Greetings From The Barricades: Revolutionary Postcards in Imperial Russia


In the early 1900s, opponents of the Tsar came up with an ingenious new way to beat censorship and spread a message of defiance – picture postcards. Easy to print, distribute and comprehend, postcards were a key propaganda weapon in the fight against Imperial authority.

Produced by a diverse set of revolutionaries, liberals and opportun­ists, the content of these propaganda cards is equally wide-ranging: from satirical carica­tures directed against the government to rare photographs of revolutionary demonstrations. Many of the postcards are darkly humorous, combining laughter with a sense of raw indignation at the injustices of life under the Tsars. 

Greetings From The Barricades is the first major study of the design, production, and distribution of opposition postcards in Imperial Russia. This lavish production features an in-depth text and over 200 colour images.

“In this handsomely illustrated book Tobie Mathew makes a case for the lowly postcard’s role in the politicization of pre-revolutionary Russia.” Charlotte Hobson, The Spectator

 “Tobie Mathew’s magnificent book testifies to Russia’s unrepeatable two years of free-ranging political satire.” Donald Rayfield, Literary Review

“A substantive and original treatment … Greetings From The Barricades does full justice to the material.” Greg Afinogenov, Apollo Magazine

Greetings From The Barricades is fascinating not just for its collection of striking imagery, but for the way it demonstrates the subversive power of print.” Emma Tucker, Creative Review

“The images reproduced here in glorious profusion are as colourful, powerful and original as you would expect at a moment when Russian art was in the ascendancy.” George Walden, Times Literary Supplement

“Offers an unexpected illustration of how new communication technologies can upend societies.” Ben Eastham, The White Review, Books of the Year

 “Greetings From the Barricades, a delight to read, illuminates a hitherto ignored aspect of Russia's revolutionary past.” Jeff Brooks, author of Thank You, Comrade Stalin!

“Tobie Mathew … has collated a host of postcards in this volume and given the reader a glimpse of their remarkable diversity and inventiveness.” Peter Lowe, Russian Art & Culture