The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923–1939 (The Wilder House Series in Politics, History and Culture)

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9780801486777: The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923–1939 (The Wilder House Series in Politics, History and Culture)

The Soviet Union was the first of Europe's multiethnic states to confront the rising tide of nationalism by systematically promoting the national consciousness of its ethnic minorities and establishing for them many of the institutional forms characteristic of the modern nation-state. In the 1920s, the Bolshevik government, seeking to defuse nationalist sentiment, created tens of thousands of national territories. It trained new national leaders, established national languages, and financed the production of national-language cultural products.This was a massive and fascinating historical experiment in governing a multiethnic state. Terry Martin provides a comprehensive survey and interpretation, based on newly available archival sources, of the Soviet management of the nationalities question. He traces the conflicts and tensions created by the geographic definition of national territories, the establishment of dozens of official national languages, and the world's first mass "affirmative action" programs. Martin examines the contradictions inherent in the Soviet nationality policy, which sought simultaneously to foster the growth of national consciousness among its minority populations while dictating the exact content of their cultures; to sponsor national liberation movements in neighboring countries, while eliminating all foreign influence on the Soviet Union's many diaspora nationalities. Martin explores the political logic of Stalin's policies as he responded to a perceived threat to Soviet unity in the 1930s by re-establishing the Russians as the state's leading nationality and deporting numerous "enemy nations."

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Review:

"In the popular imagination, the Soviet Union was always synonymous with Russia, but in the U.S.S.R.'s early days Soviet leaders had a very different idea in mind: they wanted to establish a true multinational, multiethnic empire. . . . Yet, as Martin shows in this fascinating history, simply giving an order was not enough, even in the Stalin years, and the complex relationship between socialism and nationalism in places like Ukraine often frustrated Soviet intentions."―The New Yorker, June 10, 2002

"Martin significantly advances our understanding of the early, formative years of Soviet nationality policy, providing a subtle and lucid reconstruction of its unique conceptual underpinnings and its stormy evolution. . . . Martin's work is more than an important contribution to the field of Soviet history; it is a critical piece in comprehending contemporary Ukrainian and Russian nationality."―Foreign Affairs, May/June 2002

"The real virtue of Martin's book―and all of the best new Soviet scholarship―is not in the theoretical model it propounds, but in the power of its details, gleaned from previously unknown documents. . . . Martin is able, for the first time, to explain what it was that the Soviet Union's leaders actually intended their nationality policy to achieve. . . . Reading Martin's work, . . . one is struck, above all, by how much stranger the Soviet Union is beginning to seem, in retrospect, than we thought it was at the time, and how much more perverse. . . . Reading this history also gives us in the West an insight, however narrow, into the turmoil experienced in the non-Russian lands of the former Soviet Union during the last decade. Ukraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Georgia: these are now 'free' and independent states. Yet how real is this freedom? Might it not be another illusion, foisted upon them by a still powerful, and still much wealthier, Russian republic."―The New York Review of Books, February 12, 2004

"Martin's book is fascinating and enlightening. . . . After reading Martin's book, one is left with the impression that Stalin's weight in the nationalities debate as a significant factor in his victory."―Michael F. Gretz, New School University, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 9:1, Spring 2003

"Terry Martin's Affirmative Action Empire is an exceptional and unique book, indispensable for any student of ethnic politics in the Soviet Union and its successor states, notably the Russian Federation. It is unique both in its comprehensive, in-depth treatment of the evolution of the Soviet nationalities policy from its inception until the end of the 1930s and in its reliance on Soviet archival sources that have become accessible only recently. . . . A major contribution to the history of the Soviet Union and to the study of ethnicity."―Teresa Rakowska-Harmstone, Harvard University, Journal of Ukrainian Studies 26:1-2, Summer/Winter 2001

"Terry Martin looks at the nationalities policy of the early Soviet period and offers an insightful, detailed analysis of a problem that Soviet leaders grappled with throughout the twentieth century. As he points out, it was a problem that eventually helped to usher in the end of the USSR."―Amanda Wood Aucoin, New Zealand Slavonic Journal

