He Explained Capitalism To The Soviets

Nina Renata Aron writes: ‘“The way by which you got your millions is of no concern in America,” wrote the Soviet poet Vladimir Mayakovsky during a trip to New York City in 1925. “Everything is ‘business;’ and business matters are everything that makes a dollar.” Mayakovsky’s dispatches from the exotic United States were published piecemeal in the Russian papers, and while they may have complicated the usual Bolshevik clichés about American plenty, they also, on the whole, confirmed them. Mayakovsky, a Georgian-born Muscovite, was by 1925 already one of the USSR’s best-known poets. Severe, brooding, and handsome, he had been imprisoned for his political beliefs before the Revolution, but afterward became a cultural hero as a leading member of the Russian Avant-Garde, author of Futurist manifestos, and member of the Left Front of Art. For more about Mayakovsky — he committed suicide in 1930, aged 36 — click here.

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