Harvard Project in Reverse. Materials of the Commission of the USSR Academy of Sciences of the History of the Great Patriotic War - Publications and Interpretations
The article is devoted to the work of an American specialist in Russian history of the 18th-19th centuries Michelle Lamarche Marrese. The studies of Michelle Lamarche Marrese were very multifaceted and addressed the problems of gender history, social relations, the history of estates, the development of the Russian language and political concepts. Creativity Michelle Lamarche Marrese is viewed in the broad context of current research problems of Russian imperial period.
A regional perspective was the central point of well-known all over the world studies of Anatoly V. Remnev (1955-2012) on the Russian Empire, though professor of Omsk State University started his research activity not with the regional approach, but rather with all-Russian institutional history. Having concentrated on Siberia-related subjects later he continued to take into account a wide imperial context. The central archives, especially those in Saint-Petersburg, were always of great importance for him. Turning to the field of spatial images A. Remnev preserved a focus on administrative practices and governmental officials. He paid a special attention to the background of particular officials who normally had rich administrative experience based on their previous service in several regions. It was the way to his fruitful idea of the imperial geography of power. A. Remnev demonstrated how the vast Siberian space was divided into Western and Eastern Siberia, Far East and the Steppe area. On the other hand he traced the key mental opposition "Siberia - Russia". The peculiarities of Siberian history stimulated his interest in migration processes that had linked Asian regions with the rest of the empire. The article discusses a number of creative ideas of Anatoly Remnev and uses his unpublished letters.
The article considers the practices of implementing the labor laws, primarily the law on deserters, during the years from 1941 to 1945. The following questions are at the center of attention: How were the bulk of sentences under the labor decrees carried out? How, due to delays in the implementation of these decrees, did the number of individuals actually serving their sentences change over time? How can the large-scale nonimplementation of the decrees or correctives applied to them be interpreted? In addition to published documents, this article studies these questions via documents from the USSR procuracy, which exercised oversight over the implementation of extraordinary labor law/
The article gives the analysis of practice of the latest appointments of Duma and Muscovite ranks in Russia in the end XVIIth and early XVIIIth centuries. The author studies the first Peter’s the Great rank system reforms in the context of social and political events. The research reveals biographies those people who had high ranks, it also names the last honorees having moscow ranks and gives details of their ranks granting. The analysis showed the significance of promotion in Muscovite ranks as the way of communication between supreme power and service elite. The attention is drawn to the fact that rank granting was limited to function as honours for service. Finally, it is underlined that duma and Muscovite ranks had been in active use among courtiers and officials inspite of the “Table of ranks”.
According to Soviet school textbooks, the Russian writer Lev Tolstoi, in the light hand of Vladimir Lenin, was known as the “mirror of the Russian Revolution.” This metaphor was not entirely accurate, as Lenin was equally convinced that Tolstoi did not correctly reflect the revolution. In the same sense one may consider Lev Davidovich Trotskii (1879–1940) as an “inaccurate” mirror of the revolution, both an opponent of Lenin and his close associate.
The article examines recent historical writing about consolidation, development, and expansion of the prison camp system, as well as the role that it played in theSoviet Union’s transition from a dictatorship to an “ordinary” authoritarian regime.
In Peter the Great’s time there were no sociological surveys of the population, and all our data on commoner attitudes toward the monarchy, no matter how seemingly abundant, are in fact purely incidental. With some exception, we learn of attitudes toward power only from those either involved in investigations or put on trial. For this reason, it is impossible to come to a conclusion about the relationship to authority—whether skeptical, indiferent, or reverential— that prevailed within either diferent social groups or the population as a whole. Nevertheless, there is evidence to suggest that a signifcant portion of the common folk treated the tsar’s authority with great respect. I hope that I have successfully shown that such respect was not superfcial or just for show but sincere. In any case, these sources do not support the conclusion that Peter’s politics dealt a deathblow to popular veneration of the monarch.
The article made the analysis of the financial capacity of the Moscow state in the XVI - XVII centuries. Subjected to a critical analysis of these narrative sources, upon which, as a rule, researchers make judgments about the size of the state budget of Russia in XVI - XVII centuries. According to the author, the conclusions of Fletcher and Kotoshikhin too optimistic and overestimate the size of monetary receipts in the state budget. During the considered period, the volume of financial receipts into the Treasury was changed proportionally to the change in the population of the country.
