Youth Magazines

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Youth Magazines


specialized periodical publications intended for an audience composed of young people.

In Russia, youth magazines date back to the mid-18th century. In the 1760’s such literary journals as Poleznoe uveselenie (Useful Entertainment) and Svobodnye chasy (Free Time) were published at Moscow University. A relatively large number of youth magazines appeared in the 19th century, including Drug iunoshestva i vsiakikh let (Friend of Youth and All Ages) and lunaia Rossiia (Young Russia); these generally served to instruct and amuse young readers. Some publications showed progressive tendencies; one such magazine was Rassvet (Dawn), where D. I. Pisarev began his career.

The appearance of a new type of youth magazine, one that reflected the class interests of the workers, was directly associated with the activity of the Bolsheviks. V. I. Lenin outlined the basic directions and tasks of youth magazines; in a 1907 article entitled “Antimilitarist Propaganda and Unions of Socialist Working Youth,” Lenin noted the importance of these magazines in the class upbringing of youth (Poln. sobr. soch., vol. 16, p. 116). While an emigre in Switzerland, Lenin actively contributed to the magazine Internatsional molodezhi (Youth Inter-national), which first appeared in 1915 as the organ of the International Socialist Bureau.

In October 1917, the magazine Internatsional molodezhi began appearing in Russia as the organ of the Moscow Union of Working Youth; in November 1917,lunyi proletarii (Young Proletarian), the organ of the Petrograd Committee of the Socialist Union of Working Youth, commenced publication. Similar publications also appeared in other cities. In 1918, soon after the First Congress of the Komsomol, the magazine lunyi kommunist (Young Communist), the organ of the Central Committee of the Russian Young Communist League, first appeared. In subsequent years came the literary and popular-scientific magazine Molodaia gvardiia (Young Guard, appearing since 1922), the magazine of working youth Smena (Younger Generation; since 1924), and Zhurnal krest’ianskoi molodezhi (Journal of Peasant Youth; 1925–31).

During the years of Soviet power, a full range of youth magazines has been established. In 1974 more than 20 central and republic youth magazines were being published in the USSR. Among these are central publications, such as the magazine of the Komsomol Central Committee Molodoi kommunist (Young Communist; since 1918); the sociopolitical information magazine KomsomoVskaia zhizn’ (Komsomol Life; since 1958); the sociopolitical and literary magazines Sel’skaia molodezh ’ (Rural Youth; since 1925),Rovesnik (Coeval; since 1962), Avrora (Aurora; since 1969), and Studencheskii meridian (Student Meridian; since 1974); the literary and sociopolitical magazines Molodaia gvardiia (since 1955),Smena (since 1955), andlunost’ (Youth; since 1955); the scientific and literary magazine Vokrug sveta (Around the World; since 1861); the popular-scientific and literary magazine Znaniesila (Knowledge Is Strength; since 1926); and the sociopolitical, literary, and production magazine Tekhnika-molodezhi (Technology for Youth; since 1933). Certain magazines are aimed at specific categories of youth. For example,Smena is for working youth,SeVskaia molodezh ’ is for rural youth, and Studencheskii meridian is for students. As a rule, youth magazines are published once a month;Komsomol’-skaia zhizn ’ and Smena come out twice a month.

Soviet youth magazines are characterized by their close attention to the problem of forming the moral makeup of the contemporary young person, the builder of Communist society. Youth magazines propagandize Communist ideas; the succession of the glorious revolutionary, fighting, and working traditions inherited from the older generation; and the friendship and international class solidarity of Soviet youth with progressive youth of other countries. The magazines are also distinguished by the manner in which they present their material. Sociopolitical and literary youth magazines are distinguished by a polemical nature, a striving to include broad circles of youth in the discussion, a lively and conversational expository style, and the regular publication of materials submitted by readers. Literary-scientific youth magazines are characterized by the clarity, vitality, and interesting presentation of scientific problems and by clear and expressive illustrations.

In other socialist countries, numerous youth magazines are also published, including Komsomol and youth magazines. In Bulgaria these include Mladezh, Komsomolski zhivot, and Nauka i tekhnika za mladezhta; in Hungary,IJju kommunista; in the German Democratic Republic,Jugend und Technik and Junge Generation; in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam,Vietnamese Youth, which appears in English and French; in the Mongolian People’s Republic,Zaluu ue; in Poland,Zarzewie and Nowa Wies; in Rumania,Tdndrul leninist and Viaa studenjeasca; in Czechoslovakia,Mlady sv£t and V&da a technika mladezi; and in Yugoslavia,Mladost, Gledista and Ideje.

In capitalist countries, communist youth alliances also publish magazines. In Austria there is Explosion; in Argentina, Juventud; in Great Britain,Challenge; in Denmark,Fremad; in Italy, Nuova generazione; in the Federal Republic of Germany,Rote Blatter and Elan; and in France,L ’Avant-garde and Le nouveau clarte. Many youth magazines are published by social-democratic youth organizations; one such is Sozialistische Erziehung in Austria. Bourgeois-liberal youth associations also publish magazines, for example,Energie nuove in Italy. Religious organizations are also active in this area; for example, the Association of French Catholic Youth publishes the journal Jeunesse ardente.

Youth magazines are also published by international youth organizations. The World Federation of Democratic Youth publishes the journal World Youth in English, French, German, and Spanish. The International Union of Students publishes World Student News in the same four languages. The World Assembly of Youth (WAY), which follows a pro-imperialist policy within the youth movement, issues the magazine Way Forum.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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