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SEER, 99, 4, OCTOBER 2021 782 in 1945, Tito aggressively pressed his ‘imperial’ ambitions: by advocating the incorporation of Trieste and later with his support to the Communists in the Greek Civil War (1946–49). What is problematic here is that the authors’ claims about Tito’s intent to export revolution to other parts of Europe are not new. When in September 1947 Stalin summoned the first meeting of the Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers’ Parties (Cominform), and subsequently moved its headquarters to Yugoslavia, Tito appeared to emerge as the Comintern’s de facto leader. Tito may have erroneously assumed that Stalin supported the Yugoslav leadership’s commitment to a revolutionary offensive in Greece, Italy and elsewhere. Ivo Banac (1988) and Geoffrey Swain (1992), among others, have demonstrated that it was Tito’s efforts to support the Greek Communists and his decision, in January 1948, to station troops in Albania (at that time, a satellite of Communist Yugoslavia) which led to the Tito-Stalin split of 1948. Tito’s revolutionary hubris and ‘imperial’ ambitions ultimately clashed with Stalin’s restrained approach, which was concerned above all with avoiding a military conflict between the Soviet Union and the Western allies. Despite its limitations, Tito’s Secret Empire is often insightful, contains interesting background information about Tito’s relationship with the members of his inner circle, and mostly makes for compelling reading. Institute of European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies Mark Biondich Carleton University Moon, David; Breyfogle, Nicholas B. and Bekasova, Alexandra (eds). Place and Nature: Essays in Russian Environmental History. The White Horse Press, Winwick, 2021. xxi + 343 pp. Maps. Illustrations. Tables. Notes. Bibliography. Index. £70.00: $95.00: €75.00. Place and Nature is a beautifully-produced and theoretically challenging addition to the burgeoning field of Russian environmental history. The result of an impressively international and multidisciplinary research effort, the book mostly deals with the Russian North and Siberia, some of the regions most neglected by Russian historians. On the whole, it delivers a varied and sensitive portrayal of these places, attentive both to local difference and global connections. The editors introduce several thematic and methodological signposts that guide the essays. There is a substantial focus on watery environments, mostly seas and lakes, the latter of which Andy Bruno identifies as particularly under-researched by historians. The editors also see the collected essays as a REVIEWS 783 corrective to the overly negative versions of Russian, and especially Soviet, environmental histories that have marked the field. Finally, the volume’s authors have a strong commitment to ‘place-based environmental history’ (p. 5) the idea that to know an environment — even a historical environment — one needs to see and experience it. This commitment is reflected in the fact that all of the authors were involved in several group field trips to the places profiled in the book. Place and Nature has mixed success in fulfilling its editorial goals. Surprisingly few authors directly reference their interactions with the Russian environment. The middle section of photo essays is an exception. There, the beautiful colour photographs (congratulations to White Horse Press for allowing these) powerfully convey the emotional power of Russia’s lands and seas. Nicholas Breyfogle’s photo essay on the northern islands of Solovki is particularly effective, as he poignantly juxtaposes tranquil landscapes with the place’s hard history as one of the founding fathers of the gulag. David Moon, in his own photo essay on Lake Baikal, ponders the implications of starting Russian environmental histories in the country’s remote locations: perhaps the wealth of healthy forests and waters would rebalance evaluations of that country’s history in favour of the positive? At the same time, the group’s photographs from Baikal that year show dense smoke from nearby forest fires shrouding the lake’s shores, reminders of Siberia’s connections with global environmental histories and futures. Five of the book’s fourteen chapters deal directly with Lake Baikal, and they render an ambivalent judgment on the editors’ hope for a more positive Russian environmental history. Elena Kochetkova, in a deeply researched chapter on the Soviet state’s plans for Baikal, shows how the Irkutsk Academy of Sciences emerged as a...