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549 Ab Imperio, 3/2006 back. It shows the new canals and hydroelectric stations then under construction – components of the so-called “great Stalin’s plan for the transformation of nature” during the late 1940s and early 1950s. The irony is that the collection does not discuss this “great Stalin’s plan” at all, and very few of its authors incorporate postwar Stalinist culture in their analyses. For decades books on Stalinism have focused on the 1930s. Social and political historians of Stalinism are now moving into the postwar era, and it is high time for cultural historians to follow suit. Thomas SANDERS А. В. Макушин, П. А. Трибун- ский. Павел Николаевич Милю- ков: Труды и дни (1859 – 1904) / Вступ. ст. С. М. Ляндерс, Д. Вульф; Предисл. Т. Эммонс. Ря- зань, 2001. (=Серия “Новейшая российская история: исследова- ния и документы”. Т. 1). 439 с. ISBN: 5-94473-001-3. The thing about writing history, Paul Veyne tells us, is that it looks easy, but it is not. This truism is all the more applicable to influential historical writing. Pavel Miliukov (1859-1943) produced more than one such historical work. Indeed, his Outlines of Russian Culture may have been the most widely read history of the pre-revolutionary era. To have then transitioned from scholarship to politics, where he helped organize and lead a major political party in Russia’s inchoate Duma system, sets him apart as an individual of truly distinctive capabilities . However, as anyone who has listened to the kind of chatter that takes place in History department faculty lounges can attest, even the best historians can be quite hopeless as analysts of contemporary politics. It should come as no great surprise, then, that Miliukov should ultimately have proved a brilliant failure as a politician in late imperial and war-time Russia. Yet, for reasons that probably have to do with respect for his scholarly abilities and regret that a more moderate path for Russia was not taken, Miliukov’s reputation as both an historian and a politician is higher in the West than it ought to be. The work under review here, a political and intellectual biography of Miliukov up to the Revolution of 1905, is a useful corrective to the overly generous reception in the West of Miliukov as historian and politician. It is also an example of the high caliber of historical research that can be produced in Russia outside the capitals, despite the challenging circumstances. At 550 Рецензии/Reviews the same time, it offers examples of some pitfalls to avoid and precautions to take in enhancing the worthwhile endeavor of making this rich scholarship available in future volumes. The last ten years have witnessed a minor explosion of Miliukov studies . This seems to be the result of a convergence between the normal workings of research cycles and the extraordinary “outlier” event of the collapse of the Soviet Union. The general turn to social history in the 1960s and away from political biography, intellectual history and studies of liberalism contributed to a certain neglect of Miliukov. By the 1990s, the bloom was off the social history rose, and the search for directional landmarks in the barren post-Soviet landscape of identity led naturally enough to Miliukov, that most prominent pre-revolutionary liberal. The neglect of Miliukov as subject began to be reversed in the second half of the 1990s with the appearance of substantial studies by Melissa Stockdale and Thomas Bohn.1 It continued with the publication of the proceedings of a 1999 scholarly conference dedicated to Miliukov2 and may be considered to have reached a certain state of maturity with the volume under consideration here. At the same time that this work constitutes a crowning of recent Miliukov research, it also represents the first volume in what promises to be a very productive new series on Contemporary Russian History. The series, edited by Semion Lyandres and Dietmar Wulff, aims to provide an outlet for Russian scholars outside the capitals. If subsequent volumes approach the caliber of this collaborative study, then provincial scholars are most deserving of publication opportunities. These two scholars, laboring in the parlous provincial research environment, have produced a first-rate work of scholarship . While this study does not completely transform our view of Miliukov, it extends and deepens our understanding to such a degree that a fuller and truer picture emerges, one that significantly qualifies the overall positive scholarly...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2164-9731
Print ISSN
2166-4072
Pages
pp. 549-561
Launched on MUSE
2015-10-07
Open Access
No
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