Political Science

The Soviet Scholar-Bureaucrat | ,

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Mikhail Nikolaevich bridges 19th- and 20th-century Russian culture as well as Leninism and Stalinism, and later became an instrument in Khrushchev's effort at de-Stalinization. Pokrovskii was born in Moscow in 1868. He described the years before 1905 as his time of "democratic illusions and economic materialism." His interest in legal Marxism began in the 1890's but it was only with the Revolution of 1905 that he stepped into the Marxist camp. Pokrovskii was a leader in the creation of the "historical front"—an organization of scholars authorized to work out a Marxist theory of the past. He formalized the bond between scholarship and politics through his belief that historians should assist party authorities in effecting a cultural revolution; thus he supported Stalin's collectivization of agriculture and leg a campaign to silence non-Marxist scholars, some of whom he had defended earlier. Yet his accommodation with Stalin was uneasy, and after Pokrovskii's death in 1932 his allegedly "abstract sociological schemes" were condemned and his career was dubbed pokrovshcina—era of the wicked deeds of Pokrovskii..

History

Spies and Scholars | Gregory Afinogenov

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The untold story of how Russian espionage in imperial China shaped the emergence of the Russian Empire as a global power. From the seventeenth to the nineteenth century, the Russian Empire made concerted efforts to collect information about China. It bribed Chinese porcelain-makers to give up trade secrets, sent Buddhist monks to Mongolia on intelligence-gathering missions, and trained students at its Orthodox mission in Beijing to spy on their hosts. From diplomatic offices to guard posts on the Chinese frontier, Russians were producing knowledge everywhere, not only at elite institutions like the Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg. But that information was secret, not destined for wide circulation. Gregory Afinogenov distinguishes between the kinds of knowledge Russia sought over the years and argues that they changed with the shifting aims of the state and its perceived place in the world. In the seventeenth century, Russian bureaucrats were focused on China and the forbidding Siberian frontier. They relied more on spies, including Jesuit scholars stationed in China. In the early nineteenth century, the geopolitical challenge shifted to Europe: rivalry with Britain drove the Russians to stake their prestige on public-facing intellectual work, and knowledge of the East was embedded in the academy. None of these institutional configurations was especially effective in delivering strategic or commercial advantages. But various knowledge regimes did have their consequences. Knowledge filtered through Russian espionage and publication found its way to Europe, informing the encounter between China and Western empires. Based on extensive archival research in Russia and beyond, Spies and Scholars breaks down long-accepted assumptions about the connection between knowledge regimes and imperial power and excavates an intellectual legacy largely neglected by historians..

History

Stalin and Mao | Lucien Bianco

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China's ascent to the ranks of the world's second largest economic power has given its revolution a better image than that of its Russian counterpart. Yet the two have a great deal in common. Indeed, the Chinese revolution was a carbon copy of its predecessor, until Mao became aware, not so much of the failures of the Russian model, but of its inability to adapt to an overcrowded third-world country. Yet, instead of correcting that model, Mao decided to go further and faster in the same direction. The aftershock of an earthquake may be weaker, but the Great Leap Forward of 1958 in China was far more destructive than the Great Turn of 1929 in the Soviet Union. It was conceived with an idealistic end but failed to take all the possibilities into account. China's development only took off after--and thanks to--Mao's death, once the country turned its back on the revolution. Lucien Bianco's original comparative study highlights the similarities: the all-powerful bureaucracy; the over-exploitation of the peasantry, which triggered two of the worst famines of the 20th century; control over writers and artists; repression and labor camps. The comparison of Stalin and Mao that completes the picture, leads the author straight back to Lenin and he quotes the observation by a Chinese historian that, "If at all possible, it is best to avoid revolutions altogether.".

Political Science

China Inside Out | P l Ny¡ri,Joana Breidenbach

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The "war on terror" has generated a scramble for expertise on Islamic or Asian "culture" and revived support for area studies, but it has done so at the cost of reviving the kinds of dangerous generalizations that area studies have rightly been accused of. This book provides a much-needed perspective on area studies, a perspective that is attentive to both manifestations of "traditional culture" and the new global relationships in which they are being played out. The authors shake off the shackles of the orientalist legacy but retain a close reading of local processes. They challenge the boundaries of China and question its study from different perspectives, but believe that area studies have a role to play if their geographies are studied according to certain common problems. In the case of China, the book shows the diverse array of critical but solidly grounded research approaches that can be used in studying a society. Its approach neither trivializes nor dismisses the elusive effects of culture, and it pays attention to both the state and the multiplicity of voices that challenge it..

