Molotov Cocktail

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Molotov Cocktail


Existing first as a makeshift, anti-Soviet bomb, the Molotov cocktail has taken on meaning as not only a material weapon of guerilla warfare, but also an international symbol of resistance. As an explosive device, the Molotov cocktail has a long history of deployment by revolutionary, ironically anti-soviet, forces. This tradition carries over into the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and contemporary crisis in the Ukraine. Beyond that, the Molotov cocktail also holds meaning as a cultural object of resistance, seen in its idiomatic appropriation by agents of the American media and entertainment culture.


Linda Buehler


"Финский военный музей Sotamuseo." Финский военный музей Sotamuseo. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2014. <>

"Molotov Cocktail in Slow Motion - The Slow Mo Guys." YouTube. YouTube, 28 Sept. 2012. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. <>.

"Friends of Refugees." Friends of Refugees. N.p., 4 June 2012. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. <>.

"The Molotov Cocktail." The Molotov Cocktail. Freedom Manual, 28 Dec. 2009. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. <>.




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Darius Altman

In reading your essay I was intrigued that for something so associated with Russian-ness, the Molotov cocktail has a long history of being used against the Russian state. I also enjoyed the academic commentary about the video games.

Hunter Fortney

As someone who did an object biography on a tank, it was interesting to learn more about the molotov cocktail (and the different varieties used to combat tanks). The T-34 actually had specific design changes (in the rivits of the armor plating, and the engine design) to make it less vulnerable to molotov cocktails!



Alexandra Grimm

I found this biography totally fascinating! I was completely captivated by the detailed description of how the Molotov coctail got its name; I really appreciated that you described not only why it bears Molotov's name, but also why it is called a "cocktail" in the first place, as this is something I've always wondered. As someone who is very interested in languages and rhetoric, I also appreciated that you mentioned how the phrase "Molotov cocktail" has come to be used idiomatically in English.

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