The industrial revolution in the Soviet Union meant immeasurably more than the mere construction of a network of factories. In many ways, it determined the fate of the country and each of its citizens. The popularity of heroic workers was rivaled only by that of movie stars. Masses of people left their homes to build new gigantic factories. Millions labored in mines and built dams. Naturally, Soviet art could not ignore the theme of industry. Poets composed odes to construction sites, literature gained the new genre of the "industrial novel," and words like "Stakhanovite" (a worker who produces fantastically large yields), "socialist competition" and "truant" took firm places in the language. Artists made panoramas of workshops, foundries and factories, and painted portraits of shock workers. Newspapers and magazines constantly printed reports of masters of photographs of the sites where Socialism was being built. Temporal distance now allows us to speak of "industrial realism" - a unique phenomenon in Soviet painting and photography and the subject of this book.