This book examines the staggering popularity of early-twentieth-century Russian detective serials. Traditionally maligned as Pinkertovshchina, these appropriations of American and British detective stories featuring Nat Pinkerton, Nick Carter, Sherlock Holmes, Ethel King, and scores of other sleuths swept the Russian reading market in successive waves between 1907 and 1917, and famously experienced a red resurgence in the 1920s under the aegis of Nikolai Bukharin. The book presents the first holistic view of Pinkertovshchina as a phemen, and produces a working model of cross-cultural appropriation and reception. The red Pinkerton emerges as a vital missing link between pre- and post-Revolutionary popular literature, and marks the fitful start of a decades-long negotiation between the regime, the author, and the reading masses.
Boris Dralyuk received his Ph.D. (2011) in Slavic Languages and Literatures from UCLA, where he is now a Lecturer. He has published work on various topics in Russian, Polish, and American literature, and works as a translator.