Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-x

List of Tables and Maps

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pp. xi-xii

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Acknowledgments

T.M.

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pp. xiii-xiv

My maternal grandmother, Margaret Horst, spent a summer with me a decade ago recalling her experiences as a young Mennonite girl growing up in prerevolutionary Dagestan with Kumyk Tatars as neighbors. She later experienced the ferocious assault of Makhno's peasant bands on the wealthy south Ukrainian Mennonite community during the revolution and civil war, before finally leaving the Soviet Union in 1924- to join the Russian Mennonite diaspora in Canada. Her stories first forced me to grapple with the fascinating problem of ethnicity. I've never been able to provide an adequate answer to a simple question that I'm always asked when 1 visit Russia or Ukraine: "What's your...

Footnote Abbreviations

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pp. xv-xvi

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A Note on Style

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pp. xvii-xx

I used the Library of Congress transliteration system for Russian, Ukrainian, and Belorussian, suppressing soft signs in proper names and with the usual exceptions for well-known names such as Trotsky. The cast of characters and places in this book covers dozens of languages, and it would be impossible to accurately name all non-Russians in their native languages. Therefore...

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1. The Soviet Affirmative Action Empire

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pp. 1-28

The Soviet Uníon was the world's first Affirmative Action Empire. Russia's new revoIutionary government was the first of the oId European multiethnic states to confront the rising tide of nationalism and respond by systematically promoting the national consciousness of its ethnic minorities and establishing for them many of the characteristic institutional forms of the nation-state.1 The BoIshevik strategy was to assume leadership over what now appeared to be the inevitable process of decoIonízation and carry it out in a manner that wouId preserve the territorial integrity of the oId Russian empire. To that end, the Soviet state created not just a dozen Iarge national...

PART ONE: lmplementing the Affirmative Action Empire

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2. Borders and Ethnic Conflict

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pp. 31-74

The Soviet nationalities policy began with the formation of national territories. Already in March 1918, the intention to form a Tatar-Bashkir republic was announced. Two months later, a similar promise was made for the Turkestan region. Because of the exigencies of civil war, the first national republic (the Bashkir ASSR) was not actually formed until March 1919, but it was swiftly followed by a flood of autonomous republics, autonomous oblasts, and workers' communes. The 1922 Soviet constitution added the formerly independent republics of Ukraine, Belorussia, Georgia,...

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3. Linguistic Ukrainization, 1923–1932

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pp. 75-124

On October 10, 1920, Stalin published an article in Pravda that for the first time authoritatively announced the Soviet policy of korenizatsiia: "It is necessary that all Soviet organs in the borderlands-the courts, the administration, the economic organs, organs oflocal power (as well as Party organs)-be composed to the greatest possible degree of people who know the customs, habits and language of the local population. »1 Korenizatsiia, as definitively formulated at party congresses in March 1921 and April 1923, consisted of two major tasks: the creation of national elites (Affirmative Action) and the promotion of local...

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4. Affirmative Action in the Soviet East, 1923–1932

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pp. 125-181

Today, when Edward Said has turned "orientalism" into a universalIy recognized term and the inspiration for a burgeoning scholarly industry, nothing seems to us more characteristic of colonialism than the division of humankind into the arbitrary, essentialized, and hierarchical categories of east and west. It therefore seems odd that the Soviet Union, whose nationalities policy was explicitly formulated as a decolonizing measure, would not reject those categories and instead affirm the unity of mankind. In one sense, they did. The Bolsheviks' Marxist sociology led them to repudiate east and west...

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5. The Latinization Campaign and the Symbolic Politics of National Identity

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pp. 182-208

The latinization campaign was about language, but it was more about what language symbolized. And language-not the public use of language, but its vocabulary, grammar, and script-symbolized national culture. National culture was the most ambiguous of the four central elements of korenizatsiia. The formation of national territories, support for the increased use of national languages, and the creation of national elites, the subject of Chapters 2 to 4, were clear, if often challenging, goals. But what exactly was national culture?

