Stalin's Empire of Memory: Russian-Ukrainian Relations in the Soviet Historical Imagination by Serhy Yekelchyk
Based on declassified materials from eight Ukrainian and Russian archives, Stalin's Empire of Memory, offers a complex and vivid analysis of the politics of memory under Stalinism. Using the Ukrainian republic as a case study, Serhy Yekelchyk elucidates the intricate interaction between the Kremlin, non-Russian intellectuals, and their audiences.
Yekelchyk posits that contemporary representations of the past reflected the USSR's evolution into an empire with a complex hierarchy among its nations. In reality, he argues, the authorities never quite managed to control popular historical imagination or fully reconcile Russia's 'glorious past' with national mythologies of the non-Russian nationalities.
Combining archival research with an innovative methodology that links scholarly and political texts with the literary works and artistic images, Stalin's Empire of Memory presents a lucid, readable text that will become a must-have for students, academics, and anyone interested in Russian history.
'Yekelchyk has written a wonderful book that offers a wholly original, well-researched, sophisticated, and balanced account of an important subject. The focus is the struggle between Soviet political leaders, ideologists and cultural tastemakers on the one hand, and Ukrainian historians, cultural figures and their political supervisors on the other... This book represents a highly significant contribution to scholarship.'
'This is an excellent book ... Yekelchyk demonstrates the critical importance of the politics of memory for the study of empires in general and of the Soviet Union in particular. At the cutting edge of Ukrainian and Russian studies as well as cultural and postcolonial studies, it will have a significant impact.'