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Ab Imperio, 4/2006

2006

annual theme:

ANTHROPOLOGICAL REFLECTIONS ON LANGUAGES


OF SELF DESCRIPTION OF EMPIRE AND NATION

Contents

:

THE LETTER OF THE LAW:
THE INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF BELONGING TO POLITY

I.

METHODOLOGY AND THEORY

10

:

11
From the Editors Subjected to Citizenship: The Problem of Belonging
to the State in Empire and Nation
17
Myron J. Aronoff Forty Years as a Political Ethnographer

23

Interview with Peter Sahlins Subjecthood That Happens to Be Called


Citizenship, Or Trying to Make Sense of The Old Regime on Its
39
Own Terms

,
,

/Contents
, ,
XVIII .:
59

Alexander Kamenskii Subjecthood, Loyalty, and Patriotism in Imperial Discourses


in Eighteenth Century Russia: Outlining the Problem

II.

HISTORY 100

versus
XVII . ( / ) 101
Natalia Yakovenko Life Space vs. Identity of the Rus Gentleman (the Case of Jan/
Joachim Erlich)

Ltat cest nous? , (1819-1820 .)


137
Alsu Biktasheva Ltat cest nous? Local Citizenship, Imperial Subjecthood, and
the Revision of Government Institutions in Kazan Province, 1819-1820

Olga Maiorova Searching for a New Language of Collective Self: The


Symbolism of Russian National Belonging During and After the
Crimean War
187
:

: -
(1860- .)
225
Mikhail Dolbilov The Tsars Faith: Mass Conversions of Catholics to Orthodoxy in the North-Western Region of the Russian Empire (ca. 1860s)

James Kennedy, Liliana Riga Mitteleuropa as Middle America? The


271
Inquiry and the Mapping of East Central Europe in 1919
, Mitteleuropa ? The Inquiry 1919 .

, :

XIX XX
301
Benno Gammerl Nation, State or Empire: Subjecthood and Citizenship in British
and Habsburg Empires at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Ab Imperio, 4/2006

ARCHIVE 328

III.

,
329

Ernest Gyidel On Ukrainofilia of George V. Vernadsky, Or Miscellaneous Notes


on the Topic of National and State Loyalties

:
347
George V. Vernadsky: I Think of Myself Both as a Ukrainian and a Russian

IV.

SOCIOLOGY, ANTHROPOLOGY, 370


POLITICAL SCIENCE

Rebecca Chamberlain-Creang The Transnistrian people? Citizen371


ship and Imaginings of the State in an Unrecognized Country

- ?

VII.

BOOK REVIEWS
Reviews 400

R-FORUM
IMPERIAL CITIES

Felix Driver and David Gilbert (Eds.), Imperial Cities: Landscape,


Display and Identity (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2003). 272 pp. (=Studies in Imperialism). Index. ISBN:
0-719-0 6497-X (paperback edition);
Julie A. Buckler, Mapping St. Petersburg: Imperial Text and Cityshape
(Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2005). 320 pp.
Bibliography, Index. ISBN: 0-691-11349-1.

401
Elena Hellberg-Hirn, Imperial Imprints: Post-Soviet St.-Petersburg
(Helsinki: SKS / Finnish Literature Society, 2003). 446 pp. Bibliography, Index. ISBN: 951-746-491-6 (hardback edition).
410

/Contents
Richard Stites, Serfdom, Society, and the Arts in Imperial Russia: The
Pleasure and the Power (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005).
xii+586 pp. ISBN: 0-300-10889-3 (hardback edition).
Louise McReynolds
415
Lutz Hfner, Gesellschaft als lokale Veranstaltung. Die Wolgastdte
Kazan und Saratov (18701914) (Kln: Bhlau Verlag, 2004). 594 S.
(=Beitrge zur Geschichte Osteuropas; Bd. 35). ISBN: 3-412-11403-0;
Guido Hausmann (Hg.), Gesellschaft als lokale Veranstaltung. Selbstverwaltung, Assoziierung und Geselligkeit in den Stdten des ausgehenden Zarenreiches (Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2002).
485 S. (=Brgertum. Beitrge zur europischen Gesellschaftsgeschichte; Bd. 22). ISBN: 3-525-35687-0.
419

. . . (-
XIV XV .). : , 2006. 160 . , , , , ,
. ISBN: 5-9273-1017-6.
Charles Halperin
428
Frithjof Benjamin Schenk, Aleksandr Nevskij: Heiliger, Frst, Nationalheld; eine Erinnerungsfigur im russischen kulturellen Gedchtnis
(12632000) (Kln: Bhlau Verlag, 2004). 548, [32] S. Ill. (=Beitraege
zur Geschichte Osteuropas; Bd. 36) Quellen- und Literaturverz. ISBN:
3-412-06904-3.
432

Timothy Snyder, The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine,
Lithuania, Belarus, 15691999 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2003). xv+367 pp. ISBN: 0-300-08480-3.

437
Nicholas V. Riasanovsky, Russian Identities: A Historical Survey (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2005). 278 pp. Index.
ISBN: 0-19-516550-1.

453

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
Susan P. McCaffray, Michael Melancon (Eds.), Russia in The European Context, 17891914: A Member of the Family (New York and
Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005). 256 pp. Index. ISBN: 1-40396855-1.
464
Natalie Bayer
. . 19972002 .
: , 2004 (=: ). 816 c. .
ISBN: 5-86793-300-8.
Marina Peunova
469
/ ., ., , . .
. . . -:
-, 2003. 396 . ISBN: 5-94380024-7.
Alexander Ogden
476
Richard Kieckhefer, Theology in Stone: Church Architecture From
Byzantium to Berkeley (Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press,
2004). 372 pp., ill. Index. ISBN: 0-19-515466-5.
481

ii. i i. -:
, 2003. 243 . ISBN: 5-94716-032-3.

490
Caroline Milow, Die Ukrainische Frage 19171923 im Spannungsfeld der europischen Diplomatie (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag,
2002) (=Veroffentlichungen des Osteuropa-Instituts Mnchen. Reihe:
Geschichte; Bd. 68). 572 S. ISBN: 3-447-04482-9.
503

. . . . - /
1968 . -: - , -, 2004. 252 c., . , ,
. ISBN: 5-98187-042-7.

509

/Contents
Rebecca Kay, Men in Contemporary Russia: The Fallen Heroes of
Post-Soviet Change? (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2006). 246 pp. Bibliography, Index. ISBN: 0-7546-4485-5.

516
Richard Sakwa (Ed.), Chechnya: From Past to Future (London: Anthem Press, 2005). 300 pp. ISBN: 1-84331-165-8.
524

535

List of Contributors

538

Ab Imperio 2007

541

/Books for Review

547

Ab Imperio, 4/2006

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16

Ab Imperio, 4/2006

Myron J. ARONOFF

FORTY YEARS
AS A POLITICAL ETHNOGRAPHER*

I, on my side, require of every writer, first or


last, a simple and sincere account of his own life,
and not merely what he has heard of other mens
lives; some such account as he would send to his
kindred from a distant land; for if he has lived sincerely, it must have been in a distant land to me.
(Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854)1

I choose the autobiographical approach in this discussion of political


ethnography for several reasons. First, I know my own work best and do
not presume others familiarity with my publications beyond specialists in
*

An earlier draft was presented as the keynote address on October 26, 2006 at a workshop
on Political Ethnography: What Insider Perspectives Contribute to the Study of Power
held at the University of Toronto. All further references will be cited as op. cit., workshop
on Political Ethnography. I thank Edward Schatz for inviting me to give the address and
for his helpful comments on it. I am grateful to my fellow participants for a most
stimulating exchange of experiences and ideas. I am indebted to Marina Mogilner and
Alexander Semyonov for soliciting this essay for publication and for their probing
comments and questions.
1
Cited by Dvora Yanow. Reading as Method: Interpreting Interpretations // Op. cit.
Workshop on Political Ethnography.

23

Myron J. Aronoff, Forty Years as a Political Ethnographer


my fields.2 This approach, therefore, affords an opportunity to broaden
awareness of the fruits of four decades of my own ethnographic research
while discussing a number of important general problems and issues. Second, I hope that young scholars at the outset of their careers may benefit
from my experiences so they do not constantly attempt to reinvent the same
wheel. Finally, my self-referential approach introduces the self-reflexivity
that presently dominates in anthropology to scholars in other disciplines. I
shall illustrate, for example, how the unintended consequences of choices I
made influenced my career, my work, and my life.
I have been fascinated by politics for as long as I can remember. I was
the only kid in Middletown, Ohio in 1952 proudly sporting an Adlai Stevenson campaign button. My liberal Democratic family was likely considered
by most of our neighbors in the bible belt of southwestern Ohio to be communist. My fascination with other cultures began while working a summer
in Israel and traveling through Europe during the Fall of 1960. I discovered
ethnography in graduate school at UCLA (1962-1965). As a political science major with an area concentration in African studies, I was obliged to
choose an additional major outside of political science. Anthropology
was a natural choice for understanding the postcolonial politics of nation
building and identity formation in Africa. These developments were part of
a general redefinition of the field of political science that began after WWII
and received greater impetus in the 1960s with the independence of the
new African states.
Among the outstanding scholars with whom I studied the political theorist (philosopher) David C. Rapaport and the anthropologist Michael G.
Smith had the greatest intellectual influences on me. By studying classical
and more contemporary political theory with Rapoport I learned to ask
important questions particularly about the nature of political legitimacy,
which has remained the central conceptual focus throughout my academic
career. Smith introduced me to ethnography in his course on traditional
political systems. I delved more deeply into the nature of legitimacy in his
seminar on Max Weber. I decided that I must do ethnographic field work
for my doctoral dissertation because I felt that the only way I could understand the meaning of politics was to observe the people involved in the
2
I earned Ph.D.s in both political science (UCLA) and social anthropology (Manchester
University) and have spent my career attempting to build conceptual and methodological
bridges between the two. My forthcoming volume Anthropology and Political Science:
Politics, Culture, and Identity (co-authored with Jan Kubik) (New York: Berghan)
represents the culmination of this career-long project.

24

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
processes I wanted to study and learn how they understood what was going
on.3 Nation building was the hot topic at the time for Africa. However, for
reasons beyond my control I was unable to do the fieldwork I had planned
in Africa. As an ABD (all but dissertation) I turned down an attractive, well
paid tenure-track job offer at a respected university in the United States in
order to accept a very poorly paid position on a research team from Manchester University (UK) directed by Professor Max Gluckman to conduct fieldwork in Israel. In other words, I chose the opportunity to conduct ethnographic fieldwork over my fascination with Africa and over a decent salary
and the promise of potential job security. I was bitten by the ethnographic
bug and have remained infected ever since. As I shall elaborate below, once
you have the opportunity to observe and interact with people who are engaged in the activities that fascinate you and that you are attempting to
understand, you realize that there is simply no better way to understand
what is going on, and no other way to understand what these events mean
to the participants themselves, than through participant observation.
Strangely enough there were no courses offered, nor was there any formal training in ethnographic methods in the department of social anthropology at Manchester University in 1965.4 We picked up informal tips from
gossip about famous anthropologists in the field and personal anecdotes in
the common room and in the pubs to which we retired after our seminars.
We learned by an almost Talmudic reading of classical ethnographic texts.
For example, we learned about extended-case analysis by reading the classic formulations by Max Gluckman and by J. Clyde Mitchell. 5 The
(in)famous Manchester seminars when classes were called off for intensive
critiques by professors and graduate students of the work of those just returning from the field was a baptism under fire through which we became
initiated in the Manchester school approach. Maxs only direct methodological advice to me as I set out for Israel was to keep your eyes and ears
3
I was asked on my oral comprehensive Ph.D. exam at UCLA: Is political science a
science or an art to which I immediately replied, If we are to succeed in understanding
people and politics, it must combine both.
4
One of my professors, A. L. Epstein edited: The Craft of Social Anthropology. London,
1967, when I was in the field in Israel.
5
Max Gluckman. Analysis of a Social Situation in Modern Zululand (Rhodes Livingstone Papers # 28). Manchester, 1958 (republished by Manchester University Press, 1968);
J. Clyde Mitchell. The Kalela Dance (Rhodes-Livingstone Papers # 27). Manchester, 1956
(republished by Manchester University Press, 1968). See J. Van Velsen. The Extendedcase Method and Situational Analysis // A. L. Epstein. The Craft of Social Anthropology.
Pp. 129-149, for one of the earliest descriptive formulations of the approach.

25

Myron J. Aronoff, Forty Years as a Political Ethnographer


open and your mouth shut tight. The former was easier than the latter for
me. The only stricture he placed on us was that we were required to study a
community small enough to employ participant observation as our primary
research method.
Although I received an excellent education at Manchester, training in
ethnographic methodology was not the only gap. Most of my professors
had worked with Gluckman at the Rhodes-Livingstone Institute of Social
Studies in central Africa and were African specialists.6 Emrys Peters taught
the only seminar dealing with Middle Eastern cultures. (Peter Worsely taught
a more general third world seminar.) I have never taken a course at the
undergraduate or graduate level that dealt with Israel even in passing. Also,
like my British trained professors of anthropology at UCLA, M. G. Smith
and Hilda Kuper, my professors at Manchester were all British social anthropologists. We studied social structure and networks, not culture. In some
ways this was closer to the political science I studied than is the work of
Clifford Geertz and other American cultural anthropologists who I read
outside my formal education. Whereas the methodological innovations of
extended case analysis, particularly of protracted political strife, developed
by the Manchester school are highly relevant for political scientists, I shall
suggest below the cultural focus on the semiotic and hermeneutic analysis
of the interpretation of meaning is the most important contribution of
American cultural anthropology to understanding politics.
I chose to study one of the two newest of Israels thirty development
towns that had been recently established in the Negev desert. Two sociology students had conducted surveys for their masters theses in town so the
residents were familiar with what sociologists do. I explained that I was a
political anthropologist doing an ethnographic study. It later became apparent that not everyone understood what ethnography involved. Many
thought I was just a lazy sociologist and asked when I was going to conduct
my interviews. Others bluntly suggested I get a job. One local recent immigrant who was serving in the border police manned a check point on the
border between the West Bank and the pre-1967 war border. When I arrived at his check point he excitedly called his colleagues over to introduce
me as an American astronaut living in town.
The leader of the opposition who was elected mayor during my study
was shocked when he read a copy of my dissertation saying he had no idea
6
Gluckman attempted to replicate the spirit of the Rhodes-Livingstone Institute in the
team he assembled to study Israel that was funded by the Bernstein family (owners of
Granada television in the United Kingdom).