Stalin, of course, famously defined Soviet national cultures as being "national in form, socialist in content." But this...

PART TWO: The Political Crisis of the Affirmative Action Empire

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6. The Politics of National Communism, 1923–1930

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pp. 211-272

Having analyzed the implementation of the Affirmative Action Empire in Part One, I now turn to a consideration of the political crisis of korenizatsiia. This chapter traces the emergence of a hard-line critique of korenizatsiia during NEP and its subsequent intensification with the launching of Stalin's socialist offensive. Chapter 7 will show how conflict between Ukraine and the RSFSR eventually led to the triumph of this new hard line during the grain requisitions crisis in December 1932, when the Politburo issued two anti-Ukrainization decrees. These decrees would usher in a fundamental revision of...

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7. The National Interpretation of the 1933 Famine

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pp. 273-308

By 1931, a highly ambiguous political atmosphere surrounded the policy of korenizatsiia. On the one hand, an anti-korenizatsiia hard line had crystallized during the cultural revolution and caused a momentary policy shift in Belorussia. The terror campaign against the national smenovekhovstvo intelligentsia and against select national communists continued to send compromising signals about korenizatsiia. Growing centralization was undermining linguistic korenizatsiia in Ukraine and elsewhere. There was an increasing tendency to interpret anti-Russian sentiments and conflict between titular nationals...

PART THREE: Revising the Affirmative Action Empire

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8. Ethnic Cleansing and Enemy Nations

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pp. 311-343

The emergence of the category of enemy nation and the practice of ethnic cleansing was one of the most momentous developments in the Soviet nationalities policy ofthe mid-1930S. Between 1935 and 1938, at least nine Soviet nationalities-Poles, Germans, Finns, Estonians, Latvians, Koreans, Chinese, Kurds, Iranians-were all subjected to ethnic cleansing (that is, the forcible relocation of an ethnically defined population away from a given territory).1 In 1937-1938, these and many other diaspora nationalities were labeled enemy nations and specifically targeted for arrest and execution due solely...

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9. The Revised Soviet Nationalities Policy, 1933–1939

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pp. 344-393

For the Soviet Union's diaspora nationalities, the revisions made in the Soviet nationalities policy in the aftermath of the December 1932 Politburo decrees produced the unprecedented disaster of ethnic cleansing, mass arrests, and several hundred thousand executions. These nationalities, however, made up only 1.7 percent ofthe Soviet Union's total population (2.75 million), though during and after World War II the practice of ethnic cleansing was extended to numerous "indigenous" Soviet nationalities, and the Soviet Union's Jewish population gradually fell into the category of enemy nation as well.1 Nevertheless,...

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10. The Reemergence of the Russians

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pp. 394-431

The most important process initiated by the December 1932 Politburo decrees was a thoroughgoing rehabilitation of Russian culture and the right of Russians to national self-expression. The status of the Russian nationality was raised dramatically in the period from 1933 to 1938, along with the status of the RSFSR. This development threatened the foundations of the Affirmative Action Empire, which demanded that Russian national self-expression be downplayed to avoid provoking defensive nationalism among the formerly oppressed non-Russians. The rehabilitation of Russian national self-expression did not...

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11. The Friendship of the Peoples

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pp. 432-461

The major changes made to the Soviet nationalities policy after December 1932 necessitated the articulation of a new principIe of unity for the multiethnic Soviet state. In December 1935, Stalin introduced the metaphor of the Friendship of the Peoples. The metaphor proved felicitous. It granted the Russians, Russian culture, and the RSFSR a primary role as the motive force that forged and sustained the friendship, but it did not imply either russification or the formation of a Russian-dominated Soviet nation. In fact, the large, compact, "indigenous" non-Russian nationalities that survived the process of ethnic consolidation in the mid-1930S saw their sovereignty and status...

Glossary

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pp. 462-464

Bibliography

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pp. 465-482

Index

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pp. 483-498