Stalin’s likeness and name on stamps and other postal items in the context of contemporaneous political circumstances and the needs of domestic and international propaganda. Th e study examines philatelic items issued not only in the Soviet Union and other communist countries, but also in Western Europe and the United States.

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