26

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
it would be so personal. He pointed out a dissertation on local government
in Israel on his desk written by a political scientist which he thought was
the kind of work I was writing. He objected that my study was so personal
that publishing it would be like publishing an x-ray of his ample stomach.7
He was the son-in-law of the prime minister at the time and had higher
political ambitions. In fact, he eventually became finance minister.
I lived with my wife and infant daughter in town, participating in the
life of the community from October 1966 through the summer of 1968
(including the war of June 1967). Toward the end of my stay I conducted a
survey to test a hypothesis developed from my observations and to prove
not only that I was not a lazy sociologist, but that I was a competent political
scientist. After months of getting data that made no sense based on my
intimate knowledge of the population, I discovered that the magnetic tape
had broken and a piece of someone elses data had been accidentally spliced
into mine. Had I not known the population as well as I did, under the pressure to complete my dissertation, I might have been forced to attempt to
make an interpretation of spurious data. On the other hand, the multivariate
regressions I ran once the problem had been corrected corroborated the
central hypothesis of my analysis derived from the ethnography: the construction of a strong collective identity and sense of communal pride within
a remarkably short time was due primarily to the mobilization of the residents through competing local socio-political factions. Whereas I certainly
agree with Ed Schatz that one need not utilize multiple-methods in all research, there are definitely contexts when they are not only useful, but perhaps even essential.8
My analysis of Frontiertown was framed in the context of Victor Turners political phase development in which social situations were presented
as phases in an ongoing process of political strife over an extended period
of time.9 Each phase was analyzed using the method developed by the
7

I negotiated with him and agreed to delete a few of the most personal matters which
did not detract from my analysis. He finally consented to the publication of my dissertation. The town and its inhabitants were all given pseudonyms in the tradition of anthropology.
8
Edward Schatz. The Problem with the Toolbox Metaphor: Ethnography and the Limits
to Multiple-Methods Research. A paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, August 31-September 3, 2006. A similar argument is
made by: Sanford F. Schram. Why I am not an Interpretivist // Op. cit. Workshop on
Political Ethnography.
9
Myron J. Aronoff. Frontiertown: the Politics of Community Building in Israel.
Manchester & Jerusalem, 1974; Victor Turner. Social Dramas and Ritual Metaphors //

27

Myron J. Aronoff, Forty Years as a Political Ethnographer


Manchester school known as the extended case method and situational
analysis. One case constituted what Turner termed the deployment of adjustive or redressive mechanisms. I analyzed the ritual interaction between representatives of local merchants and housewives employing Erving
Goffmans Encounters, which analyzed the ritual nature of face-to-face interactions.10 A confrontation over economic issues on the eve of a hotly
contested local election in which violence had been threatened was defused
by the skillful employment of framing through what Goffman metaphorically termed an interaction membrane that excluded direct reference to
politics and disguised references to ethnicity.
The encounter, which began with considerable tension, ended in good
humored laughter prompted by a joking exchange between the unofficial
leader of the housewives and the head of the merchants association. Coincidentally, they were the only two people present who were of Middle Eastern background. The housewife, who was from Yemen, joked about the
incongruity between her dark complexion and her European (married) name.
She also called the leader of the merchants, who was from Morocco originally, habibi using the Arabic pronunciation rather than the common pronunciation used by Israelis of European background. I suggested that the
use of the Arabic term, rather than the Hebrew equivalent, in this context
was a subtle reference to their common ethnicity after the two had confronted each other over economic issues. It successfully brought the encounter to a conclusion because of the relative absence of ethnic prejudice
and tensions among the participants.
When I gave my presentation back at Manchester, Professor Emrys Peters, who had worked among the Bedouin in Libya and in a Lebanese village, insisted that there was a sexual innuendo in the exchange and that she
was actually coming on to him. As we sat in the pub after the seminar
continuing the discussion I asked my professor to listen to the conversation
taking place next to us. One of my fellow graduate students was engaged in
a conversation with a stranger in the booth next to ours. The stranger asked
Dramas, Fields, and Metaphors. Ithaca, NY, 1974. Pp. 23-59. The model was formulated
earlier in the introduction to: Marc J. Swartz, Victor W. Turner, and Arthur Tuden (Eds.).
Political Anthropology. Chicago, 1966. His co-editors credit Turner for the major
contribution in formulating the approach. Turner was one of Gluckmans most prominent
students. He moved to the United States where he had a significant impact on American
anthropology as well as British anthropology.
10
Erving Goffman. Encounters: Two Studies in the Sociology of Interaction. Indianapolis,
1961.

28

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
my friend his name. He replied, Len Mars. The man asked if that was his
original name. Len replied that the family name was originally Margolis.
When I asked what had transpired, my professor gave a very literal interpretation. I then explained that the two strangers were simply establishing
their mutual Jewish identity which is exactly the point I had made about the
two in the encounter I had analyzed.
When I gave the same analysis at Tel Aviv University there were also
differing interpretations of my data. My Israeli Palestinian graduate research
assistant supported my interpretation. He stated that the meaning of habibi
varies contextually. He explained that when his fianc called him habibi it
meant exactly what Professor Peters suggested. When his buddy called him
habibi, it meant my friend. When his Jewish boss in the Histadrut labor
federation used the term my student considered it condescending and patronizing. He confirmed that in the context I described the term was clearly
as I had interpreted it. One essential contribution of ethnography is the
understanding of the meaning of words and actions in specific contexts
through deep immersion in the culture and mastery of the language. Even
verbatim stenographic minutes of the meeting (had they existed, which they
did not) would not have enabled the nuanced analysis of such an exchange
because the nonverbal communication and good-natured laughter of the
participants was essential for an accurate explanation of the significance of
the exchange.
My second major research project involved eight years of participant
observation of the national institutions and local branches of the Israel Labor party which dominated Israeli politics for nearly fifty years. This research was conducted during the period I taught at Tel Aviv University.
The book that resulted from this research, Power and Ritual in the Israel
Labor Party was first published in 1977.11 The book essentially anticipated
and explained the defeat of the party that year that was so shocking that it
was popularly known in Hebrew as the earthquake.
I utilized the conceptual repertoire of political science to explain the
politics of factionalism, the nomination of leaders, the analysis of representation on national party institutions, and the relationship between the party
center and the local branches. At the time there was much debate in political sociology and political science about non-decision making and non11

Myron J. Aronoff. Power and Ritual in the Israel Labor Party: A Study in Political
Anthropology. Assen, the Netherlands, 1977; revised and expanded edition published
by M. E. Sharpe (Armonk, NY, 1993).

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Myron J. Aronoff, Forty Years as a Political Ethnographer


issues. I was able to add conceptual clarity to this discussion and empirical
evidence through my analysis of the suppression of extremely important
and controversial issues from the national convention of the party. Scholars
dependent upon archival evidence and interviews were completely unaware
of this phenomenon which never appeared in previous studies of this party
or any other. However, I feel that my greatest theoretical contribution in
this study is to the analysis of ritual, the refinement of Gluckmans notion
of rituals of rebellion, and the conceptual challenge to the predominant
reified, mutually exclusive, dichotomous distinction between traditional and
modern societies.
I had not planned to study ritual in my research design. But after exhausting the explanations for much of my data there remained a significant
range of activity, particularly in one closed top party forum, which defied
explanation by the aforementioned concepts. The more I examined the symbolic dimension of behavior in this assemblage of the secondary echelon of
national party leaders, the more I was reminded of Gluckmans classic essay Rituals of Rebellion in South-East Africa (1952).12 It met Gluckmans key criteria that the outcome was known in advance and that the
social unit must end united as a consequence of the ritual. The rebellious
criticism by the secondary leaders of their patrons in the top party elite was
strikingly similar to that of the Lozi priests of Barotseland analyzed by
Gluckman and to the chiefs designated by the king of Baganda reported by
Lucy Mair.13 Yet, Gluckman argued quite explicitly that with the development of proto-classes you cannot have rituals of rebellion because when
actors can opt for alternative social roles you get genuine revolts rather the
ritualized rebellions. By explicitly delineating the conditions that prevented
the actors in my study from opting for alternative roles (e.g. overthrowing
the top leaders or switching parties), I eventually convinced Gluckman that
what I observed was, indeed, a ritual of rebellion. By showing the limited
scope and efficacy of such ritualized solutions and the suppression of
issues that were highly salient to the public I was able to document Labors
loss of ideological dominance and legitimacy and to anticipate its loss of
political dominance in the forthcoming election. I note that no other political scientist and only one (little known at the time) pollster predicted the
defeat of Labor in 1977. If I had not managed to observe the events ana12

The most accessible version of this classic essay was republished in Gluckmans
collected essays: Order and Rebellion in Tribal Africa. London, 1963. Pp. 110-136.
13
Max Gluckman. Rituals of Rebellion in South-East Africa; Lucy P. Mair. An African
People in the Twentieth Century (Baganda). New York, 1934.

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Ab Imperio, 4/2006
lyzed I would not have been able to make either this theoretical contribution or the successful prognosis. In 1993 I published a substantially expanded and updated edition of this book dealing with Labors years in opposition and eventual return to power.
My third major research project (which resulted in Israeli Visions and
Divisions) was even more unconventional since it was an ethnography of
Israeli society, culture, and politics in the period from 1977 to 1990, which
was a period of major cultural and political transformation and polarization.14 Based largely on fieldwork in Israel during 1982-1983 and 19871988, I utilized a wide range of methods. I engaged in participant observation of selected meetings of the Ministerial Committee on Symbols and
Ceremonies, the Knesset plenary, parliamentary committees, and the delegates dining room, the activities of several peace movements (particularly
Peace Now), the major settlers movement (Gush Emunim or Bloc of the
Faithful), academic conferences, theater performances, movies, television
programs, e.g., a documentary series on the 1981 election campaign, and
the first Palestinian uprising (intifada). I interviewed more than a hundred
political, religious, cultural, and educational leaders. I also examined an
archive of more than twenty years of meetings of the Ministerial Committee on Symbols and Ceremonies (housed in the Prime Ministers office),
from which I selected for analysis two major decisions that focused on the
manipulation of political culture.
The leader of the nationalist Likud party, Menachem Begin, became
prime minister in 1977 and set out to overcome the pariah image with which
Labor had stigmatized him and his movement. He attempted to eradicate
the last vestiges of Labors ideological legitimacy and to establish the Likuds
political dominance and ideological hegemony. Begin utilized state agencies to reinterpret Israeli history; to elevate his movements ideological
leader, Vladimir Jabotinsky, to the national political pantheon; to enshrine
as heroes the martyrs of the dissident underground movements particularly the one he commanded; and to establish the authority of their myths. The
Begin government made extensive use of ceremonies commemorating historical figures whose actions were used to attempt to lend legitimacy to
Begin, his movement, and his governments policies. The most elaborate of
these ceremonies was an official state funeral held on May 11, 1982, in the
Judean desert for the purported remains of the fighters and followers of
14

Myron J. Aronoff. Israeli Visions and Divisions: Cultural Change and Political Conflict.
New Brunswick, NJ, 1989; 1991 (paperback edition).

31

Myron J. Aronoff, Forty Years as a Political Ethnographer


Shimon Bar Koziba, popularly known as Bar Kochba, who led the second
Jewish revolt against Rome in 132-135 CE.
I contrast the elaborate official state ceremony attended by state officials and representatives of foreign countries who were brought by helicopter to the remote dessert site with an unofficial parody of the event. The
central event of the official ritual was the prime ministers eulogy. Premier
Begin, frequently referring to the liberation and unification of Jerusalem,
emphasized the historic link between the Bar Kochba revolt and the rise
and expansion of the new Third Jewish Commonwealth. He reminded
the audience that it had been the Roman emperor Publius Aelius Hadrianus
who had given Judea the name Palestine, a name that still haunts us. He
declared, Our glorious fathers, we have a message for you: We have returned to the place from whence we came. The people of Israel lives, and
will live in its homeland of Eretz Israel for generations upon generations.
Glorious fathers, we are back and we will not budge from here.15 The full
ceremonies were covered by Israels only television channel (at the time)
as well as by radio broadcasts, thereby reaching a wide section of the deeply divided population.
A group of twenty-four young protestors wearing Roman-style togas
and carrying spears parodied the official ceremony chanting You are making a laughing stock out of history. When Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Shlomo
Goren emerged from his helicopter they broke out in a song about chasing
darkness from the land which is traditionally sung on Hanukkah. Although
the police and soldiers eventually succeeded in destroying their signs and
forcibly removing them from the ceremonies, their protest dramatized the
opposition of approximately half of their fellow countrymen including
the majority of the educational and cultural elite, many of whom boycotted
the ceremonies. A respected rabbi and Labor member of the Knesset claimed
the ceremony perverted Jewish tradition. Opponents of the governments
expansive settlement policy in the territories Israel occupied during the war
of June 1967 were particularly critical of the obvious political implications
of the ceremony. Even a very senior member of the government avoided
the ceremony which he told me he considered to be a farce.
Israel became embroiled in a polarized national debate over the meaning of Bar Kochbas revolt and its implications for the contemporary quandary caused by Israels occupation of land on which two million Palestinians reside. The national debate arguing contradictory implications of the
15

Aronoff. Israeli Visions and Divisions. P. 59.

32

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
Bar Kochba revolt for contemporary political dilemmas facing Israel reflected deeply polarized ideological interpretations of the Zionist vision.
Yet, the fact that secular scholars and leading rabbinic figures engaged in
public debate with one another and with the prime minister and other leading
politicians over the implications of two thousand year-old events for contemporary problems implies the sharing of an underlying Zionist/Israeli
world view that made the debate over interpretations of this root cultural
paradigm both possible and significant. In the past two decades since then
Zionism has been seriously challenged from various internal and external
groups, which has loosened its hegemonic hold on the public, although it
still retains considerable salience for the majority of Israeli Jews. I have
analyzed the contested nature of Israeli identity in other publications since
the publication of this book most recently at a workshop in Antwerp in
October 2006.16
My most recent book, The Spy Novels of John le Carre: Balancing Ethics
and Politics, employs an ethnographic approach to the analysis of works of
fiction.17 Although not based on participant observation as were my previous
studies, it is based on what Jan Kubik calls ethnographic problematization
and framing.18 I reverse the trend of many post-modernist scholars who
interpret the words and actions of real people as literary texts. By contrast,
I interpret the plight of fictional characters in literary texts as representative
of real life situations and moral dilemmas. This approach is consistent with
the authors intent. As he told Melvyn Bragg, at the moment, when we
have no ideology, and our politics are in a complete shambles, I find it [the
espionage novel] a convenient microcosm to shuffle around in a secret world
and make that expressive of the overt world.19 I suggest that le Carre is the
ethnographer, having experienced the secret world personally and imaginatively recreated it in fiction. I then supplied an interpretation of the cen16

See, for example, Myron J. Aronoff. Temporal and Spatial Dimensions of Contested
Israeli Nationhood // Brigitta Benzing and Bernd Herrmann (Eds.). Exploitation and
Overexploitation in Societies Past and Present. Berlin and New Brunswick, 2003. Pp.
269-272.
17
Myron J. Aronoff. The Spy Novels of John le Carre: Balancing Ethics and Politics.
New York, 1999; 2001 (Palgrave paperback edition).
18
Jan Kubik. Ethnography after Post-Modern (De)construction: Is It Still Useful for
Political Science? // Op. cit. Workshop on Political Ethnography. Italics are in the original.
Kubik refers to: Roger Peterson. Resistance and Rebellion, Lessons from Eastern Europe.
Cambridge, UK, 2001, which uses an ethno-historical approach.
19
Melvyn Bragg. The Things a Spy Can Do John le Carre Talking // The Listener.
1976. 27 January. P. 90.