History

Jewish Souls, Bureaucratic Minds | Vassili Schedrin

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Jewish Souls, Bureaucratic Minds examines the phenomenon of Jewish bureaucracy in the Russian empire—its institutions, personnel, and policies—from 1850 to 1917. In particular, it focuses on the institution of expert Jews, mid-level Jewish bureaucrats who served the Russian state both in the Pale of Settlement and in the central offices of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in St. Petersburg. The main contribution of expert Jews was in the sphere of policymaking and implementation. Unlike the traditional intercession of shtadlanim (Jewish lobbyists) in the high courts of power, expert Jews employed highly routinized bureaucratic procedures, including daily communications with both provincial and central bureaucracies. Vassili Schedrin illustrates how, at the local level, expert Jews advised the state, negotiated power, influenced decisionmaking, and shaped Russian state policy toward the Jews. Schedrin sheds light on the complex interactions between the Russian state, modern Jewish elites, and Jewish communities. Based on extensive new archival data from the former Soviet archives, this book opens a window into the secluded world of Russian bureaucracy where Jews shared policymaking and administrative tasks with their Russian colleagues. The new sources show these Russian Jewish bureaucrats to be full and competent participants in official Russian politics. This book builds upon the work of the original Russian Jewish historians and recent historiographical developments, and seeks to expose and analyze the broader motivations behind official Jewish policy, which were based on the political vision and policymaking contributions of Russian Jewish bureaucrats. Scholars and advanced students of Russian and Jewish history will find Jewish Souls, Bureaucratic Minds to be an important tool in their research..

Technology & Engineering

How Not to Network a Nation | Benjamin Peters

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How, despite thirty years of effort, Soviet attempts to build a national computer network were undone by socialists who seemed to behave like capitalists. Between 1959 and 1989, Soviet scientists and officials made numerous attempts to network their nation—to construct a nationwide computer network. None of these attempts succeeded, and the enterprise had been abandoned by the time the Soviet Union fell apart. Meanwhile, ARPANET, the American precursor to the Internet, went online in 1969. Why did the Soviet network, with top-level scientists and patriotic incentives, fail while the American network succeeded? In How Not to Network a Nation, Benjamin Peters reverses the usual cold war dualities and argues that the American ARPANET took shape thanks to well-managed state subsidies and collaborative research environments and the Soviet network projects stumbled because of unregulated competition among self-interested institutions, bureaucrats, and others. The capitalists behaved like socialists while the socialists behaved like capitalists. After examining the midcentury rise of cybernetics, the science of self-governing systems, and the emergence in the Soviet Union of economic cybernetics, Peters complicates this uneasy role reversal while chronicling the various Soviet attempts to build a “unified information network.” Drawing on previously unknown archival and historical materials, he focuses on the final, and most ambitious of these projects, the All-State Automated System of Management (OGAS), and its principal promoter, Viktor M. Glushkov. Peters describes the rise and fall of OGAS—its theoretical and practical reach, its vision of a national economy managed by network, the bureaucratic obstacles it encountered, and the institutional stalemate that killed it. Finally, he considers the implications of the Soviet experience for today's networked world..

Political Science

The New Autocracy | Daniel Treisman

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Corruption, fake news, and the "informational autocracy" sustaining Putin in power After fading into the background for many years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia suddenly has emerged as a new threat—at least in the minds of many Westerners. But Western assumptions about Russia, and in particular about political decision-making in Russia, tend to be out of date or just plain wrong. Under the leadership of Vladimir Putin since 2000, Russia is neither a somewhat reduced version of the Soviet Union nor a classic police state. Corruption is prevalent at all levels of government and business, but Russia's leaders pursue broader and more complex goals than one would expect in a typical kleptocracy, such as those in many developing countries. Nor does Russia fit the standard political science model of a "competitive authoritarian" regime; its parliament, political parties, and other political bodies are neither fakes to fool the West nor forums for bargaining among the elites. The result of a two-year collaboration between top Russian experts and Western political scholars, Autocracy explores the complex roles of Russia's presidency, security services, parliament, media and other actors. The authors argue that Putin has created an “informational autocracy,” which relies more on media manipulation than on the comprehensive repression of traditional dictatorships. The fake news, hackers, and trolls that featured in Russia’s foreign policy during the 2016 U.S. presidential election are also favored tools of Putin’s domestic regime—along with internet restrictions, state television, and copious in-house surveys. While these tactics have been successful in the short run, the regime that depends on them already shows signs of age: over-centralization, a narrowing of information flows, and a reliance on informal fixers to bypass the bureaucracy. The regime's challenge will be to continue to block social modernization without undermining the leadership’s own capabilities..

