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The "Red Detective" genre of fiction sprang into being shortly after the Russian Revolution of 1917. Designed as forms of propaganda by the Bolsheviks (who also employed a wide range of contemporary arts for the purposes of propaganda - at one point Vassily Kandinsky was employed to paint large numbers of pro-Soviet posters) - they derived their format from the "Pinkerton" novels, usually featuring a brave, noble and loyal Red Guard or Commissar who during the course of the novel tracked down various Bourgois or Aristocratic fugitives.

Red Detective novels are an interesting example of the way that Bolsheviks opportunistically exploited contemporary culture for their own benefit. During the Russian Civil War, when the battle was as much for the hearts and minds of the workers and peasantry as it was for territory, propaganda was an important weapon and the Communist Party encouraged all manner of modern inventive art - Shostakovich's (almost unlistenable) "factory music", Kandinsky's futurism, Eisenstein's cinema, Tatlin's architecture - for the purposes of indoctrinating the masses. Once the war was won, and Stalin began tightening his grip on the Russian people, most of these art forms disappeared. A quick Google search yielded no results for "red detectives", but who knows - maybe if the Communists come back to power in Russia we'll see some more of this inventive (if questionably motivated) work.

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