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Adventures in Russian Historical Research: Reminiscences of American Scholars from the Cold War to the Present

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Overview

American historians of Russia have always been an intrepid lot. Their research trips were spent not in Cambridge or Paris, Rome or Berlin, but in Soviet dormitories with official monitors. They were seeking access to a historical record that was purposefully shrouded in secrecy, boxed up and locked away in closed archives. Their efforts, indeed their curiosity itself, sometimes raised suspicion at home as well as in a Soviet Union that did not want to be known even while it felt misunderstood. This lively volume brings together the reflections of twenty leading specialists on Russian history representing four generations. They relate their experiences as historians and researchers in Russia from the first academic exchanges in the 1950s through the Cold War years, detente, glasnost, and the first post-Soviet decade. Their often moving, acutely observed stories of Russian academic life record dramatic change both in the historical profession and in the society that they have devoted their careers to understanding.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765611963
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 6/30/2003
  • Pages: 250
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

About the Editors and Contributors
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 My Historical Research in the Soviet Union: Half-Empty or Half-Full? 3
2 A Tale of Two Inquiries 21
3 Discovering Rural Russia: A Forty-Year Odyssey 37
4 Catherine the Great and the Rats 49
5 Exploration and Adventure in the Two Capitals 61
6 Leningrad, 1966-1967: Irrelevant Insights in an Era of Relevance 73
7 Adventures and Misadventures: Russian Foreign Policy in European and Russian Archives 91
8 Reclaiming Peter the Great 103
9 Prisoner of the Zeitgeist 115
10 Of Outcomes Happy and Unhappy 127
11 A Journey from St. Petersburg to Saratov 130
12 Romancing the Sources 153
13 Russian History from Coast to Coast 165
14 Friends and Colleagues 177
15 Within and Beyond the Pale: Research in Odessa and Birobidzhan 191
16 Mysteries in the Realms of History and Memory 203
17 A Historian of Science Works from the Bottom Up 217
18 Orthodoxies and Revisions 229
19 Post-Soviet Improvisations: Life and Work in Rural Siberia 243
20 Hits and Misses in the Archives of Kazakhstan 255
Index 265
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