33

Myron J. Aronoff, Forty Years as a Political Ethnographer


tral tension in his work between ethics and politics. I treat the novels as
extended cases which I interpret very much as I did the data I gathered in
my previously discussed political ethnographies.
Using the notion of ideological temperament, which Wilson Carey
McWilliams defined as dispositions of the soul as distinct from more
codified ideological doctrines, I suggest that high tolerance of ambiguity is
one of the key defining features of the liberal temperament.20 George Smiley best represents the liberal temperament and skeptical balance that I argue are the core concepts in Le Carres political ethics. Smiley, who appears in eight novels, is le Carres most fascinating, enduring, and endearing character. I devote an entire chapter to him as the center of an extended
case-analysis of skepticism. Le Carre writes of Smiley in his second novel,
A Murder of Quality (1962), It was a peculiarity of Smileys character that
throughout the whole of his clandestine work he never managed to reconcile the means to the end. Smiley constitutes the moral center in those
novels in which he appears, as do other Smiley-like characters in those
novels in which he does not appear.
The chapter in which I most fully explore the concept of skepticism is
titled Learning to Live with Ambiguity: Balancing Dreams and Realities.
My analysis of The Little Drummer Girl constitutes the central case for the
elucidation of this theme. It is the story of the recruitment of an English
actress to infiltrate a Palestinian terrorist ring operating in Europe against
Jewish and Israeli targets. She is recruited by an agent of the Israeli Mossad
as bait to track down the leader of the Palestinian cell in order to assassinate
him. The agent, Gadi Becker, a younger and more physically attractive
version of George Smiley, is the moral center of the novel. The novel forces
the reader to consider the psychological and ethical price paid by the agent
and her handler (and by inference by Israel as well) for the successful accomplishment of this goal. It also symbolically addresses the future of
Israel/Palestinian relations in the twice promised land.
With reference to my analysis, former Senator Bill Bradley (who served
on the Senate intelligence committee) wrote: Aronoff poses challenges,
20

Wilson Carey McWilliams. Ambiguities and Ironies: Conservatism and Liberalism in


American Political Tradition // W. Lawson Taitte (Ed.). Moral Values in Liberalism and
Conservatism. Austin, TX, 1995. Pp.175-212; Michael Schatzberg (Evacuating the
Emic // Op. cit. Workshop on Political Ethnography) urges us to seek ambiguity and
embrace it. I suggest that his advice to the ethnographer is reflective of a liberal temperament and of what Eviatar Zerubavel (The Fine Line. New York, 1991) defines as a
flexible mind.

34

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
such as the limits to which democracies can go in using nondemocratic
means to protect democratic freedoms for example, in the war against
terrorism without undermining those very freedoms.21 Democracies,
unfortunately, sometimes violate the spirit of liberty and freedom in the
name of their defense especially under perceived threats to national security. The discussion of the implications of this has never been more salient
than it is today amidst the current war on terror. I suggest that the ethnographic reading of novels helps elucidate this by allowing the reader to
enter into the hearts, minds, and souls of individuals engaged in this activity
and exploring the personal, institutional, and national costs and implications of these ethical compromises. It thereby makes abstract Jeffersonian
principles concrete and more understandable in the present world context.
My approach weds an ethnographic spirit of inquiry with what political
scientists call a political theoretical (philosophical) analysis of ethical issues.22 The combination of ethnography with political philosophy explores
the broader moral public implications of private actions. This is done implicitly without invoking a broader academic discussion of the relevant
philosophical literature. I deliberately avoided such an academic discussion precisely because I wanted to address a broader audience than my
colleagues in academe who specialize in these issues. Moral dilemmas are
discussed without invoking contractual theory, natural rights, and notions
of sovereignty. The problems facing us are too important to be limited by
obfuscation by self-segregating academic jargon. Although this work may
not constitute a conventional ethnography, to me it is ethnographic in spirit
and it helps clarify dilemmas which date back to the Hebrew bible and
classical Greek philosophers, not to mention other cultural traditions.
My most recent major project in collaboration with my colleague Jan
Kubik, Anthropology and Political Science: Culture, Politics, Identity, and
Democratization,23 is near completion. In it we explore the ontological,
epistemological, methodological, and conceptual similarities and differences
between the two disciplines. A key observation is the paradox that as political scientists have become more interested in ethnography and the concept
21

Back book jacket of the hardbound edition of M. Aronoff. The Spy Novels of John Le
Carr. (1999).
22
My late colleague Carey McWilliams used to tease me about being a closet political
theorist. After reading the manuscript of this book he said: Mike, you have finally
come out of the closet as a theorist.
23
It is to be published in a series edited by William Beeman and David Kertzer by
Berghan Books.

35

Myron J. Aronoff, Forty Years as a Political Ethnographer


of political culture, anthropologists have undergone a soul-searching and
scathing critique of the value of both participant observation and the conceptualization of culture.24
Our main argument is that there is considerable added value when
ethnography is incorporated into political sciences repertoire for example
in evaluating the symbolic dimension of politics such as in ritual, the construction of collective memory (and amnesia), and the constant contestation over collective identity. This is essential in analyzing problems of legitimacy the transformation of power into authority and the challenging
and undermining of legitimate authority.25 Alternatively, anthropology benefits from the experience and conceptual repertoire of political science
for example in taking into consideration the importance of party systems
and the nature of regimes. Too frequently anthropologists jump from the
local to the global. No one would argue against the importance of understanding the trans-national nature of our contemporary world, but we ignore the continuing importance of the state and its institutions at our peril.
Most scholars tend not to read across their disciplinary (or even subfield) boundaries. In fact, being interdisciplinary, or bi-disciplinary, can be
professionally marginalizing. For example, I have been introduced both as
half a political scientist and as half an anthropologist by very prominent scholars in both disciplines. For some it is apparently difficult to conceptualize a person who earned a Ph.D. in two disciplines as being an equal
member of each field. With noteworthy exceptions, like James C. Scott,
David Laitin, Susanne Rudolph, and Lloyd Rudolph, few political ethnographers have gained high visibility in political science. James Scott, who
was honored with a plenary panel discussion of his contributions at an annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, may be more
widely read and cited by anthropologists than by his fellow political scientists. In this, he is clearly a dramatic exception to the rule. Perhaps not
coincidentally, all of the aforementioned scholars with the exception of David
Laitin have played leading roles in the perestroika movement in political
science.
The perestroika movement is a reflection of, and a catalyst contributing
to, the opening up of the discipline of political science to a wider range of
24

Myron J. Aronoff. Political Culture // Neil J. Smelser and Paul B. Baites (Eds.-inchief). International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Kidlington, UK,
2002.
25
Myron J. Aronoff (Ed.). The Frailty of Authority; Political Anthropology. Vol. V. New
Brunswick, NJ, 1986. I am particularly proud of this edited volume.

36

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
approaches than strictly positivist ones. Kristen Monroe called the movement that has challenged the hegemony of positivism the raucous rebellion in political science in the subtitle of her edited volume.26 Among the
contributors to this volume Rogers M. Smith was one of the movements
main leaders, Jennifer Hochild was the first editor of the new journal Perspectives on Politics, Robert Jervis was one of the leaders of the new qualitative research section of the APSA, 27 Dvora Yanow and Peregrine
Schwartz-Shea, editors of the recently published Interpretation and Method
have been active in the organization of panels on ethnography and interpretation at APSA meetings in which many young scholars have participated.28
It is noteworthy that Bob Jervis and Susanne Rudolph are recent past presidents of APSA signifying the success of the perestroika movement and the
legitimization of the diversity of approaches it represents. Last, but certainly not least, a group of scholars gathered in Toronto in October 2006 thanks
to the efforts of Ed Schatz at a stimulating workshop on Political Ethnography: What Insider Perspectives Contribute to the Study of Power. It is
particularly gratifying to witness these positive developments and to feel
that I may have made a modest contribution to them. Jan Kubik and I
were asked to organize a new section on Political Anthropology for the
forthcoming annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association. I am honored to share my thoughts on this subject with the readers of
Ab Imperio.

SUMMARY
,
, ,
. , ,
.. 26

Kristen Renwick Monroe (Ed.). Perestroika: The Raucous Rebellion in Political


Science. New Haven, CT, 2005.
27
American Political Science Association.
28
Dvora Yanow and Peregrine Schwartz-Shea (Eds.). Interpretation and Method:
Empirical Research Methods and the Interpretive Turn. Armonk, NY, 2006.

37

Myron J. Aronoff, Forty Years as a Political Ethnographer


,
.

;
;
,
. ,
,
,
,
.
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: , ,
,
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38

Ab Imperio, 4/2006

Interview with Peter SAHLINS

SUBJECTHOOD THAT HAPPENS TO BE CALLED


CITIZENSHIP, OR
TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF THE OLD REGIME
ON ITS OWN TERMS*

Sergei GLEBOV: Professor Sahlins, thank you for your interest in the
general questions we sought to discuss in the framework of our thematic
issue The Letter of the Law: the Institutionalization of Belonging to Polity and for your willingness to share your thoughts with our readers. Let
me begin by asserting that the narrative of Modernity is essentially a narrative of the nation: the revolutionary nation as the political body and the
eternal nation as the physical body of the society, united by a common
language, culture and memory. All contradictions and ruptures of Modernity are mysteriously brought together when viewed through the national
perspective: the inevitable monological form of narrative finds its ultimate
subject in the singularity and homogeneity of society as embodied by the
nation. The revolutionizing effect of forging the common narrative of the
nation (parallel to the forging of national identity itself) is well known, not
least thanks to your seminal studies.
What remains understudied yet is the functioning of societies that have
not fully experienced the integrating potential of nationalization. Old re*

Interviewer Sergei Glebov.

39

Interview with Peter Sahlins, Trying to Make Sense of the Old Regime...
gime polities, as well as contiguous empires of the nineteenth century (Russian but also Habsburg) did not overcome local particularities (in both a
regional and social sense) as rival sources of group identification, parallel
to the pan-imperial narratives of unity and loyalty. In the twentieth century,
the Soviet Union represented a modern post-revolutionary polity, yet it never
managed to become a proper nation state because a federalist model was
employed to accommodate deep cultural, economic and ethnic inequalities
concealed by the umbrella of political loyalty to the regime. Today we witness attempts to reshape Europe as a supranational community. What is
important in all those different cases is that the internal heterogeneity of
society goes far beyond a normal diversity, to the extent that it includes
the co-existence of different political subjects holding different degrees of
sovereignty, competing principles of social identification, and narratives of
memory. We believe that your interest and experience in studying the beginning of the synthesis of national narrative provide you with a unique
perspective on the world before and beyond the nation.
To begin our conversation, let me ask you how accurate is the very
perception of the national ideal as a monologue (even if established as a
result of disputes and conflicts)? A decade ago, James Lehning1 challenged
the perceived wisdom of Eugene Webers model of forging a nation through
institutional standardization, suggesting instead a more complicated vision
of national unity as a result of negotiations of mutual projections by social
actors. What is your attitude to Lehnings model, and does it change the
perception of the nation as a normative monologue?
Peter SAHLINS: It is worth beginning with Eugen Webers model of
the transformation of Peasants into Frenchmen,2 since, Id like to suggest,
Lehnings attempt to revise Webers formulation is still very much framed
by the same kind of oppositions that he purports to disrupt between the
traditional and modern on the one hand, and peasants and Frenchmen on
the other. What this suggests, to me at least, is the deep-seated nature of the
paradigm of cultural modernization and the difficulty, even within the
framework of cultural history, of disrupting it or dislodging it in some significant way. In my earlier work, on boundaries,3 and also in my work on
1
James Lehning. Peasant and French:Cultural Contact in Rural France During the
Nineteenth Century. Cambridge, MA & New York, 1995.
2
Eugen J. Weber. Peasants into Frenchmen:the Modernization of Rural France, 18701914. Stanford, 1976.
3
Peter Sahlins. Boundaries: the Making of France and Spain in the Pyrenees. Berkeley,
1989.

40

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
peasant rebellion in the nineteenth century,4 I was very critical of Webers
model and by extension of Lehnings attempt to reformulate it, largely because of the implicit model of collective identity it contained. Specifically,
I would suggest that such models still imagine identity to be constructed as
a series of expanding concentric circles, in which identity and loyalty decrease in correlation with geographic distance from a specific social ego at
its center, such that a peasants attachments, in this schema, would be primarily to his or her family, and would be diluted in their extension to a kin
network, then to a neighborhood, then to the village community itself, then
perhaps to a valley, a region, and only distantly and weakly to the nation as
a whole. Implied here is also a paradigm of nation-building that assumes
that when nations are built from distant centers, they reverse the vectors of
loyalty and identification, effacing the embedded concentric circles, such
that a direct and unmediated identification between the peasant and the nation, in this case France, is achieved. This is what youve called the nation
as normative monologue. To my mind, deploying this model is not always
the most useful way of making sense of the regularities in the historical
record because to do so presupposes, including in Lehnings reformulation,
an original position occupied by peasants as outside of the discursive, institutional or political community called the nation. My own work included
an effort to re-imagine the peasantry as part of France, to write the history
of the peasantry, however marginalized and peripheralized with respect to a
distant political center, as nonetheless engaged, or at least articulated within the same historical processes. In doing so I tried to rethink the model
itself, abandoning the metaphor of circles for the notion of segments, which
I borrowed from a certain anthropology, and which was well known, at
least among the structural functionalists, through the work of Evans-Pritchard.5 In this segmentary model, identity is conceived in all of its possible iterations as an oppositional and contingent and relational quality, capable of collapsing lesser distinctions into more inclusive ones. In my work,
this meant that peasants might express their identities in village communities at the same time that they could consider themselves Frenchmen or
Spaniards, and this occurred in an historical context that we might consider
precocious, since the institutional mechanisms outlined by Weber that link
peasants and the nation roads and railroads, schools and military service
did not yet exist. Still, through segmentary oppositions, peasants could iden4
Idem. Forest Rites: the War of the Demoiselles in Nineteenth-Century France.
Cambridge, MA, 1994.
5
See Mary Douglas. Edward Evans-Pritchard. New York, 1981.