History

Producing Power | Sonja D. Schmid

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An examination of how the technical choices, social hierarchies, economic structures, and political dynamics shaped the Soviet nuclear industry leading up to Chernobyl. The Chernobyl disaster has been variously ascribed to human error, reactor design flaws, and industry mismanagement. Six former Chernobyl employees were convicted of criminal negligence; they defended themselves by pointing to reactor design issues. Other observers blamed the Soviet style of ideologically driven economic and industrial management. In Producing Power, Sonja Schmid draws on interviews with veterans of the Soviet nuclear industry and extensive research in Russian archives as she examines these alternate accounts. Rather than pursue one “definitive” explanation, she investigates how each of these narratives makes sense in its own way and demonstrates that each implies adherence to a particular set of ideas—about high-risk technologies, human-machine interactions, organizational methods for ensuring safety and productivity, and even about the legitimacy of the Soviet state. She also shows how these attitudes shaped, and were shaped by, the Soviet nuclear industry from its very beginnings. Schmid explains that Soviet experts established nuclear power as a driving force of social, not just technical, progress. She examines the Soviet nuclear industry's dual origins in weapons and electrification programs, and she traces the emergence of nuclear power experts as a professional community. Schmid also fundamentally reassesses the design choices for nuclear power reactors in the shadow of the Cold War's arms race. Schmid's account helps us understand how and why a complex sociotechnical system broke down. Chernobyl, while unique and specific to the Soviet experience, can also provide valuable lessons for contemporary nuclear projects..

Political Science

State and Revolution | V. I. Lenin,Todd Chretien

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It was here that Lenin justified his personal interpretation of Marxism, savaged his opponents and set out his trenchant views on class conflict, the lessons of earlier revolutions, the dismantling of the bourgeois state and the replacement of capitalism by the, dictatorship of the proletariat..

History

The Soviet Century | Moshe Lewin

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On the centenary of the Russian Revolution, a classic history of the Soviet era, from 1917 to its fall One hundred years after the Russian Revolution the Soviet Union remains the most extraordinary, yet tragic, attempt to create a society beyond capitalism. Yet its history was one that for a long time proved impossible to write. In The Soviet Century, Moshe Lewin follows this history in all its complexity, guiding us through the inner workings of a system which is still barely understood. In the process he overturns widely held beliefs about the USSR’s leaders, the State-Party system and the powerful Soviet bureaucracy. Departing from a simple linear history, The Soviet Century traces all the continuities and ruptures that led from the founding revolution of October 1917 to the final collapse of the late 1980s and early 1990s, passing through the Stalinist dictatorship, the impossible reforms of the Khrushchev years and the glasnost and perestroika policies of Gorbachev..

Art

Graphic Satire in the Soviet Union | John Etty

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After the death of Joseph Stalin, Soviet-era Russia experienced a flourishing artistic movement due to relaxed censorship and new economic growth. In this new atmosphere of freedom, Russia's satirical magazine Krokodil (The Crocodile) became rejuvenated. John Etty explores Soviet graphic satire through Krokodil and its political cartoons. He investigates the forms, production, consumption, and functions of Krokodil, focusing on the period from 1954 to 1964. Krokodil remained the longest-serving and most important satirical journal in the Soviet Union, unique in producing state-sanctioned graphic satirical comment on Soviet and international affairs for over seventy years. Etty's analysis of Krokodil extends and enhances our understanding of Soviet graphic satire beyond state-sponsored propaganda. For most of its life, Krokodil consisted of a sixteen-page satirical magazine comprising a range of cartoons, photographs, and verbal texts. Authored by professional and nonprofessional contributors and published by Pravda in Moscow, it produced state-sanctioned satirical comment on Soviet and international affairs from 1922 onward. Soviet citizens and scholars of the USSR recognized Krokodil as the most significant, influential source of Soviet graphic satire. Indeed, the magazine enjoyed an international reputation, and many Americans and Western Europeans, regardless of political affiliation, found the images pointed and witty. Astoundingly, the magazine outlived the USSR but until now has received little scholarly attention..

