The history of the Soviet Union has been charted in several studies over the decades. These depictions while combining accuracy, elegance, readability and imaginativeness, have failed to draw attention to the political and academic environment within which these histories were composed. Writing History in the Soviet Union: Making the Past Work is aimed at understanding this environment. The book seeks to identify the significant hallmarks of the production of Soviet history by Soviet as well as Western historians. It traces how the Russian Revolution of 1917 triggered a shift in official policy towards historians and the publication of history textbooks for schools. In 1985, the Soviet past was again summoned for polemical revision as part and parcel of an attitude of openness (glasnost') and in this, literary figures joined their energies to those of historians. The Communist regime sought to equate the history of the country with that of the Communist Party itself in 1938 and 1962 and this imposed a blanket of conformity on history writing in the Soviet Union. The book also surveys the rich abundance of writing the Russian Revolution generated as well as the divergent approaches to the history of the period. The conditions for research in Soviet archives are described as an aspect of official monitoring of history writing. Another instance of this is the manner by which history textbooks have, through the years, been withdrawn from schools and others officially nursed into circulation. This intervention, occasioned in the present circumstance by statements by President Putin himself, in the manner in which history is taught in Russian schools, continues to this day. In other words, over the years, the regime has always worked to make the past work. Please note: Taylor & Francis does not sell or distribute the Hardback in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka
How was it possible to write history in the Soviet Union, under strict state control and without access to archives? What methods of research did these 'historians' - be they academic, that is based at formal institutions, or literary - rely on? And how was their work influenced by their complex and shifting relationships with the state? To answer these questions, Barbara Martin here tracks the careers of four important dissidents: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Roy Medvedev, Aleksandr Nekrich and Anton Antonov-Ovseenko. Based on extensive archival research and interviews (with some of the authors themselves, as well as those close to them), the result is a nuanced and very necessary history of Soviet dissident history writing, from the relative liberalisation of de-Stalinisation through increasing repression and persecution in the Brezhnev era to liberalisation once more during perestroika. In the process Martin sheds light onto late Soviet society and its relationship with the state, as well as the ways in which this dissidence lives on in post-Soviet Russia. This is important reading for all scholars working on late Soviet history and society.
In this fascinating book Alter Litvin tells us what life was really like for professional Soviet historians from Lenin to Gorbachev, and assesses the efforts made since 1991 to create a more truthful picture of the turbulent Russian past. Passionate yet fair-minded, this is the first account of the subject to appear in English. Designed primarily for the general reader, it contains much fresh material of specialist interest and an ample up-to-date bibliography.
The main theme of this book on the history of Russian science is the shaping of scientific theories and institutions in Russia and the Soviet Union by social, economic and political factors. Major sections include the Tsarist period, the impact of the Russian Revolution and other factors.
A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End