41

Interview with Peter Sahlins, Trying to Make Sense of the Old Regime...
tify themselves as part of France, but only in opposition to an Other. In the
Pyrenean borderland in the Pyrenees, the Other was Spain, even if Spain
had just as ephemeral an institutional existence in the pre-modern world, at
least in terms of the homogeneous creation of national institutions. Nevertheless, discursively, the Spanish nation or Spain as a nation was an entity,
which became strategically deployed within peasant society in order to state
a set of claims about local and national identity. Key here were the ways in
which the national as a category became articulated with the local, in such
a manner that neither effaced or erased the other: a localizing of the national
and a nationalizing of the local. So I was most interested in my early work
in critiquing the expectation that nation-building involves the complete effacement of other kinds of identities and other kinds of differences. Not
that this wasnt, in fact, the political project, since it really was a goal of
statesmen and politicians (and educators and army officers) who built nations, but it was never a successful project, and not even in the most precocious and developed of the nation-states, England or France, or to a certain
extent Spain, did the effort ever come to approximate the lived experience
of peasants and others. All the more important, I think, turning to imperial
and post-imperial histories further east on the continent, to emphasize the
extent to which national-building agendas, agendas of nationalization, with
their integrating, homogenizing efforts, were never nearly as successful as
nation-builders imagined them to be.
SG: I wonder if I can interject a question at this point regarding something that you mentioned in your answer, namely, your reliance upon and
indebtedness to anthropological models. Could you elaborate on how important anthropology has been to your intellectual project, and, furthermore, what, in general, is your perception of the relationship between anthropology and history? Are we indebted to anthropologists and if so, what
kind of an intellectual debt do we owe to them? Is it methodology, analytical concepts, or a conceptualization of the language of social sciences?
PS: There are, obviously, two histories here that come together. There is
the history of the disciplines, but also a personal trajectory. My own exposure to anthropology took shape as a contingent and accidental development, namely my birth and education in a family which lived all over the
world, and in which anthropology and culture was the stuff of the dinner
table conversations. I was never trained in anthropology but I grew up in a
world in which the concepts and key categories of anthropological knowledge, at least of a certain moment, were part of an everyday language, so
42

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
generally speaking my training as an anthropologist comes from home.
More generally, I think that history as a discipline has developed and flourished during the last century through a process of cannibalizing, if you will,
collateral disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. One can point
to different decades in the twentieth century in which different auxiliary
disciplines, from economics to sociology to anthropology to literary theory
to geography, have been not just helpful but necessary for history as a discipline in its continuous self-re-invention. The anthropological moment of
historical inquiry has in some sense passed, meaning that the heyday of this
borrowing can be seen in the works of E. P. Thompson or Natalie Zemon
Davis or any of the so called new historians of the Anglo-Saxon world,
whose research agendas came out of an interest in social history and history
from below, beginning in the late 1960s. This was an especially creative
and fertile time for the marriage of anthropology and history, a moment
during which a single collateral discipline, in this case anthropology, really
allowed history to pose new questions about the collective logics of behavior, or invent new objects of inquiry (such as kinship, ritual, or other
symbolic practices). The marriage also provided historians with a vocabulary with which to investigate and to answer queries that, at least in their
most successful iterations, were never efforts to import wholesale the methods of anthropological inquiry onto history, which of course wouldnt work
in that the field is not the archive, and historians will always be bound to a
great extent and constrained by this silence of their informants Rather,
historians imported not the research methods of anthropology but its vocabulary, its questions, and certain of its intellectual concerns and agendas All this is not to say that this moment has definitely receded into the
mists of time, but there is an enduring legacy to be found in the ever
widening set of legitimate historical subjects, and there is still fruitful crossfertilization that can occur at this point in time, particularly around the
much studied question of identity. At the same time, it should be emphasized, that history as a discipline its central paradigms and informing
principles has already learned its lessons from anthropology and has moved
on to other disciplines, from which it takes equally in measure to think of
new sets of problems and ways of interpreting them. Similarly, when history
turned to literary theory in the 1980s, what was at stake was less a wholesale importation of methods even if there are historians who would argue
that history is a text and should be read in the same way as a literary creation but most practicing historians still work in archives and now understand that they are working with texts in an important, literary sense, and
43

Interview with Peter Sahlins, Trying to Make Sense of the Old Regime...
that all of the aporia and explicit meanings of a text that need to be studied
as part of the way of making these texts speak to a particular intellectual
problem thats been posed. So I would not be a historian who continuously
waves the flag of anthropology feeling that this is in any way a definitive
solution or even the first steps down a particular path, but, rather, one of the
many tools in the rather capacious toolbox of the historian that can be used
to make sense of a changing and evolving set of problems that we will
continue to invent and give our best to answer.
SG: Despite some efforts to undo the boundary between the modern and
pre-modern forms of citizenship, historians still operate under the assumption that there occurred, at the time of the French revolution, a profound
break with citizenship based on privilege (or private law). To what extent
has your own work contributed to complicating that boundary? Has the
story of the passage from a foreigner to a subject altered our perception of
the roots of modern citizenship?
PS: Its harder to imagine in a French institutional context and historiography, but there have been a lot of efforts in English to de-center the
French Revolution itself as the origins of modernity, at least within the
accepted narrative of the development of modern citizenship. My own work,
and that of other historians of the eighteenth century, has helped us to demythologize, in some sense, the central place of the French Revolution in
the discipline itself, especially as its been developed in France and in Europe. This is not to say that we, historians, who are deeply attracted to the
mutations of the eighteenth century long before the French Revolution
necessarily see the Old Regime as inevitably containing all of the elements
of modernity that would come to maturity in the nineteenth and twentieth
centuries. The problem, rather and this a theme that recurs in your questions lies in trying to imagine an Old Regime that is independent of its
outcome, or of what we see retrospectively as some kind of inevitable outcome, meaning 1789 and all that. Many historians using different approaches
and drawing on different methods, especially in intellectual and cultural
history, are finding possibilities to talk about the ways in which the discursive contributions and transformations of the eighteenth century find their
expression in the French Revolution but cannot be situated as a cause. We
are far beyond the conservative reactions during the revolutionary upheaval
itself that linked the rhetoric of Enlightenment and the revolutionary process: its Rousseaus fault, its Voltaires fault. So my work, in that
sense, like the work of Keith Baker, Roger Chartier, and younger scholars
like Michael Kwass and others, is very much part of this effort to move
44

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
back from the Revolution as some inevitable outcome of the Enlightenment or eighteenth century developments, and to think through the kinds of
modernity that took shape in the eighteenth century, but that were not structurally determined to produce, inevitably, a revolutionary outcome.
All this to preface my comments on citizenship itself. What struck me
and what got me started on the project that became my last book,6 Unnaturally French, was an initial surprise, and indeed astonishment, about the
vocabulary that I discovered when reading juridical texts in the seventeenth
and the eighteenth century. I never expected to find the word citizen,
citoyen, and indeed, to find it recurring frequently, albeit within a relatively
isolated linguistic domain, among lawyers. More, it was a bit of a revelation to read how the category was quite elaborated in jurisprudential terms.
That was the starting point for re-thinking what it would mean to actually
use a term we associate with certain characteristic features of modernity, in
particular with political participation, equality, and cultural homogeneity.
What do we mean when use such a term in which the referent had nothing
to do with the modern world? One possible response might simply end the
claim there and say well, the word is used but it had nothing to do with the
thing as we know it and as we practice it in the post-revolutionary world.
That was not my choice because I did believe that there was something
intrinsically important about the way in which the word was used, which
stood in some relation, but again, not easily predictable or inevitable one,
to the development of the modern notions of belonging, attachment, and
loyalty. And one of the ways of thinking about what that relationship might
be between the modern and the pre-modern forms of citizenship was to
explore, in some important sense, what the difference would result in not
using the word. Some of my critics have said, well, in fact, all youre talking about is subjecthood that happens to be called citizenship, or more
accurately, subjects who happen to be called citizens, but there is no
fundamental distinction. And that is actually a position that comes, among
others, from Rousseau himself at the moment of a great intellectual and
cultural mutations of the eighteenth century and the Revolution this idea
that all inherited linguistic categories were wrong and that the world can be
linguistically created anew. Rousseau himself was quite critical of what he
called the egregious error of the sixteenth century jurisconsult Jean Bodin,
who had relied heavily on the term citizen in his treatises. For Rousseau,
6
Peter Sahlins. Unnaturally French: Foreign Citizens in the Old Regime and After.
Ithaca, NY, 2004.

45

Interview with Peter Sahlins, Trying to Make Sense of the Old Regime...
the citizen was unimaginable before the time that he himself could think it
up, in its modern iteration. In my own understanding, there is an important
and subtle distinction between subject and citizen in the Old Regime, in
both discursive terms and in their practical consequences. I think that the
subtle distinction has to do with the fact that although all citizens were
subjects, and although in fact most subjects were citizens, the distinction
made a difference, that is, it had had practical consequences to name someone a citizen. True, as Bodin himself had seen, the category of citizen
was heterogeneous and internally differentiated; citizens were by their nature unequal in obligations, in their privileges, in their liberties, in their
franchises, to use all the terms of the Old Regime. But despite this heterogeneity, there was in fact an underlying unity, and one with real life practical consequences, that emerged not from efforts to create homogeneity out
of difference, but that appeared by drawing distinctions between citizens
and foreigners, that is, those outside the boundaries of citizenship. Foreigners suffered any number of legal disabilities, including, most importantly,
the inability to deed and inherit property from natural-born Frenchmen and
women (the gendering is important here because unlike modern citizenship
in its initial iteration, Old Regime citizenship was a status to which women
as well as men could both aspire and acquire). That oppositional nature of
citizenship actually places the category of citizenship much closer to a notion that did not exist linguistically in the Old Regime, the category of
nationality. This is a tricky and complicated arena, because in so many
ways the notion of pre-modern citizenship leads not in some evolutionary
sense towards modern citizenship, but rather towards a modern conception
of nationality itself, at least in a juridical sense. So the confusion is doubled,
because on the one hand the term citizen doesnt seem to belong in the
eighteenth century, and on the other hand, when it does appear in the Old
Regime, its read better through the lens of nationality and nationality law,
then it is through citizenship as political participation, as a conditional equality, or as corresponding to a certain cultural homogeneity. And so my own
work in some sense has followed this slippage and contributed, hopefully,
with some productivity and fruitfulness to the confusion by stressing the
extent to which in examining the pre-modern citizen and pre-modern citizenship, what I am really after is the well, the French title of my Annales
article, Nationality avant la lettre,7 the history of nationality before the
word itself had come into being.
7
Peter Sahlins. Nationality avant la lettre: les pratiques de la naturalization sous lAncien
Rgime // Annales: Histoire, Sciences Sociales. 2000. Vol. 55. No. 5. Pp. 1081-1108.

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Ab Imperio, 4/2006
SG: Your complex vision of nationality avant la lettre in Ancien Rgime
France suggests a definition of the citizen as someone not subject to the
limitations imposed upon a foreigner; albeit, of course, citizens were not
equal before the law or to each other. Then to what extent does premodern or pre-revolutionary citizenship in France compare to, or help our
understanding of the phenomenon of subjecthood in composite imperial
states? To put it simply, does such citizenship equal subjecthood, given that
it was defined by obligations, privileges, and rights particular to ones social position?
PS: It is always a struggle, and frequently a productive one, to try to
make intellectual linkages between the pre-modern and the modern that are
not over-determined. Some sites and regions of the modern world would
seem to lend themselves more easily than others to certain kinds of comparisons. So, for example, in thinking about the modern experiences of
empire and nation among the sprawling polities of the nineteenth century
empires, that is, Russian but also Habsburg, an obvious point of reference
in the pre-modern world might be Spain and the Spanish Habsburg monarchy of the early modern period. The Spanish Habsburg empire, like most
states in the pre-modern period, has been usefully identified by John Elliot
among others as a composite monarchy, that is, one that is literally composed of distinctive polities. It is thus quite similar in structure to the nineteenth century Habsburg Empire as described by Benedict Anderson, who
points out in Imagined Communities how the emperor himself holds literally dozen of separate titles corresponding to the component polities of the
empire, from king of Bohemia to duke of Carinthia to Margrave of
Istria and so forth. Now, in the pre-modern world, what is important, and
this is in some sense a pertinent observation for the 19th century empires as
well, is that each of these polities that together compose the empire is
constituted not simply of subjects of a particular jurisdiction but also by
a legal framework of rights and disabilities that comes to approximate a
modern notion of nationality. So, for example, in the early modern Spanish
empire, each of the composite polities, that is, the Kingdom of Aragon, or
of Castile, or of Naples, had its own institutions, its own legal framework
of privileges and prerogatives and rights and obligations, but also of disabilities and exclusions political, professional, legal for those who were
not members of that particular group. In other words, I think we can speak,
with some caution and many caveats, of the existence of nationality law in
the pre-modern Spanish empire in the same way that we can make this
observation for the more politically homogeneous monarchies in the same
47

Interview with Peter Sahlins, Trying to Make Sense of the Old Regime...
period, such as France. Now, whats interesting about Spain is that the
movement of political modernization, including the reforms of the Bourbon monarchy at the beginning of the eighteenth century, produced an institutional and legal framework of belonging that transcended the more
particularistic and heterogeneous framework of an early modern polity, and
was thus more modern in the sense that a broader, national set of institutions and laws came to displace, however slowly and incompletely, the
distinct privileges and franchises of the composite polities of the empire.
The Bourbon reforms of the early eighteenth century in Spain were already
anticipated and reflected in the so called Indies Laws, in these laws of the
Habsburgs, in which it is possible to tease out the notion of a Spanish
identity, and indeed, a Spanish nationality that transcended and displaced
the different legal frames of belonging within the composite monarchy.
Projecting this model onto the contiguous empires of the nineteenth century, its altogether possible to imagine how the movement toward a legal
idea of nationality as both a project of state building from above but also a
project of resistance to imperial structures was not dissimilar to processes
found in the pre-modern world. Im not saying that pre-modern states attempted the kind of nation-building that later empires undertook (without
much success), but I am suggesting that the conditions under which it became possible to develop a claim that was rhetorical but also institutional
about the separateness and identity of a component part in a monarchy was
not entirely dissimilar from the structures and processes of group membership as these took shape in the early modern world.
SG: Well, its an interesting perspective. I am curious, though, about
your use of the term nationality, especially when it is applied to pre-modern
and composite polities. Am I right in assuming that your reference is really
about an anthropological perspective of the sense of belonging to the polity
first of all?
PS: No, not quite. Im pulling the term much more into its juridical
framework, away from the more anthropological sense of homogeneous
cultural identity, which really accrues somewhat later and becomes ever
more important as the nineteenth century progresses. And its certainly true
that the term nationality appears in European languages with both meanings: the first literary uses of the term, say in Germaine de Stahls Corinne
and Italy in 1807, refer to an idea of belonging thats founded on some deep
cultural, we might today say, ethnic sense of collectivity; but the term nationality also makes a near simultaneous appearance in administrative dis48