Political Science

Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung | Mao Tse-Tung

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Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork..

Political Science

Near Abroad | Gerard Toal

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Before Russia invaded Ukraine, it invaded Georgia. Both states are part of Russia's "near abroad" - newly independent states that were once part of the Soviet Union and are now Russia's neighbors. While the Russia-Georgia war of 2008 faded from the headlines in the wake of the global recession, the geopolitical contest that created it did not. Six years later, the spectre of a revanchist Russia returned when Putin's forces invaded and annexed the Crimean peninsula, once part of Russia but an internationally recognized part of Ukraine since the Soviet collapse. Crimea's annexation and follow on conflict in eastern Ukraine have generated the greatest geopolitical crisis on the European continent since the end of the Cold War. In Near Abroad, the eminent political geographer Gerard Toal moves beyond the polemical rhetoric that surrounds Russia's interventions in Georgia and Ukraine to study the underlying territorial conflicts and geopolitical struggles. Central to understanding are legacies of the Soviet Union collapse: unresolved territorial issues, weak states and a conflicted geopolitical culture in Russia over the new territorial order. The West's desire to expand NATO contributed to a growing geopolitical contest in Russia's near abroad. This found expression in a 2008 NATO proclamation that Georgia and Ukraine will become members of NATO, a "red line" issue for Russia. The road to invasion and war in Georgia and Ukraine, thereafter, is explained in Near Abroad. Geopolitics is often thought of as a game of chess. Near Abroad provides an account of real life geopolitics, one that emphasizes changing spatial relationships, geopolitical cultures and the power of media images. Rather than being a cold game of deliberation, geopolitics is often driven by emotions and ambitions, by desires for freedom and greatness, by clashing personalities and reckless acts. Not only a penetrating analysis of Russia's relationships with its regional neighbors, Near Abroad also offers an analysis of how US geopolitical culture frequently fails to fully understand Russia and the geopolitical archipelago of dependencies in its near abroad..

Social Science

Government of Paper | Matthew S. Hull

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In the electronic age, documents appear to have escaped their paper confinement. But we are still surrounded by flows of paper with enormous consequences. In the planned city of Islamabad, order and disorder are produced through the ceaseless inscription and circulation of millions of paper artifacts among bureaucrats, politicians, property owners, villagers, imams (prayer leaders), businessmen, and builders. What are the implications of such a thorough paper mediation of relationships among people, things, places, and purposes? Government of Paper explores this question in the routine yet unpredictable realm of the Pakistani urban bureaucracy, showing how the material forms of postcolonial bureaucratic documentation produce a distinctive political economy of paper that shapes how the city is constructed, regulated, and inhabited. Files, maps, petitions, and visiting cards constitute the enduring material infrastructure of more ephemeral classifications, laws, and institutional organizations. Matthew S. Hull develops a fresh approach to state governance as a material practice, explaining why writing practices designed during the colonial era to isolate the government from society have become a means of participation in it..

History

The Rise and Fall of Communism in Russia | Robert V. Daniels

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Distinguished historian of the Soviet period Robert V. Daniels offers a penetrating survey of the evolution of the Soviet system and its ideology. In a tightly woven series of analyses written during his career-long inquiry into the Soviet Union, Daniels explores the Soviet experience from Karl Marx to Boris Yeltsin and shows how key ideological notions were altered as Soviet history unfolded. The book exposes a long history of American misunderstanding of the Soviet Union, leading up to the "grand surprise" of its collapse in 1991. Daniels's perspective is always original, and his assessments, some worked out years ago, are strikingly prescient in the light of post-1991 archival revelations. Soviet Communism evolved and decayed over the decades, Daniels argues, through a prolonged revolutionary process, combined with the challenges of modernization and the personal struggles between ideologues and power-grabbers..

