A group of cosmonauts float in outer space, tethered to their spaceship, in a series of crudely rendered sketches. These numbered sketches are part of a series of drawings from the notebook of the scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, prepared for the film Cosmic Voyage. From the end of the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth, Tsiolkovsky developed visions of life in the universe and calculated ways to attain that life. By describing the everyday life on Mars, Alexander Bogdanov narrates life in communism as a parallel space odyssey, making communism tangible and popularizing it in the same way that Tsiolkovsky renders the outcome of his cosmic pursuits. The celestial utopia originated in cosmism and evolved into a series of visions of life in the sky, projects for facilitating the "mastery" of the skies as the last spatial frontier, and ideas about new revolutionary identities.
In this chapter, the author, through a family history, speaks of how forced exile persists through generations. He narrates the series of events that took place after he left England and moved to United States, including the catastrophic failures of nuclear reactors. The discussion largely focuses on the incidence of cancers caused by exposure to radioactivity in England, and the impact it had on Anglo-American relations. The author also showcases the differences between English and American cultures.
In this chapter, the author discusses the cultural life in Rochester, New York, in the 1920s. The city of the 1920s is often referred to as 'Mr Eastman's town'. Economically, the first three decades of the twentieth century had been described as Rochester's golden age, and the centrality of Eastman-Kodak to the city's prosperity had important cultural consequences. The establishment by George Eastman of the Eastman School of Music and the Eastman Theatre in 1922 was the single most important event marking the 'end of provincialism'. The 'Rochester Renaissance' owed a lot to Eastman's wealth and philanthropy .
In this chapter, the author explains the internment of aliens in Britain during the Second World War. The 'internment of aliens' is a peculiar and rather hysterical measure taken by the British government after Dunkirk. The author describes his father as an alien. He is alien to Britain and to English culture. He came to Britain from Germany in February 1938, was a class C 'enemy alien' (recognised as a genuine refugee, and officially designated a 'friendly' enemy alien). The classifications were made by wartime tribunals set up in Britain in 1939.