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
course and then a little bit later in legal terms to describe a juridical notion
of belonging empty of a particular cultural content, that is, which doesnt
depend on a shared similarity of custom, language, culture, or even historical experience In short, it doesnt depend on the notion of shared culture,
but on a legal framework that identifies the formal rules of inclusion and
exclusion.
SG: To what extent did the revolutionary nation exist in a latent form
within the ancien rgime society, or did it emerge completely from scratch
under the impact of revolutionary experience and to be further developed
during the struggle with the remnants of the Old Regime and new challenges
of the moment? What part of the legacy of the ancien rgime was inherited
by the revolutionary nation, either positively or by negation of the old world?
Could we trace elements of the revolutionary discourse (in a literal sense,
as rhetorical devices and tropes) in the pre-revolutionary cultural milieu,
beyond usual references to the radical representatives of the Enlightenment?
Is it possible to imagine the French Enlightenment not resulting in the revolutionary outburst of the type that actually did take place in 1789?
PS: The hardest assignment I ever faced as a professor was teaching the
eighteenth century, for in this period all of the difficult and hoary questions
are brought to the surface history as outcome, history as origin, history
as condition for the possibility of other histories, and history as a framework for being able to account for modernity. In brief, its nearly impossible,
Ive found, to teach the eighteenth century without knowing and anticipating
the outcome, that is, without teaching the outcome. Its very hard to treat
the ancien rgime as a period in and of itself, without teaching that the
ancien rgime, at least in France, comes to an explosive end in a rather
abrupt and unexpected way. This presents enormous obstacles for trying to
make sense of the ancien rgime on its own terms starting with the nomenclature that we use to describe the eighteenth century. In calling something
the Old Regime, were obviously implicitly positioning a new regime
that succeeds it. In French, ancien rgime is perhaps better translated as
past regime as opposed to old regime, and the ancien rgime was invented by the revolutionaries themselves at the beginning of the revolution
in order to describe something that was quite new. Indeed, one could argue
that there were certain critical moments such as the decrees that came
out of the night of August 4th, 1789 in which the ancien rgime was
literally invented in order to be dismantled, and laws proposed at these
moments become a kind of systematic inventory of the institutions of the
49

Interview with Peter Sahlins, Trying to Make Sense of the Old Regime...
Old Regime, described for the first time in their institutionalized, reified
form as old precisely in order to be dismantled. As historians, as teachers,
were confronted with this very deterministic and teleological reading of
the eighteenth century that requires us to at once make sense of the fact that
there is a revolutionary rupture at the end, and to avoid the argument that
revolution was in constant preparation in the course of the eighteenth century. So, to return to your question, yes, many historians have tried to rethink in many different kinds of ways the relation of eighteenth century
developments, especially intellectual ones, and the French Revolution. Some
have located a revolutionary discourse as a set of rhetorical devices or tropes
in a pre-revolutionary set of contexts. Consider the work of Keith Baker,
who isolates three different discursive strands that will appear in the Revolution but whose intellectual origins he locates at different points in the
eighteenth century. This is not to say that their utterance or their iteration
during the course of the eighteenth century was a cause of the French revolution; indeed, most intellectual and cultural history these days stresses conditions, not causes, trying to disengage Enlightenment and Revolution at
least from an over-determined relationship. But this can go too far as well.
The reductio ad absurdum of trying to disengage the Enlightenment from
the French Revolution in the work of Roger Chartier, for example, selfconsciously and almost perversely states that the Enlightenment did not
cause the French Revolution but the French revolution caused the Enlightenment, in the sense that it gave it coherence and identity and the
historical role that the Enlightenment or Enlightenment thought would not
have had had there not been a rupture with the Old Regime.
SG: Your work has played a very important role in applying anthropological methods to the study of group formation. In recent years, many
scholars questioned not just the concept of identity (I have in mind the
works by Frederick Cooper and Rogers Brubaker) but also the usefulness
of operating with notions of groupness. For historians, however, the task
becomes increasingly complex because in our research we are constantly
in need of terms and concepts to describe groupness (e.g., nations, classes,
ethnic, confessional and linguistic groups). How can we reconcile an understanding of groups as constructed and invented with the need to write
readable and comprehensible histories taking into account how people described their own sense of belonging to a group?
PS: Right, well, this is a problem that periodically reappears throughout
the social sciences, not just in history, and its often framed as the classic
50

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
contrast between an emic and an etic approach. These are terms that come
from the linguistic anthropology of Kenneth Pike in the 1950s,8 who tried
to distinguish, without necessarily stating what the relationship was between the two, between approaches and categories of interpretation that
emerged from the lived experience of the subjects who are the objects of
study (the phonemic tools that the users of a language might have), and
contrasting that with the phonetic grammar that is the etic, rules and categories imposed by non-users (and indeed incomprehensible to users themselves). Its a classic opposition; never resolved, frequently invoked, and
debated in particular as concerns the relation between the two perspectives.
How do we reconcile, as you say, our use of these terms with more indigenous ways of formulating belonging and identification especially in the last
couple of decades as weve come to understand the problem of identity as a
construct or imagined category? I think that all of us who are sensitive to
the slippage, and probably anthropologists more than others, would note
that the last thing that an informant would be able to identify with is a claim
that his sense or her sense of belonging was invented. And in fact, in terms
of the patterns of collective behavior, so much of what we understand as
group belonging is so deeply kinetic and real and indeed violent and destructive that the very description of identity as invented or constructed
seems to do injustice to the very real nature of historical experience. I dont
think that there is a simple or universal solution, no magic bullet, and no
knife with which to cut this Gordian knot, at least none that is consistently
intelligible across disciplines and across cultures and across historical periods. I do think that in the historical work that Im reading more recently,
theres a tendency to move away from the term identity because of the
perception that its been overly contaminated by its use and abuse in other
disciplines and especially in linguistic theory and cultural studies, in which
the element of constructedness is really overplayed if not over-determined.
We thus need to continuously expand our conceptual vocabulary, to develop
a language that will allow us to think about collective belonging and affiliation in ways that communicate the sense in which these categories of belonging are simultaneously imposed as arbitrary, artificial constructions,
but also lived and experienced in their vernacular iterations as something
that is truly close to experience. Identity no longer does that, and the term
Im seeing more often now is identification, not used as much in an psycho8
For an introduction, see Thomas N. Headland, Kenneth L. Pike, Marvin Harris (Eds.).
Emics and Etics:The Insider/Outsider Debate. Newbury Park, CA, 1990.

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Interview with Peter Sahlins, Trying to Make Sense of the Old Regime...
analytic sense, where it has a very precise meaning, but in a social historical sense, as a term which can in fact move between an emic and an etic
perspective but also move between an official effort to classify and to categorize and to identify people and vernacular appropriations of these categories. The work of Gerard Noiriel, the historical sociologist in France, has
been valuable in thinking about identification in its official framework, but
whats equally interesting is how the initially arbitrary attempts to classify,
inventory and categorize people also become meaningful categories of collective belonging. Indeed, thats the great paradox and the great mystery,
how what initially appear as arbitrary, contingent and accidental, if politically powerful categories of belonging like the nation become real, and
how people in history often begin with very strategic and instrumental stances
when faced with such external identifications, but over time, these initially
quite arbitrary distinctions turn into meaningful categories of collective
action in that way. I think that its a very similar process to what happens
with boundaries themselves, which I discuss in my earlier work. It was a
problem that always somewhat baffled me, and I consider it one of the
great mysteries of historical inquiry itself: how boundaries, initially completely arbitrary, were very much constructed, accidental divisions of territorial arrangements, became over time meaningful structures that informed
and framed the way in which people collectively thought, acted, and behaved in the world.
SG: Thank you very much. Your answer suggests an interesting turn
that can, it seems to me, add to the discussion a line of inquiry into the
categories of practice and categories of analysis and the ways in which we
can avoid the trap of applying categories derived from everyday life experience to our analytical purposes. For example, we had a very interesting
exchange published in Ab Imperio that revealed difficulties which the French
society in general, and French intellectuals in particular have in applying
terms other than social, universally social, to the recent riots in France and
one of the questions we tried to pose to our French audience was can we
actually interpret these riots as the outcome of a new ethnic experience in
the making, and the response of course was quite negative No, you cannot do that, because this was a social experience, an experience derived
from unemployment, class, and social identity.
PS: Its very complicated in the case of the French riots of November
2005, in part because the social sciences in France are institutionalized within
a political culture that is rather different from your experience or mine, in
52

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
which certain terms like ethnicity are virtually taboo and are, in fact,
legally proscribed, such that French social science cannot actually measure
ethnicity because the French government in its census refuses to allow for
that category to exist, given the Republic model of civic integration. I myself have spent many a long evenings arguing with French social scientists,
whom I respect and whose work I think is wonderfully wise and important,
but who I find to be blocked on this very issue of how to think ethnicity in
France because they are so much the product of an institutional culture in
which even the act of thinking ethnicity is so deeply challenging to the
republican model of civic identity.
SG: Let me return for a moment to the historical conjuncture of the
ancien rgime and modern society. Did French society during the ancien
rgime have a vision and means to express itself in a self-descriptive
narrative (whether in visual symbolism, in music, or in text)? How can
historians write a narrative of the pre-national (non-national) polity? Should
we see the project of total history, in its Braudelian version as such, as an
attempt to write about multiple subjects and actors who are simultaneously
incorporated into a variety of hierarchies without direct correlation of status among them?
PS: Well, its a good question, its almost an impossible question because the project of total history is almost by its nature, despite Braudels
best effort, an impossible project. I dont think that we historians ever really aspire to write about everything, and a narrative of the pre-national or
non-national polity is certainly possible, but it would have to be framed by
historical questions that both limit and delimit a subject matter. In the case
of Old Regime France I might refer to the work of David Bell, who was
interested in the development of nationalism in the eighteenth century. Bell
argues, convincingly, that the discourse and literary efforts to express national sentiment in the eighteenth century can be found in a range of projects,
from the efforts to create canonical list of important Frenchmen, to the
political propaganda efforts during the Seven Years War, in which the nature of Frenchness is stated in opposition to the English. Such constructions
of national identity and national sentiment are nonetheless rather distinct
from the project of nationalism itself, which is much more a project born of
the republican moment in the French revolution, when there is a more resigned acceptance or a belief that the nation doesnt really exist but needs
to be constructed, needs to be built, needs to be imposed. In Bells argument, the model for doing this was actually the Catholic Church. To a great
53

Interview with Peter Sahlins, Trying to Make Sense of the Old Regime...
extent the republican project took its cue, as well as its institutional resources from ecclesiastical domains, and in particular in the work of creating
a homogenous Catholic culture in a heterogeneous setting such as France.
So, thats one possible way of thinking about or of writing a narrative of the
movement from a pre-national to a national polity, from a society in which
there are certain indigenous expressions of a literary and symbolic character of national sentiment; these, however, are still not societies we could
characterize as being societies born of nationalism or societies that are
modern in the same sense of post-revolutionary or nineteenth century societies. But I think that more generally the answer is that we can write the
kinds of histories that best answer the kinds of questions that we ask. To
quote Lucien Febvre, to ask a question is the beginning and end of all
history. It depends what questions we ask of these pre-national polities
and in part, the answer is already contained in naming the thing, being that
the key word in that term pre-national polity is polity and it is the political framework which helps us to frame the unity of the narrative. This is
not to say that in the case of France, for example, were going back to a
king-centered narrative or a court-centered narrative of national history.
Politics or polity means much more than simply the exercise of sovereignty
by an individual empowered through the office of kingship. It means a set
of institutions; it means a set of competing discourses and contested discourses, in which part of our job as historians is to analyze, not so much the
individual utterances, but to sketch out the framework in which such utterances are meaningful.
SG: It might be a much more complex procedure in the case of empires
because just suggesting a political imperial framework for a historical narrative is a highly controversial statement, precisely because we live, at least
theoretically, in a post-imperial age, where national identities seem to be
well-established (at least they have established themselves in schools and
other institutions producing knowledge). Suggesting an imperial unity would
appear as an attack on these national identities.
PS: Well, I think thats right, but I do think that good history is really
capacious in the sense that it tries to incorporate different subject positions
and perspectives. There are certainly ways of framing an imperial history
in a cross-cutting fashion that would allow for the exploration of the relation between these different voices such that a history of a nineteenth century empire or of imperial Russia takes on the opposing distinction of official and vernacular expressions of identity. That might be one way of trying
54

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
to aggregate some of the vast diversity and heterogeneity of subject positions in a pre-national polity, to contrast efforts at the imperial or national
level to create what you call normative nationality, efforts to impose homogeneity, efforts to create linguistic and cultural unity and so on; and vernacular efforts not necessarily just responses but vernacular appropriations of these efforts too that contrast and oppose official frameworks.
This might be one way of trying to be broad and comprehensive in writing
a history of empire, but without the aspirations of doing total history.
SG: Much of our conversation revolved around the language and models
of social sciences. Let me then pose a question about the language and
models of social sciences head on. Scholars operate with the language and
models of social sciences born out of national state experience in the late
nineteenth century aimed at describing the realities of nation states. How
adequate are our attempts to apply those categories in describing and analyzing the under-nationalized societies of the ancien rgime or European
old regimes that survived until the Great War? Where do we look for alternatives or more suitable concepts and terms? If it was impossible to express the revolutionary experience, is it possible to express the pre-revolutionary world in its own terms, or at least not ascribe to it the post-revolutionary tropes of conservatism, tolerance, moderation, etc? In that
connection, how useful are qualified terms such as ancient, citizenship,
or imperial citizenship, which sometimes appear contradicting the universalizing modern meanings of the terms?
PS: This again is a very important and difficult question. It reminds me
of the many different kinds of debates that we have in European history
about the early modern period. The early modern period itself contains
within it the conundrum that you mentioned because, in characterizing it as
early modern we are trying to both assert the modernity and thus the tangibility of modern concepts into the slightly more recent past but also, at the
same time, emphasize its early features and therefore its distinguishing
qualities which make it not yet a modern society. There are debates that
have long droned on that address this conundrum, and simultaneously the
problem you raised earlier, about indigenous categories and those of social
analysis. The historiographical debate that began half a century ago about
the nature of social hierarchy in the sixteenth and seventeenth century is a
good example: was early modern society organized by classes (in the
Marxian sense) or by orders (in a early modern corporatist sense)? This
was not simply a neutral intellectual debate, but one deeply engaged in
55

Interview with Peter Sahlins, Trying to Make Sense of the Old Regime...
politics, including the way in which it was mapped institutionally. Thus
Marxists, including and especially the Soviet historians like Porchnev,9 insisted on the existence of class in the early modern period, against a monarchist and reactionary position of some French historians (like Roland Mousnier at the Sorbonne),10 who insisted that class was irrelevant and that we
could only accept the emic categories of the early modern period, which
were categories based on the concept of order, of a state and of the regulated
hierarchy that could be found in juridical texts. So, the question is not new,
and that debate is now quite old, but it will not be soon put to bed. I think
the important thing is that were much more attentive now than we ever
were about the relation between words and things, and that is what has been
beneficial about the so-called linguistic or post-structural turn in historical
studies. Our attention has been drawn, by literary critics especially, to the
very categories that we use to describe the past, and historians have become more self-conscious and more selective in the ways in which we make
sense of the past. This is a fairly abstract answer, but in practice it works
out, I think, rather nicely for historians, who, as students of any given period, have a pretty good intuitive sense of when a word or concept is being
used in a consistent and determined way that doesnt seem to fully describe
or doesnt adequately describe the regular patterns of history or of historical behavior; at that point, then, the language can be modified, it can be
jettisoned. Historians are, unlike many social scientists, basically inductive
thinkers and deep empiricists, and if words dont work, then maybe there
are problems with words, and maybe there is intellectual work to be done in
trying to explain why they dont work or in modifying them in ways that
allow them to be descriptive and interpretive of different historical periods.
Do I believe that one can qualify such universal and apparently monolithic
and homogenizing terms like citizenship by talking about its ancient or its
imperial iterations or its royal iterations or the problem of the subject-citizen? Absolutely. Do I believe that there are ways of talking about nationality even though the word doesnt yet exist, the obverse side of the same
9

See, for example, B. Porchnev. Les soulvements populaires en France de 1623


1648. Paris, 1963.
10
Roland mile Mousnier (19071993) was a French historian of the early modern
period in France. In Mousniers view, social classes did not emerge as an important
factor in French society until the 18th century with the coming of a more market-oriented
economy. See, for example, R. Mousnier. tat et socit en France au XVIIe et XVIIIe
sicles. Paris, 1968; Roland Mousnier. Les Institutions de la France sous la monarchie
absolue, 1598-1789. Vols. 1-2. Paris, 1974, 1980.