This is the feature review article, focused on the new books on representation of the Holocaust (the Shoa), published in Israel, France, and the USA in 2013-2014. It is supposed that the new academic paradigm is emerging now, caused by inclusion of the Eastern European literature (fiction, poetry, essays) on Holocaust into the context of Western Holocaust literature. The methods of research and interpretation of post-traumatic literary works are also discussed; one of the most difficult issues here is contextualization of such works within diverse cultural and literary movements of a period.
This review article is the analysis of recent historiography on the issue of military efficiency of the Russian officer corps in 1800–1914. The author reviews three monographs published not long ago (Gudrun Persson's book on Russian military thinking of the second part of the 19th century, John W. Steinberg's research on Russian General Staff in late 19th – early 20th century and Dmitrii Kopelev's study of the German party in the Russian Navy and Fleet) and gives an interpretation of academic research of the theme, approaches applied and findings presented.
The authors argue that the particular geopolitical conditions in which the Russian polity emerged and expanded, its imperial character, and the methods and mechanisms of rule employed by imperial elites produced a distinct legal culture whose fundamental elements have endured for centuries, despite major disruptions and changes in the political system. The authors define these fundamental elements as: 1) the intertwining of sovereignty, law, and legal personnel in ways in which law is viewed mainly pragmatically, functions instrumentally, and is perceived as emanating from a sovereign ruler, and those who implement the law are bound to the ruler primarily through personal loyalties and connections;2) a “dual track” legal system under which legal matters and disputes arising from everyday life are handled through a flexible and regularly adapting constellation of legal and administrative bodies that are differentiated to reflect a diverse population; 3) a tri-partite constellation of intermediaries who help to make, implement, interpret, and apply the laws who are mainly practitioners rather than trained jurists; 4) distinct practices of making law and disseminating knowledge of legal processes that emphasize technicality and formalism in the implementation of the law but leave room for flexible application by intermediaries; and 5) more recently, the emergence of a critical discourse over law through which especially non-ruling elites protest their exclusion from sovereignty.
Tens of millions of Soviet citizens lived among a national group to which they did not belong. Upheaval resulting from war, revolution, aggressive industrialization drives, and forced migrations resulted in significant population mixing. To examine this process, Eric Scott, athour of 'Familiar Strangers: The Georgian Diaspora and the Evolution of the Soviet Empire' offers his case study of the Georgian diaspora, analyzing the political, social, cultural, and economic aspects of its development. This is review article about Eric Scott book.
In the Shadow of the Holocaust: Soviet Jewry on the Eastern Front
Review of book by Ali Igmen "Speaking Soviet with an Accent: Culture and Power in Kyrgyzstan" (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012)
The article examines the main trends in the study of the Stalinist period and the phenomenon of Stalinism in connection with the mass opening of the archives.
Oleg. V. Khlevnuk. Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015), Stephen Kotkin. Stalin. 1. Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 (New York: Penguin, 2014). Do new biograpies of the dictator provoke deeper analisis of the Sovier system. Will the life the Stalin open up new ways of understanding Stalinism?
The Peter the Great’s cultural policy is generally regarded as a decisive break with the past ushered in at the autocrat’s behest with no heed paid to public opinion. This is particularly true of measures aimed at the Europeanization of Russian subjects’ grooming and dressing habits. The notorious Petrine beard shaving dictate has long been a symbol of the radical changes implemented by the Tsar-Transformer and the violent nature of such policies. Historians have based their findings primarily on top-down legislative acts, but since no one has carried out an in-depth analysis of the actual implementation of Peter’s decrees in situ, there became entrenched in the historiography and in the public consciousness alike a prevailing assumption that Peter’s beard shaving policy was implemented in one blow and immediately led to “positive” results. The question of specific historical actors’ personal attitudes toward Peter’s innovations has also been neglected by students of the Tsar-Transformer’s reign.
This article presents an attempt to reconsider the role of “Germans” in Russia in the 1730s by reconstructing the Pietist anthropological sensibilities of the key “German” ministers of Empress Anna Ioannovna. While these sensibilities did not necessarily translate into a coherently formulated policy program, it appears that they could be reflected in these ministers’ basic “administrative instincts,” in the ways in which they saw human nature and understood human interactions, and that this, in turn, shaped the policy choices they made at the helm of the Russian Empire. In particular, the article explores the reorganization of noble service, the promotion of education, and religious policies. Two themes are stressed: the focus on “interiorization” of obedience and the ways in which this focus drove a shift to developing more intrusive and systematic bureaucratic tools of observation, regulation, and assessment intended to effect this interiorization. From that point of view, the “German” ministers of the 1730s played a key role in extending the project of “Westernization” by actually stepping beyond the Petrine paradigm of “progress through coercion.”