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Iuri Samarin and Baroness Rahden were intelligent and cultured people who moved easily in nineteenth-century Russian and European society and whose comments on leading personalities, religious, political, and social questions still have relevance for today. The Correspondence of Iu Samarin and Baroness Rahden introduces the reader to a side of Russian intellectual life that deserves more attention than it has generally received, if only because it opens the door to a broader view of Russian society.
Iuri Samarin was one of the most prominent and effective Slavophils, exerting a powerful influence on the development of Russian society in his lifetime as a political reformer and publicist. His work deserves attention, and this correspondence reveals much about the quality of his learning, his personality and character, and his philosophy of politics and religion.
In this ethnography of postsocialist Moscow in the late 1990s, Olga Shevchenko draws on interviews with a cross-section of Muscovites to describe how people made sense of the acute uncertainties of everyday life, and the new identities and competencies that emerged in response to these challenges. Ranging from consumption to daily rhetoric, and from urban geography to health care, this study illuminates the relationship between crisis and normality and adds a new dimension to the debates about postsocialist culture and politics.
Modernity, Ideology, and Culture in Russia and the Soviet Union
Crossing Borders deconstructs contemporary theories of Soviet history from the revolution through the Stalin period, and offers new interpretations based on a transnational perspective. To Michael David-Fox, Soviet history was shaped by interactions across its borders. By reexamining conceptions of modernity, ideology, and cultural transformation, he challenges the polarizing camps of Soviet exceptionalism and shared modernity and instead strives for a theoretical and empirical middle ground as the basis for a creative and richly textured analysis. Discussions of Soviet modernity have tended to see the Soviet state either as an archaic holdover from the Russian past or as merely another form of conventional modernity. David-Fox instead considers the Soviet Union in its own light—as a seismic shift from tsarist society that attracted influential visitors from the pacifist Left to the fascist Right. By reassembling Russian legacies, as he shows, the Soviet system evolved into a complex “intelligentsia-statist” form that introduced an array of novel agendas and practices, many embodied in the unique structures of the party-state. Crossing Borders demonstrates the need for a new interpretation of the Russian-Soviet historical trajectory—one that strikes a balance between the particular and the universal.
Raising the Iron Curtain
Yale Richmond records a highly significant chapter in Soviet-American relations during the final decades of Communism. He provides us with a deftly written, accurate, and thoughtful account of the cultural exchanges that were such important channels of influence and persuasion during those years. His book covers the whole spectrum-from scholars and scientific collaboration to fairs and exhibits. We should be grateful that he has undertaken this task before memories fade.-Allen H. Kassof, former Executive Director, International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), 1968-1992Some fifty thousand Soviets visited the United States under various exchange programs between 1958 and 1988. They came as scholars and students, scientists and engineers, writers and journalists, government and party officials, musicians, dancers, and athletes-and among them were more than a few KGB officers. They came, they saw, they were conquered, and the Soviet Union would never again be the same. Cultural Exchange and the Cold War describes how these exchange programs (which brought an even larger number of Americans to the Soviet Union) raised the Iron Curtain and fostered changes that prepared the way for Gorbachev's glasnost, perestroika, and the end of the Cold War.This study is based upon interviews with Russian and American participants as well as the personal experiences of the author and others who were involved in or administered such exchanges. Cultural Exchange and the Cold War demonstrates that the best policy to pursue with countries we disagree with is not isolation but engagement.
Lower-Class Values, Practices, and Resistance in Late Imperial Russia
The popular culture of urban and rural tsarist Russia revealed a dynamic and troubled world. Stephen Frank and Mark Steinberg have gathered here a diverse collection of essays by Western and Russian scholars who question conventional interpretations and recall neglected stories about popular behavior, politics, and culture. What emerges is a new picture of lower-class life, in which traditions and innovations intermingled and social boundaries and identities were battered and reconstructed.
The authors vividly convey the vitality as well as the contradictions of social life in old regime Russia, while also confronting problems of interpretation, methodology, and cultural theory. They tell of peasant death rites and religious beliefs, family relationships and brutalities, defiant peasant women, folk songs, urban amusement parks, expressions of popular patriotism, the penny press, workers' notions of the self, street hooliganism, and attempts by educated Russians to transform popular festivities. Together, the authors portray popular culture not as a static, separate world, but as the dynamic means through which lower-class Russians engaged the world around them.
In addition to the editors, the contributors to this volume are Daniel R. Brower, Barbara Alpern Engel, Hubertus F. Jahn, Al'bin M. Konechnyi, Boris N. Mironov, Joan Neuberger, Robert A. Rothstein, and Christine D. Worobec.
Deportation of Czechoslovak Citizens to the USSR and the Negotiation for their Repatriation, 1945-1953
After the entry of the Red Army into Czechoslovak territory in 1945, Red Army authorities began to arrest and deport Czechoslovak citizens to labor camps in the Soviet Union. The regions most affected were Eastern and South Slovakia and Prague. The Czechoslovak authorities repeatedly requested a halt to the deportations and that the deported Czechoslovaks be returned immediately. It took a long time before these protests generated any response. Czechoslovak Diplomacy and the Gulag focuses on the diplomatic and political aspects of the deportations. The author explains the steps taken by the Czechoslovak Government in the repatriation agenda from 1945 to 1953 and reconstructs the negotiations with the Soviets. The research tries to answer the question of why and how the Russians deported the civilian population from Czechoslovakia which was their allied country already during the war. Key words: 1. World War, 1939–1945—Deportations from Czechoslovakia. 2. Forced labor—Soviet Union—History. 3. Labor camps—Soviet Union—History. 4. Czechs—Soviet Union—History. 5. Slovaks—Soviet Union--History. 6. Czechoslovakia—Foreign relations—Soviet Union. 7. Soviet Union—Foreign relations—Czechoslovakia. 8. Czechoslovakia—Foreign relations—1945–1992. 9. Repatriation—Czechoslovakia—History.
For about eight months in 1968 Czechoslovakia underwent rapid and radical changes that were unparalleled in the history of communist reform; in the eight months that followed, those changes were dramatically reversed. H. Gordon Skilling provides a comprehensive analysis of the events of 1968, assessing their significance both for Czechoslovakia and for communism generally. The author's account is based on all available written sources, including unpublished Communist Party documents and interviews conducted in Czechoslovakia in 1967, 1968, and 1969. He examines the historical background, the main reforms and political forces of 1968, international reactions, the Soviet intervention, and the experiment's collapse, concluding with his reasons for regarding the events of the Prague spring as a movement of revolutionary proportions.
The author's account is based on all available written sources, including unpublished Communist Party documents and interviews conducted in Czechoslovakia in 1967, 1968, 1969. He examines the historical background, the main reforms and political forces on 1968, international reactions, the Soviet intervention, and the experiment's collapse, concluding with his reasons for regarding the events of the Prague spring as a movement of revolutionary proportions.
Originally published in 1976.
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