56

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
problem? Absolutely. Language is, in this sense, so much a tool of our
understanding and shouldnt be held as the prison of it.
SG: Thank you very much. This was our last question and well end on
this very optimistic note, at least for historians.

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.. . .: . Kharkhordin. What is the

68

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
, , XVII .,
- , . ( , , , ) ,
, .
.20 , . . , , ,21 , ,
.22
, , () , , , , .23
,
, ,
, , XVII XVIII ., .. I, XVIII
1797 . ,
State? P. 206-240; . . ? // . . 152-217; . . . XVI
XVII . // . . , 2002. . 294310. , , . , XV .
,
, ,
(Kharkhordin. What is the State? P. 215).
20
.: - . . 3:
. , 1985. .43-49; XVI XVII . , 1986. . 135.
21
. . . . . 169.
22
, , .. .
23
. . ,
, XVI .
(. . . XVI .: // . . , 2005. . 293-294).

69

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26
. . . : . , 2004. . 210.
24

70

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
,
- XI-XV .27 .
2: versus
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, :
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..], ,
29
19 I ,
, ,
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. . . (XIXV .) // (XI-XX .). , 1994. . 6.
28
.
. . , XVIII . , ,
, , ,
, ,
household (. . . ,
XVIII : . . /
. . . -, 2006. . 5-6.).
29
. . . . : . , 2004. . 20.
30
. -, 1950. . 9.
. 1. 3252. . 226-227.

71

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. . . . . 59.
33
. . . XVII XVIII . // : . . I. , 1989. . 36, 35.
31

72

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
1709 . , .

, .
, . . , , , -, , -,
.34 , , , , ,
, . . . , , , , ,
.35

1682 ., ,
, , , . . , ,36 . ,
, 1680 , .
, ,
1722 .,
,
.
. . . . , 1984.
. 26.
35
. . . . , 1964. . 474- 475.
36
. . . . . 153.
34

73

. , , , ...
. , .
.
. . , , .37
,38 . ,39
,
, . XVIII , ,
, . ,
, , .40
. . . . . 41.
. : XIXVII . // : . , 1991. .
56-84.
39
N. S. Kollmann. By Honor Bound. State and Society in Early Modern Russia. Ithaca
and London, 1999. : . . . : . , 2001.
40
.: . . . : XVIII . , 2006. . 170-176.
. II, 1765-1766 ., :
, , (. 360).
, ,
, .
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, ,
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( ) // . 1990. 1. . 68).
1785 . : , , , , (. 1).
37
38

74

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, ,
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.

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.

75

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, , - XVII ., knecht lackey (, ).
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. . . XVIII // . 2005. 5. . 6.
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76

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, XVIII . , ,
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, (. : . . .
. -, 1997),
.

77

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.
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, .
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. . : ,
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44

XVIII . , , . .
1730
. 1730 . -
, .
. . , ,
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78

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
, .
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,
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.
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,
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, . .
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XVII .,
, .
,
() , .. , . , .45

, .
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. ,
-:
.: . . . // . , 1988.
. 43; . .
Stadtburger ()
Staatsburger (), , .

45

79

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; , ;
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, 1770- .

- .
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. : . . . XVIII . //
. . 1972. . 31. 1. . 67-73.
47
., : . . .
XVIII ( ). , 1999.
48
. . 1289. . 1. . 517. . 12-13. . . . . .
46

80

Ab Imperio, 4/2006

, , ; ,
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,
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.
49

. . 33-34.

81

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4:
.
, ,
, , ,

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, , ,
, , , ,
.50
. :
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,
, , (esprit nationale),
( ). ,
, ,
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. , ,
,
, . . . . // .
. -. 1910. . 88. 2. . 4. . : . . .
XVIII // (XI-XX .) , 1994. . 39.
50

82

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
, XVIII .
, . . .

. , , , XVIII .

.
, ,
, , , - .
. XVIII .
,
.51
, ,
,
.
. II: . . : . ,
.52
. . , (. . )
. , : ; , .53
: . ,
2005.
52
. II: . , 2006. .
11.
53
. . . // : 1725-1765 / . . .
. . . . . . , 1998. . 424.
51

83

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,
: nation,
, , .
: XVIII . , national,
? , , nation ,
,
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, .
5: . .

.
,
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, // .
, , ,
, XVIII , - .
, . . ,
, .
. : . . ,
. . . : / WP6/2005/02. WP6 .
, 2005. . 46-48.
54

84

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
,..
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. -
.
, . . , , , , , ,
: , .56
, , , , ,
. . XVIII .. , ,


, , , .
, ,
, XVIII . , , . , 55
. . . .
, 2002. . 586-587.
56
. . 587.

85

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. , , , .

, . , .
( ),
,
, , , . ,
, .57
, ,
, , , [ . ..] .58 : ( , ,
) ,
, . . , .59
,
. , . . . . , , , .
58
. . . XVIII . , 1996. . 65.
59
. . . 608. , , , - .
57

86

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
, ,
-
,
1761 . ,
,
,
.
, , ,
, , , . ,
, , ,
,
.
, . . : XVIII . . , ,
, , . XVIII .
, , ;
;
, ; , . ,
, . . , , ,
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, , ,
. , 87

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. . , , , , ,
. ,
XVIII . ()
, , , , .
, ,
.
, , ( ),
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( ,
), , , , . ( ) , ,
.60
, , , , XVIII ., . , .
, , 2-5, 6, ,
. ,
, , .

,
. . . . . 2: . . .
, 1986. . 52, 51.
60

88

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
. , ,
, , ,
. , ,
. . , XVIII XIX ., .. ,
, ,
. . , , -, , ,
,
, ,
, ,
.61
, ,
, . , . ,
, . . ,
, . ,
, , , :
, , , , , , , ; ,
, ,
. -. .62
. . . : . , 2004. . 137-138.
. . 1289. . 1. . 517. . 33-34. , .
61

62

89

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, , . , XVIII ., , , , .63
. . , ,
1749-1750 . , , , , ,
, .64 , ,
.
, , ,
. ,
, ? ,
?.
, , , , .65 , , ,
, , . , ,
,
. . , . . . : . . 2:
. -, 2006. . 535.
64
. . . : // : . . IX.
-, 1991. . 35.
65
.
63

90

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
,
.66 , ,
,
, ,..
,..
. , , , ,
, ,
.67 , , , II , , , .68 , , . .
: , , , ,
, ,
.69
66
. 1861. . III. 17. . 515-517; . . .
. . 10. . 232.
67
. . 148-149; . . . .
-, 1870. . I. . 381. . :
, , .
, ,
, ,
, ( . ,
,
, - - ,
- . , 1789.
. 29-30). . :
. . . : // : . . IX. -, 1991. . 39-48. ,
(. . . : . , 2006). .
68
. . . II. II // . 1901. 12. . 761.
69
. . . . . . 140.

91

. , , , ...
, ,
XVIII . ,
( )
. ,
- , - , .
,
. , - .
, , . ,
, , . . .
,
, ,
, . , , .
, XVIII .,
,70

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, , . , XVIII .

( )
.
70

92

Ab Imperio, 4/2006

, , .
, , ,
.
, , ,
, .
, , .
, Russian.
,
, , ,
,

, . . , , .
,
, . II. XVIII . ,
. , ,
, , .
, ,
, .71
.: . . . II . , 1996;
. II. -, 2000.
71

93

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. , , , ,
,
. , , , , ,
, .
, . , ( , ), , , , (
, ,
XVIII . ),
, , . ,
,
, .
6. :


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,

,
, , ,
. , -
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,
, , 94

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
, , .72 ,
, ,
.73 12
(.. ,
),

.
, ,

XVIII .
. , . . ( ), .
XI
XV ., , , ( )
.74
, , ,
, .75
, , ..
, .
, , , ,
.76 , XVIII ,
. ,
. . . //
(XI-XX .). , 1994.
. 16.
73
. . . . . 615; . . . // . . 31-37; . . . . . 38-50.
74
. . . . . 19.
75
. . 25.
76
. . . . . 35.
72

95

. , , , ...
,
XVIII , , , , , - , .77 , , XVII . - .
,
, . , XVIII ., , . , ,
, , ,
, ,
, .
. , ,
, XVII ., 1682 1689 .,
, ..
, ,
; , .
, , XVIII .
, -
. , ,
, , , .
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, , 77

. . . . . 47.

96

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
. , XVIII ., , , , , ,

. ,
, , , , XVIII
, ,
. , ,
,
, ,
. , , -. , , (, ).78

II , XVIII . . , , , ( citizenship)
. ,
, , XVIII ., , . , , , . , ,
XVIII XIX .
. , ,
,
, . , , 1782 . . . :
, ,
? ,
,
. ,
. . ,
.
78

97

. , , , ...
, .
, , - . , , , , ,
XVIII . , ( )
,
, ,
. ,
, .
,
, , . , ,

, , .

SUMMARY
Aleksandr Kamenskii begins his article with the observation that the
growing field of empire studies (or in a more paradigmatic rendering, New
Imperial History) makes contemporary historians return to traditional questions of historical scholarship and cast them in a new light with the help of
innovative interpretative frames, such as microhistory, local history, a history of everyday life, and a history of mentalities. A by product of this
intersected historiographic development is the emergence of a line of inquiry that focuses on perception and languages of description of empire by
different political and social actors (not necessarily representing the privileged and educated layers of society). In his article, Kamenskii surveys
recent historical studies of the formative period of the Russian empire (from
the Petrine reforms to the reign of Catherine II), and suggests possible interpretative frames and research questions that concern the problem of how
former tsars subjects described, imagined, and related to a new political
98

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
entity: the Russian empire. Kamenskii notes the exploration of this process,
alongside with the inquiry into the historical semantics of employed concepts and categories, is even more important insofar as attempts to arrive at
an essentialist definition of the character of the pre-Petrine and post-Petrine polity (be it a state or an empire) yielded meager and confusing
results. In the first part of the article the author describes the development
of historic concepts of state (gosudarstvo) and Russian land (russkaia
zemlia), and notes that from the Time of Troubles through the first half of
the eighteenth century there appeared a new meaning of the state as an
abstract entity divorced from the persona of the ruler. This transformation
paved the way for the emergence of the concept of fatherland in the Petrine political language, and concomitantly the concept of patriotism. These
new concepts were a by product of the development of the Russian state
and the process of secularization of Russian society in the eighteenth century. Alongside an abstract concept of the state as fatherland there appeared a new individuating concept of the emperors subjects, whose main
duty was loyalty to the sovereign and love of fatherland. Kamenskii argues
that research on these semantic transformations should continue, taking into
account a peculiar feature of Russian political reforms and discourse in the
eighteenth century, namely the reception of Western European texts, concepts, and discourses, and their telescoped historical development. The latter peculiar feature is very important for the author for he sees in the Russian case the coexistence of modern concepts of sovereignty and subjecthood (which constituted a foundational setting for the modern national state
in Western Europe), and the belated formation of the modern state and
empire. Kamenskii then turns to the figure of Lomonosov and devises a
complex picture of the relationship between the national myth and the understanding of Russia in the imperial and Enlightenment framework which
would enter into conflict much later, and parallel the semantic differentiation of the concept of fatherland from that of the state. In his concluding
remarks Kamenskii infers the unavoidability of a historical approach to the
problem of patriotism that is overloaded with ideological connotations, and
remarks that the inquiry into the history of patriotic discourse must be supplemented with exploration of the changing categories of description of
imperial polity.

99

Ab Imperio, 4/2006

VERSUS
XVII .
( / )*

, , .
, , , .., , , .
, .
, ,
. , , ,
.
versus
XVII . ( / ),
: XVII .: , , /
. , . , 2005.
.
*

101

. , versus ...
, : 1) , ;
2) -,
.
- XVII . () : , ?. /, . - , ,
, () ,
- ,
. () (1) . ,
, , , , , , . , , , , , ,
, ,
.
,
. , (, ) . ,
1
, . ( ) , Ab Imperio ( ) .

102

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
, , /
. , ,
,
, .

( ) - .
, ;
, , , , . ,
, ..
,
.
, , , .

, .

, 1853 .,2 , XVII . , , ; ;
. , ,
2
J. Jerlicz. Latopisiec albo kroniczka rnych spraw i dziejw dawnych i teraniejszych
czasw / Wyd. K. W. Wjcicki. Petersburg, 1853.

103

. , versus ...
.
: , .
, , XVII ., ,
,
.
, ,3
. , 4
19 1598 . . (
) (
). , ,
, .
- .
, ,
, - . 1603 .
- , 1608 . ,
, . 1606 1621
, (
) . , : 1648 . , .
. , 17
(pod lat 17), 1615 , , .. ,
. . , , 3
. . // . . .
4. , 2004. . 135-188 ( . 160-176).
4
. . . 175-176.

104

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
, , -. : ,5 ,
1595 . - 1631 .
;6 , ( 1608 .
7).

