This article discusses certain regional specialists and preservationists of historical and cultural monuments during the Brezhnev era who were, at first, entirely loyal to official Soviet policy but came to engage in a form of civic engagement that undermined it. There arose a regional politics of memory that was an alternative to the state version and became embodied in local commemorative practices, as a result of which collective memory retained even that which the Soviet political elite would have preferred to expunge. Through the example of the struggle between the local activists of the city Sverdlovsk to preserve the Ipatiev House—where Nicholas II and the rest of his household were executed in 1918—and to preserve the memory of this historic event after the house’s demolition, the author shows how local social mechanisms of commemoration directly contradicted the policies of central authorities, and the initiatives of historic preservationists became aligned, to the surprise of the activists themselves, with the activities of monarchists among the Soviet elite.
The article is devoted to the problem of constructing image of the past in screenplays of 1920–1930s by writer and literary critic Viktor Shklovsky. Author shows that Shklovsky did not have one concept of history and gradually shifted from avant guard experiments with classic to integration in limits of socialist realism. Immutable methods of work with historical material common to all screenplays by Shklovsky are also examined.
The review analyses the last book by Agostino Paravicini Bagliani, the Bestiario del papa, published in italian. It is an innovative research on one important aspect of symbolic history of the Papacy, the bestiary: the author shows how the Curia used the symbolic potential of real and fantastic animals from Antiquity up to early Modern Times. This new book by the eminent scholar is here being analysed in connection with his previous studies, especially with the Body of the Pope, first published in 1994.