Bolsheviks And The National Question

Overview

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, it fell apart along lines which had first been drawn up by the Soviet Communists in the years following the Russian Revolution. The Russian Bolsheviks had no blueprint for how to deal with the problems posed by a multinational state, and this period was crucial as they felt their way towards creating a system which would allow the nationalists of the old Russian empire to flourish and develop. In this first work in English to examine the question, Jeremy Smith makes ...

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Overview

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, it fell apart along lines which had first been drawn up by the Soviet Communists in the years following the Russian Revolution. The Russian Bolsheviks had no blueprint for how to deal with the problems posed by a multinational state, and this period was crucial as they felt their way towards creating a system which would allow the nationalists of the old Russian empire to flourish and develop. In this first work in English to examine the question, Jeremy Smith makes extensive use of previously unavailable material from the archives of the former Soviet Union. The book explores the disputes surrounding the creation of a federal multinational state--the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Jeremy Smith's valuable new book deals with the formulation of Soviet nationalities policy from the Bolsheviks' assumption of power in October 1917 to the definitive formulation of the policy of indigenization....” —The Russian Review

“This is a well-written study, solidly based on archival materials and the contemporary press. Smith adds significant details to the fascinating story of how Bolsheviks built expedient political alliances with the non-Communist nationalists who supported their program of cultural revival, while at the same time dealing with opposition to Moscow's centralizing program from "national Communists" in Georgia, Ukraine, and elsewhere.” —American Historical Review

Booknews
Challenging the common belief that the Bolshevik policy towards non-Russian nationalities in the formation of the U.S.S.R. was a matter purely of convenience and opportunism, Smith (history, U. of Helsinki) explores the policy debates within the upper to middle levels of the Soviet government regarding both the nationalities which were to become the basis of the nominally independent republics and those who resided within Russia. He argues that the aspirations of certain members of the non-Russian political classes dovetailed with the objectives of Lenin and Stalin to build national identities which would breed support for socialism. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jeremy Smith is Lecturer in Soviet History at the Renvall Institute at the University of Helsinki.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
• Marxists, Bolsheviks and the National Question
• The Case for National Autonomy--Causes and Processes
• Building Nationhood--Borders and State Relations
• Korenizatsiia--National Communist Leaderships
• Cultural Autonomy--Education, Language and Culture
• The Georgian Crisis and the Formation of the Soviet Union
• The Twelfth Party Congress and the Sultan-Galiev Affair
• Conclusion
• Index

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