, , , .
, ,
,8 ,
, .9
, ,
- [ . ..].
5
1602 . , : ,
[ ]. . 4. , 1859. . 38.
6
(I. ukaszewicz. Historia szk w Koronie i Wielkim Ksistwie Litewskim od
najdawniejszych czasw do roku 1794. T. 1. Pozna, 1846. S. 350; . . . . 1: . , 1886. .
146-147), : V V . , 1898. . 347-348.
7
/ . . . // . .
20: . , 2002. . 73 ( : . 61).
8
1643 .
: . [ ]. . 11. . 1. . 10.
. 294-295 .
9
.: . .
: ? (
V .) // . . . 1. , 2002. . 111144; . :
, ( V
V .) // .
70-. . 1. , 2004. . 320-357.

105

. , versus ...
, ,
, ,
, .. , .10
-,
, , .
, , ..
: ,
, -
, , , ,
.
.
, , , ( ). 1618 ,
-, , ,
.11 1618-1620 . , ,
.12 1621 . , , .
: od janczaryna z janczarki
, .
.: N. Jakovenko. Zur Frage der Wechselwirkung zwischen
Lateinischer und Kyrilischer Schrift in der Ukraine (Ende des 16.- I Hlfte des 17.
Jahrhundert) // Scrittura civilt. Vol. 8. Roma, 1984. p. 161-184; . V-V . // V . , 1989. .
277.
11
. : . . . // () .
(, , , ). 1569-1673.
, 2002. . 32-139. . : . . () 1569-1673 . . -, 2002.
12
. . () . . 182.
10

106

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
, , , . , 10 , .
, 10 2-3,
, , 1620- .
-
,
. :
1620 1630- .
- - .13 : 1633 . , , , , . , - , : 1642 .

- , zbiegiem i
apostat.14
,
.
. 1635 . , . ,
1648 . 9 (
), . ,
-.
, , ,
. , , .
, .
: 1648 ,
, , ,
16 - . :
13
14

.: . . . 167-169.
. . 169.

107

. , versus ...
, ,
1647 . , ; ,
, ,
.
, : 1649 . ,
, ..
.
a do zmiowania Boego (, 1652 .15 ), . . , ,
. , 1660-70- .,
. ,
, 3 3 1674,16 / . , 1660 .
, , , .17
, , , . , , (1653, 1655 1662 .) ,
1658 .
.
1670 . .
, ,

.
* * *
, -, . , , 15
1650 . ( . . 174),

1651 ., 1651-1652 .,
1652 .
16
. . 175.
17
. . 163-164.

108

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
XVIII ., -- .18 ,
,19 , ,20
1944 . , , 1839 ,21 ,
,
20 dla rozdania familii.
,22 ,
, , . , , 1916 ., 8- -.23 . .
18 1922 .
, .24 , ,
H. Kozerska. Straty w zbiorze rkopisw Biblioteki Uniwersyteckiej w Warszawie w
czasie I i II wojny wiatowej. Warszawa, 1960. S. 113.
19
. . //
. . [ ]. . CLI. , 1931.
. 135.
20
: F. Puaski. Opis 815 rkopisw Biblioteki Ord.
Krasiskich. Warszawa, 1915. S. 406-408.
21
:
. . . . 187-188.
22
. .187.
23
. 1922 .: . [ 9 1922 . ..] VV ., .
1916 .
( -. . 8. . 2. . 200).
18

109

. , versus ...
.
25 , .26
,
Latopisiec abo kroyniczka,
. , silva rerum: , -, ,
, , , ..27
,
26 1620 ., ,

1621 . (. 41-60). , , .28 (Co
si te za wieku mego dziao, pod ktory czas i rok, . 60-62),
. 1617 . 1620 .,
: Od stworzenia
swiata wypisane od latopiscow greckich i aciskich kroynik (. 62-97).

1620-1640- .,
, . , 16 1648
18 1649 ., , -, , - (Nieszczsny pocztek rozboju
kozackiego, . 97-107). ,
28 1648 . (. 108-123). Wypisanie przodkow moich (. 108-123), 3 1648 ., .. . : . . . , 1843-1921.
. , 1993. . 171.
26
: , , .. snieg nieg, ktory ktry .
27
P. Borek. Szlakami dawnej Ukrainy. Studia staropolskie. Krakw, 2002. S. 86-87.
28
W. Czermak. Kilka sw o pamitnikach polskich XVII wieku // Eiusdem. Studia
historyczne. Krakw, 1901. S. 257.
24

110

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
, 1659 .29
,
,
, , , , ,
. , ,
, , -,
(, , . 190-209; List
stryjowski do synowca, . 349-353; - , . 362-368 ..).
, , , . : , ,

.
?
: , , , ,
, , ,
.
(
/ ), , , ,
..
, , .. , , , .
.

, (123 225),30
. . . . 173, . 245.
, , , ,
1653 .
29
30

111

. , versus ...
102 ,
58. ,
,
: ,
(. 84); (.
140); (. 176);
, , (.
236). , , :
( (. 177);
(. 272) ..). : ,
, ,
, .

, , .
,31
, .
,
(do Polskiej za Wis, . 102; po
wszystkiej Polszcze poza Wis, c. 254)

. - : (w Litwie nad
Niemnem, . 71), (na Biaoru ku Smolesku, .
187; do kraju litewskiego... ku Mohylowu, . 274). () :
, , , , ,
, , , , , . .
, , ,
, , , ,
,
, , ..
31

112

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
( , , , , , , , , , , .), (,
, , ),
, .
:
o (. 266).
,
, . , ,
; , ; , .
, , ,32
, :
(c. 81); ... ,
, (c. 97); ... (c. 78);
(c. 82);
(c. 95) .

: , ,
, , . ,
1638 ., ,
(c. 81); , 1649 . ,
(c. 125);
( );
,
(. 137);
1649 . , (c.
138); , 1651 .
32
1642 1648 . : w cerkwi bratskiej murowanej (.84);
w cerkwi w monasteru bratskim (. 101).

113

. , versus ...
, (c. 150). 1651 . (. 151).

.
, : ,
(c. 68). 5 1651 .
, , (c. 151). ,
33
, ,
- ,
1620-1640- .
.34 , - , . ,
,
, , . , . :
Methodiusz doktor (. 62),35 36
33
, , -
-
,
: . . . - . // . . , . . ,
. . . . . 1:
. , 2004. . 312-313.
34
.: . . (1620-1640- ) // . .
V-V . , 2002. . 296-330.
35
, ,
( 311), ,
. .
36
Kronika polska Marcina Bielskiego nowo przez Joachima Bielskiego, syna jego,
wydana. Krakw, 1597. , , , 1580- .

114

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
( , Szleydar) 37
, , ,
(w Baroniuszu oswiadcza, c. 65). ,
, ,
.

,
. - ,
: ,
, (. 72).
, ,
: [ ]
,
, -
(. 87). , .. , : , 38 1649 . ... (. 129). , . , 1663 . , , (. 267), , .
:
, ( , ) .

, (. 297). , , , 37
, , , , , ,
: M. Kromer. O sprawach, dziejach i wszystkich innych
potocznociach koronnych polskich. Krakw, 1611 ( .: Nowy Korbut.
Pimiennictwo staropolskie. T. 2. Warszawa, 1964. S. 36-37).
38
, , ,
.. , .

115

. , versus ...
, . ,
(Ukraina dalsza, c. 76), (na Ukrainie za
Dnieprem, . 100) (na Ukrainie midzy
Korsuniem i Czerkasami, c. 97). , ,
: W roku 1638 na Ukrainie wszdzie
yto byo po miastach i miasteczkach, na targach okoo Kijowa i za Dnieprem
miarka po zotych 40 i dalej (. 81); 1660 . na Ukrain ku
Kijowu obrcio (. 243); 1661 .
na Ukrain ku Kijowu (. 251) ..

, .
? : , .
XVII .
- XVI-XVII .
. ,
, ,
. ,
- ,
:
, , XVI . , XVII .,
..., , . [] XIX . . , - , .39
, 39
. . -. . 1. , 1898 ( .
: , 1991. . 2).

116

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
, , . , ,
, XVII . - .40
,
XVI-XVII . , ,41 , / .
,
XV . , , .42
1569 ., ..

. , , (1550 .) . , ,
, . , , ,
.: T. Chynczewska-Hennel. wiadomo narodowa szlachty ukraiskiej i kozaczyzny
od schyku XVI do poowy XVII w. Warszawa, 1985. S. 35; F. E. Sysyn. Between
Poland and the Ukraine. The Dilemma of Adam Kysil, 1600-1653. Cambridge, MA,
1985. Pp. xiii-xiv; A. Kappeler. Kleine Geschichte der Ukraine. Mnchen, 1994. S. 1721; P. Borek. Ukraina w staropolskich diariuszach i pamitnikach. Bohaterowie, fortece,
tradycja. Krakw, 2001. S. 9-13; . . . // . . 2. , 2002. . 795-800.
41
. : . . . . , 1951.
. 7-31; P. Borek. Ukraina w staropolskich diariuszach. S. 9-13; . . .
-- V . // Z dziejw kultury prawnej. Studia ofiarowane Profesorowi Juliuszowi
Bardachowi w dziewidziesiciolecie urodzin. Warszawa, 2004. S. 411-432.
42

. : Choice of Name
versus Choice of Path (The Names of Ukrainian Territory from the Late Sixteenth to the
Late Seventeenth Century) A Laboratory of Post-Modernity: Ukrainian
History and Historiography about Ukraine since 1991 ( ).
40

117

. , versus ...
, .43
, , 1558 .
, , , , [finitimarumque locorum].44
-, 1560- . Polonia et Hungaria
nuova tabula,
1562 . ,
, .45
1580 ., ,
. , , , ,
[panom i rycerstwu na Ukrainie ruskiej, kijowskiej,
woyskiej, podolskiej i bracawskiej mieszkajcym].46 ,
(,
), . ,
. , 1569 . , . 1569-1586 .
, 43
. : Studia i materiay do historii wojskowoci.
T. VI. z. 2. Warszawa, 1960. S. 343.
44
. . . , 2004. . 195.
45
. .
1562 . // . . , 1998. . 83.
46
, 1580 .: - ,
[ ]. . 3. . 1. . 12.

118

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
.47 ,
,

. ,

. 1621 ., ,

, ,
, :
, , , .48

,
, , , , , ( . ). : , 1600 . ()
, .49
, / :
, . ,

.
-, , 1620-1630- . ,50 ..
. ,
.
1648 . ,
. . () . . 140, 154.
: , 8 1621 . // Archiwum
Gwne Akt Dawnych, Archiwum Zamoyskich [ AGAD, AZ]. Rps 725. Nr. 67.
49
: , 7 V 1600 . //
AGAD, AZ. Rps 703. Nr 18.
50
W. Nekanda Trepka. Liber generationis plebeanorum (Liber Chamorum) / Oprac.
Rafa Leszczyski. Wyd. 2-ie. Wrocaw etc., 1995. S. 459 ( 2355).
47
48

119

. , versus ...
:
,
, , .51
,
,
.
, , - ( , 52 ),
, .53
, , :
, , ; , ,
; 54 .. , , ,
, .
1648 .,
. , ,
: , ;
[ . ..] , , , .55 , 1667 .: ,
.56
,
. ,
, 15 1648 .: . . 1. . 296.
.: . . . . . 2- . , 1971. . 131 ( 1607 .).
53
pod Balin, 5 XI 1653 p. // Jakuba Michaowskiego Ksiga
pamitnicza / Wyd. A. Z. Helcel. Warszawa, 1864. S. 678.
54
Verificatia niewinnoci
Obrona verificaciey ( 1621 .) Elenchus pism uszczypliwych (1622 .). .
: . . I. . 7. . 324, 376.
55
, 7 1648 . (. : . Szajnocha. Dwa lata dziejw naszych. 1646, 1648.
Opowiadanie i rda. T. 2: Polska w r. 1648. Lww, 1869. S. 337).
56
, 7 1667 .: . . II. . 2. . 211.
51
52

120

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
, , , ,
.57 . , , , . , ,
.
, , ,
1595 . , .58 1621 .
:
, , ,
, 1569 . .59 1585 .
60 [Poddnieprska Ukraina]. , , . ,
1616 ., , . - :
5 1626 ., 6 V 1634 . // . . . . . -393 ( . ). . 20, 82-83.
58
. . 25. . 1. . 46. . 118 .
59
1993 . . : . .
CCXXV. . 325-327.
60
Epicedion 1585 .;
: . . . . , 1904. .
163-220.
57

121

. , versus ...
, : , .61
,
XVII . ,
. ,

, . 1669 1670 .:
, ,
[wojewctw ukraiskich]..., , .62
, ...
[ukraincw].63
XVII .
, ,
,
, ,
, .64
* * *

. , ? 70 , ,
, . ,
.: B. . , . . .
V . // . 1989. 2. C. 107-120; 1989. 5. C.
103-114. : . 109-113 (
2); . . 109 ( 3).
62
Diariusz sejmu koronnego 1669 r. / Oprac. Kazimierz Przybo i Marek Ferenc. Krakw,
2004. S. 34.
63
Diariusz sejmu nadzwyczajnego 1670 roku / Oprac. Kazimierz Przybo i Marek Ferenc.
Krakw, 2004. S. 49.
64
. : . Borek. Ukraina w staropolskich diariuszach i pamitnikach. S. 12.
61

122

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
,
, , ,
: ... (. 81);
(. 97); (.
243, 251, 268) ..
, , ,65
, .
,
.
( 33 ),
, . , - , . , , , Ukrain i
wszystkie ruskie powiaty i wojewodztwa (. 272).
, . , 1669 .
, , ,
, ,
: , (. 322).
, , , ..
,
, ,
.

. ,
65
1667 . na Ukrainie okoo
Humania, Bracawia i Winnicy (. 298). ,
, -. , .

123

. , versus ...
,
, : , , (. 73);
, , ,
(. 76); (. 254) .
. ,
,
. , ,
, . 1602 . ,
,
,
,66 .. .
1620-1630- . - , , ,
: Jan z Rusi, z Beresteczka; pod uckiem w Rusi; z Ostroga
w Rusi; z Dubna z Rusi; starosta kamieniecki [-] w Rusi; sotysi synkowie z Rusi, z bracawskiego udawal si by;
od Biaej Cerkwi z Rusi; za Winnic w Rusi67 ..
, 1648 .
, ,
, .68

, , , . , , ,
25 1647 .,
.
31 1602 . // . . 8. . 1. . 489.
W. Nekanda Trepka. Liber generationis plebeanorum. S. 94 ( 219), 111 ( 314),
126 ( 395), 191 ( 790), 211 ( 914), 346 ( 1734), 463 ( 2381).
68
, 29 1648 . // Jakuba Michowskiego. Ksiga pamitnicza.
S. 95.
66
67

124

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
, , 69 , () 1629 .,
, , . ,
,
1648 .,70 , , 1629 .
.71
,
, : Wszyscy greckiego naboestwa w Rusi; aden z
naboestwa greckiego w Rusi (. 91).

