Club Red is a sweeping and insightful history of Soviet vacationing and tourism from the Revolution through perestroika, part of the regime’s effort to transform the poor and often illiterate citizenry into new Soviet men and women. Koenker emphasizes the development over time of a distinctive blend of purpose and pleasure in Soviet vacation policy and practice, and she explores a fundamental paradox: a state committed to the idea of the collective found itself promoting a vacation policy that increasingly encouraged individual autonomy. While Koenker focuses primarily on Soviet domestic vacation travel, she also notes the decisive impact of travel abroad (mostly to other socialist countries), which shaped new worldviews, created new consumer desires, and transformed Soviet vacation practices.
Diane P. Koenker is Professor of Russian and Soviet History at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies and previously Professor of History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a historian of Russia and the Soviet Union, and author of works on revolutions, labor relations, tourism, and consumer culture.