"Martin has produced the most detailed study of the origin of the Soviet regime's contradictory policies toward its minorities. The Affirmative Action Empire is one of the most important books on Soviet nationalities policies ever published. It will be an instant classic in its field."―Mark R. Beissinger, University of Wisconsin–Madison

"In this important new book, Terry Martin analyzes the emergence of the Soviet multinational state in the 1920 s and Stalin's move to promote the concept of the 'Friendship of the Peoples' in the 1930s. With exhaustive research in theRussian archives, Martin has captured the USSR'S paradoxical policy of fostering the development of its constituent nations, while seeking to bring them under Moscow's strict control."―Norman M.Neimark, Robert and Florence McDonnell Porfessor of East European Studies, Department of History, Stanford University

From The New Yorker:

In the popular imagination, the Soviet Union was always synonymous with Russia, but in the U.S.S.R.'s early days Soviet leaders had a very different idea in mind: they wanted to establish a true multinational, multi-ethnic empire. To that end, they attacked Russian nationalism as a vestige of Tsarism, and instituted a set of policies that looked very much like affirmative action, enforcing the use of local languages and fostering the development of ethnic leaders, even at the cost of discriminating against Russians. Yet, as Martin shows in this fascinating history, simply giving an order was not enough, even in the Stalin years, and the complex relationship between socialism and nationalism in places like Ukraine often frustrated Soviet intentions. More important, ethnicity, once fostered, was frequently a counterweight to, rather than a bulwark of, Communist ideology; although Stalin remained rhetorically committed to the multi-state idea, he ended up terrorizing those ethnic leaders he saw as threats.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker

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Descrizione libro Cornell University Press, United States, 2001. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Soviet Union was the first of Europe s multiethnic states to confront the rising tide of nationalism by systematically promoting the national consciousness of its ethnic minorities and establishing for them many of the institutional forms characteristic of the modern nation-state. In the 1920s, the Bolshevik government, seeking to defuse nationalist sentiment, created tens of thousands of national territories. It trained new national leaders, established national languages, and financed the production of national-language cultural products.This was a massive and fascinating historical experiment in governing a multiethnic state. Terry Martin provides a comprehensive survey and interpretation, based on newly available archival sources, of the Soviet management of the nationalities question. He traces the conflicts and tensions created by the geographic definition of national territories, the establishment of dozens of official national languages, and the world s first mass affirmative action programs. Martin examines the contradictions inherent in the Soviet nationality policy, which sought simultaneously to foster the growth of national consciousness among its minority populations while dictating the exact content of their cultures; to sponsor national liberation movements in neighboring countries, while eliminating all foreign influence on the Soviet Union s many diaspora nationalities. Martin explores the political logic of Stalin s policies as he responded to a perceived threat to Soviet unity in the 1930s by re-establishing the Russians as the state s leading nationality and deporting numerous enemy nations. Codice libro della libreria AAZ9780801486777

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Descrizione libro Cornell University Press, United States, 2001. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Soviet Union was the first of Europe s multiethnic states to confront the rising tide of nationalism by systematically promoting the national consciousness of its ethnic minorities and establishing for them many of the institutional forms characteristic of the modern nation-state. In the 1920s, the Bolshevik government, seeking to defuse nationalist sentiment, created tens of thousands of national territories. It trained new national leaders, established national languages, and financed the production of national-language cultural products.This was a massive and fascinating historical experiment in governing a multiethnic state. Terry Martin provides a comprehensive survey and interpretation, based on newly available archival sources, of the Soviet management of the nationalities question. He traces the conflicts and tensions created by the geographic definition of national territories, the establishment of dozens of official national languages, and the world s first mass affirmative action programs. Martin examines the contradictions inherent in the Soviet nationality policy, which sought simultaneously to foster the growth of national consciousness among its minority populations while dictating the exact content of their cultures; to sponsor national liberation movements in neighboring countries, while eliminating all foreign influence on the Soviet Union s many diaspora nationalities. Martin explores the political logic of Stalin s policies as he responded to a perceived threat to Soviet unity in the 1930s by re-establishing the Russians as the state s leading nationality and deporting numerous enemy nations. Codice libro della libreria AAZ9780801486777

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