History

In Peace Prepared | Andrew B. Godefroy

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The Allies claimed victory at the end of the Second World War, but the United States' invention of the atomic bomb and its replication by the Soviet Union posed new dangers for all nations. This book examines what Canada's Cold War Army did to prepare for nuclear war – and why and how it did it. Although the war never materialized, officers, scientists, engineers, and designers developed a collaborative and systematic approach to problem solving that not only transformed the organization of Canada's army but also influenced how armies in the Western Alliance related to one another during the Cold War and beyond..

History

Class Theory and History | Stephen A. Resnick,Richard D. Wolff

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First Published in 2002. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company..

Philosophy

One-Dimensional Man | Herbert Marcuse

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One of the most important texts of modern times, Herbert Marcuse's analysis and image of a one-dimensional man in a one-dimensional society has shaped many young radicals' way of seeing and experiencing life. Published in 1964, it fast became an ideological bible for the emergent New Left. As Douglas Kellner notes in his introduction, Marcuse's greatest work was a 'damning indictment of contemporary Western societies, capitalist and communist.' Yet it also expressed the hopes of a radical philosopher that human freedom and happiness could be greatly expanded beyond the regimented thought and behaviour prevalent in established society. For those who held the reigns of power Marcuse's call to arms threatened civilization to its very core. For many others however, it represented a freedom hitherto unimaginable..

History

Red Famine | Anne Applebaum

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Winner of the 2018 Lionel Gelber Prize From the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gulag and Iron Curtain, winner of the Cundill Prize and a finalist for the National Book Award, a revelatory history of Stalin's greatest crime. In 1929, Stalin launched his policy of agricultural collectivization -- in effect a second Russian revolution -- which forced millions of peasants off their land and onto collective farms. The result was a catastrophic famine, the most lethal in European history. At least five million people perished between 1931 and 1933 in the U.S.S.R. In Red Famine, Anne Applebaum reveals for the first time that three million of them died not because they were accidental victims of a bad policy, but because the state deliberately set out to kill them. Applebaum proves what has long been suspected: that Stalin set out to exterminate a vast swath of the Ukrainian population and replace them with more cooperative, Russian-speaking peasants. A peaceful Ukraine would provide the Soviets with a safe buffer between itself and Europe, and would be a bread basket region to feed Soviet cities and factory workers. When the province rebelled against collectivization, Stalin sealed the borders and began systematic food seizures. Starving, people ate anything: grass, tree bark, dogs, corpses. In some cases they killed one another for food. Devastating and definitive, Red Famine captures the horror of ordinary people struggling to survive extraordinary evil..

History

Cold Peace | Yoram Gorlizki,Oleg Khlevniuk

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Following his country's victory over Nazi Germany, Joseph Stalin was widely hailed as a great wartime leader and international statesman. Unchallenged on the domestic front, he headed one of the most powerful nations in the world. Yet, in the period from the end of World War II until his death, Stalin remained a man possessed by his fears. In order to reinforce his despotic rule in the face of old age and uncertain health, he habitually humiliated and terrorized members of his inner circle. He had their telephones bugged and even forced his deputy, Viacheslav Molotov, to betray his own spouse as a token of his allegiance. Often dismissed as paranoid and irrational, Stalin's behavior followed a clear political logic, contend Yoram Gorlizki and Oleg Khlevniuk. Stalin's consistent and overriding goal after the war was to consolidate the Soviet Union's status as a superpower and, in the face of growing decrepitude, to maintain his own hold as leader of that power. To that end, he fashioned a system of leadership that was at once patrimonial-repressive and quite modern. While maintaining informal relations based on personal loyalty at the apex of the system, in the postwar period Stalin also vested authority in committees, elevated younger specialists, and initiated key institutional innovations with lasting consequences. Close scrutiny of Stalin's relationships with his most intimate colleagues also shows how, in the teeth of periodic persecution, Stalin's deputies cultivated informal norms and mutual understandings which provided the foundations for collective rule after his death. Based on newly released archival documents, including personal correspondence, drafts of Central Committee paperwork, new memoirs, and interviews with former functionaries and the families of Politburo members, this book will appeal to all those interested in Soviet history, political history, and the lives of dictators. Cold Peace was a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title for 2005..