, .
, - , naboestwa greckiego, ..
. , (. 92).
, , , , . , .72 1629 .
. : F. E. Sysyn. Between Poland and the Ukraine. P. 117-128; . . . . VV . , 1989. . 148-156.
70
.: F. E. Sysyn. Between Poland and the Ukraine. P.
306 (. 71).
71
. : . .
( ). , 1883.
. 1. . 379-380.
72
XVII .
. ,
.
69

125

. , versus ...
(. 102); (. 254);
... (. 256) . , , .
.

, ..
, , , ..,
. 73 ,
, , 1635 .
, ,
1569 . ,
74 (,
,
). ,
,
.
() , - , .75 ,
,
- ,
, ..
, , : F. E. Sysyn. Regionalism and Political Thought
in Seventeenth-Century Ukraine: The Nobilitys Grievances at the Diet of 1641 // Harvard
Ukrainian Studies. 1982. Vol. VI. No. 2. Pp. 167-171.
74
Ibid. P. 172.
75
Ibid. Pp. 172, 174-180.
73

126

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
, ,
. , , , ( , ,
- ,
, , 11
1649 . , . 137). , , 1620-1640- . ,
. ,
, .
, - .
, . ,
, , / - . , Wypisanie przodkow moich (. 108-123),
, ,
,
, Jwon Tymofiejewicz Pliszcz Jurow,
.76
,
, .
,
, , ,
, . ,
,
: 25 , 30 , 10 . ,
. . . . 137-160; (
, ): . 146-149.

76

127

. , versus ...
, :
wydana bya za pana Wojciecha Biechowskiego Prusaka (. 120);
wydano za pana Stanisawa Gurskiego z domu Firlijew ( ); wydano
w mastwo za p. Andrzeja Wayskiego Prusaka (. 121).
, / ,
. ,

,
, :
(. 80);
, (. 82); (c. 86) ..
, ,
... 77

, XVII . . , -, , ,
, , . ,
( ,
, , c. 130), . : 1641 . (
, , ,78 :
, , , 79),
, :
Tego roku [1641] m[iesi]ca novembris 15 dnia jego ms pan Jerzy
Niemirycz na podkomorstwo kijowskie przysiga przed wielo
24 1641 . , -; .: . Rulikowski.
Opis powiatu kijowskiego / Wyd. M. Dubiecki. Kijw-Warszawa, 1913. S. 160.
78
: [N]
. .
79
. . 1. . 6. . 772.
77

128

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
szlachty, czemu pan wojewoda Janusz Tyszkiewicz w gowach nieprzyjacielem by (c. 83).

. , , . , Cerkwi Wschodniej Matki swej,


, III, nikomu na
wiar nie nastpowa ani nowych rzeczy nie wnosi,
, dwojaka Ru stana przez mus (. 310311). , - ,
,
1582 . ,

(. 71). , -
,
(. 1648 .), - ,
: ,
. ,80 1655 .
(. 189). , . , , : Natenczas zarwno swita si
odprawoway greckie i rzymskie, co daj Panie Boe zawsze aby si tak
odprawoway, jako bywao przedtym (. 359).
* * *
, , , . 80
. ,
16
1630 .: . . . V V . (, ) //
. . 1: V V . / . . . . , 2001. . 32.

129

. , versus ...
/ .
:
(.
, . 61-62), , , . , ,
, :
Nie stao onych ksit, ktre bywali wojewodami, senatorami,
stroami Korony Polskiej, nie cierpieli nikomu, zego karali... O,
ksita Ostroscy, Zbaracy, Zasawscy, Wiszniowieccy, Koreccy,
Sanguszkowie i inni ksita..., ktrych ju jedno pamitka zostawa!
Nie stao ju tych obrocow, filarow Korony Polskiej! Gdzie te podzieli si i ksita Suckie? Ustpili, niemasz ich, nie stao, jedno
pamitka tych woow kochanych ojczyzny pozostaa. Podobno was
ziemia, jako matka wszystkiego stworzenia, pobraa do siebie, zaczym niemasz ani potomkow po was nie zostaje. Teraz nam zle si dzieje po waszych gowach, i Pan Bg wie, co si jeszcze dalej z nami
bdzie dziao. Sprawiedliwoci ani prawdy nie pytaj, oslepa na obie
oczy, szalbierstwo szeci komi na gr cignie, zacinaj dalej gdzie
rwno, na co Ty sam Panie z nieba, do czasu folgujc kademu, czekasz!
(. 256-257).
, , ,
.
( )
, , , .81 XVII ., , , ,
,
.
,
(, ) / .: . . ( ) // .
. . 231-257.
81

130

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
. . , : wszystkie ciare wojenne na sobie trzyma
i radzi okoo tego, a jako radzi, na tym ich mosci przestali pp. hetmani i
krolewicz im (. 40).
, , , 1620- ( 1630 .
, , ). , , , :
, , - (. 75-76).
,
, (1655-1657),
1664 . , 1665 . (
1665).82 ,
. ,
, , ,
, , ...,
..., , ,
(. 278-279). ,
,
, ( ).

, . , , , , , , : , ,
(. 76).
- . , Urzdnicy wojewdztw kijowskiego i czernihowskiego XV-XVIII wieku. Spisy /
Opracowali E. Janas i W. Kaczewski. Krnik, 2002. S. 261.

82

131

. , versus ...
83 (, XVII .
). ,
, ,
,
, , ,
, (. 76).
: 16361646 . ,84 1640 .
, , , (.
82). , ,85 ,
(. 99).
, :
(. 139-141).

(. 161), (. 239, 241), . ,
1667 . ,
,
(. 297).
, , , . (
, , ), 1588-1618, 1618-1620 .,
, , 1618-1632 1632-1646 . (Urzdnicy centralni
i nadworni Polski XIV-XVIII wieku. Spisy / Opracowali K. Chapowski, S. Ciara,
. Kdziela, T. Nowakowski, E. Opaliski, G. Rutkowska, T. Zieliska. Krnik, 1992.
S. 42-43, 46).
84
Ibid. S. 46.
85
19 1646
1651 . ( . . 43).
83

132

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
, , . ,
, , . , 1649 . ,
(. 130). ,
(
, , ), (
, , , ). : .
, , , , .
(-),
,
, .
* * *
() , , , ,86
, 1648 .
. (
: niecnotliwi psy, jako nie moe pod socem byd gorszego stworzenia
nad one, . 106) ,
.
XVI .
,
, : . Zajczkowski. Szlachta
polska. Kultura i struktura. Warszawa, 1993. S. 50-51.
86

133

. , versus ...
:87
, ..
, , .
, , ,
, . ,
,
(-) -
.
, ,
: , , ,
, , .
.
,
, .
,
() , , . ,
.
, , - ? .
( ,
, , ). , , 87
.: E. Opaliski. Kultura polityczna szlachty polskiej w latach
1597-1652. Warszawa, 1995. S. 29 passim.

134

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
XVI XVII . ,88
-
?
/
- (,
) . , , ,
, , ,
. ,
/ - ,
.89
( ) ,
. , XVII .
SUMMARY
The article by Natalya Yakovenko deciphers the complex of political,
national, state, and social estate (corporate) identity of the seventeenth century gentry man Jan (Joachim) Erlich, the author of a diary that has attracted
.
: D. A. Frick. Foolish Rus: On Polish Civilization, Ruthenian Self-Hatred,
and Kasian Sakovy // Harvard Ukrainian Studies. 1994. Vol. XVIII. No. . Pp. 210248. : D. A. Frick. Meletij Smotryckyj.
Cambridge, MA, 1995. Pp. 227-245. : F. E. Sysyn. Between Poland and the Ukraine. Pp. 104-114. .: T. Chynczewska-Hennel.
wiadomo narodowa kozaczyzny i szlachty ukraiskiej. S. 36-146; F. E. Sysyn.
Concepts of Nationhood in Ukrainian History Writing, 1620-1690 // Harvard Ukrainian
Studies. 1986. Vol. X. No. 3-4. Pp. 393-423; . . . ( V V .). , 1998. . 5760; S. Plokhy. The Cossacks and Religion in Early Modern Ukraine. Oxford-New York,
2001. P. 145-162.
89
. . . . 231-269.
88

135

. , versus ...
historians attention since the nineteenth century. Yakovenko gives her interpretation of the political and social loyalties of Jan Erlich whose case, in
her view, contradicts the accepted views about macro-identities of Rzecz
Pospolita. She examines Erlichs sense of geography, his understanding of
ruska identity, and his confessional and state loyalties, especially vis-vis contemporary meanings of Ukraine. Five levels of analysis produce
five possible situational identities and loyalties: local; corporate; Kievan; Ukrainian (limited to the Kiev lands); and Russian Orthodox, which
is representative of the Rzecz Pospolitas szlachta. The later, in Yakovenkos view, is the least elaborated identity, because Erlichs macro-political
consciousness is very limited. Erlichs picture of the world does not provide grounds for constructing larger ideological loyalties and their corresponding entities (for example, historiographys rather popular Ruskii
people). For Yakovenko this indicates multiplicity of early modern identities and political loyalties, as she allows for a more ideologically motivated
feeling of groupness for more politically and publicly engaged noble men.

136

Ab Imperio, 4/2006

LTAT CEST NOUS? ,




(1819-1820 .)*

I.
. . , - XIX . ,
.
,
, - 1796-1797 .,
. , I ,
.
Ab Imperio
.

137

. , Ltat cest nous? ...


. 1 1799 , , ( ).1
(41 ) 8 ,
.
10 .
1799 ,2
(1805, 1819 .) -.
,
,
.3
. 1-. 19211. , 1830. -1.
2
-1. 19212.
3
.
I-
, . . . . .
. . . , , , XX ,
, . . . .
I // . -, 1911. . 2. . 754-781; . . .
XIX . -,
1911. . // . , 1911. . . . 616-657. ,
, ,
. . . . . -, 1902. . 1-4.
1917
. ,
. .
. . .
//
. 1939. 1. . 84-88; . . .

1

138

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
XIX , I I. ,
.
.
.
. , . .4

. , , ,
// . 1940.
. V. 1960- ., , . .:
XIX XX .
. , 1967. . 147-175.
.
, ., .:
. . / . . . . , 1960; . , . . , . . // . 1961. 2.

. . , . . . . . .
. . . . . . . 1. -, 1946; . II. , 1958; . 60 70 .
XIX ( 1861 ) // . 1966. . 79. . 139-175. . . . I. , 1998; . . . ( XVIII XIX .). , 2002.
. . .: . . . .
XIX . , 1995; . . . XIX // : . . , 2004. . 264-269.
4
. . . :
XIX . , 2002. . 5.

139

. , Ltat cest nous? ...


-. , (, )
,
, .
, .

,
,
.
, I
, . , ,
, 1800 1915 . 120-125 .5 (90) XIX , . , 52 38
.6
.
I :
.
.
, , . : , , , . . ,
,
, , , , , .: 1711 1911 . , 1911. . II. . 596-600; . IV. . . 513-515.
6
. . 503-508.
5

140

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
.7 ,
. ,
, , ,
1819-1820 . 1307
,
,
.
, .8
I

:
, III
. ,
,
. ,
. I,
( ),

.
I . 1819 . . . - : , , . -, . : . -, 1911. . III. .
627.
8
XIX 24 : 1810 .;
1801, 1803, 1808, 1810, 1815, 1819 .; 1801 ., 1807 . 1813 .;
1826 ; 1808 ., 1809 ., 1817 .;
1808 ., 1815 ., 1826 ., 1828 .; 1802 ., 1808 ., 1826 .
1837 . . . IV. . 513-515.
7

141

. , Ltat cest nous? ...


....9 .10 , , , , I

,
(
: ). ,
.
1816
,
: 1819 .
; ,
. . , (, , , ).11 17
1819 .12
1817
,
.
, 1799 .
( 1
1805 .) , ,
, , .13
,

, . ,
.
,
. . . . . -, 1876. . 382.
10
. . . 520.
11
- . .
1. -, 2001. . 65-70.
12
-1. 27722.
13
-1. 26728.
9

142

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
. , .14 29 . :
.
. : , ,
, .... , . .
.
.
, .
:

?; ?;
?; ,

?...; ; ,
?...
, , , . , , -
. , 21 , ,
, , ; , . , . . . . . 1.
-, 1902. C. 80.
14

143

. , Ltat cest nous? ...



,
, ( ). , . , 1819 :
, , -
-
, , , - , ,
(. 22).
,
( )
, ,
. , , , . , , ,
.

.
1828 .
- , . . :
, ,
, , .
, , . : . - ?
, , , .
,
? . ,
, . ,
144

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
. - ?
. -, , , , ?
, ? . ,
, , .15

ad hoc ( ).
I
, 1819 , : , . I ,
. 1819
, ,
,
,
.

, , . .
,
, .
, , 15

. . . , 1992. . 58.

145

. , Ltat cest nous? ...


. I, ,
-. , , , . ( ,
1819 .), ,
, .
II.
, I ( 1801, 1803,
1808, 1810, 1815, 1819 .). . 1801

.16 1805 . .
( . . ) . 1814
, . 1815 , . . ,
.
30- . . . .

, 1819 , ,
, 1819-1820 . , 16
.: . . . // . , 2003. . 236-245.

146

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
.17 . . .18 ,
1819-1820 .
,
,
. , , , . . .
. .19
, ,
.20
(1757-1820), , 1793 . . . . . . , 1923; . . .
. (1828-1862 .). , 1927; . 1828 1855 . , 1954; . . . // 1904-1905
3526, 3533, 3552, 3563, 3592, 3605, 3610, 3628, 3632.
18
. . . 1819 1820 // .
1892. 157; 160.
19
. . . ( XIX
) // . 1903. . . 481-514.
20
: -, ,
, , . , (-) (). .
.
() I 1799
1840 .
, . 40 1819 .
1822
, . . 2079 ( ) . . . .
17

147

. , Ltat cest nous? ...


,
. 1812
. . . ,
,
.21 . .
:
, , ,
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SUMMARY
Alsu Biktasheva turns to the greatly understudied topic of Senate inspections in Imperial Russia. Even though the exact statistics of inspections is unknown, the information related to the eighteenth century is particularly fragmentary. Between 1800 and 1915, some 120-125 inspections
took place. Biktasheva distinguishes several stages in the history of Senate
inspections, differentiated by the quantity of inspections and their function.
Before Paul I introduced special legislation regulating the procedure and
frequency of Senate inspections, it was an ad hoc instrument of administrative intervention into local affairs and collecting information. It was Alexander I who made Senate inspections a principal tool of his regime: fiftytwo of those 120-125 known inspections took place during his twenty-five
years in power (the next quarter of the century under Nicholas I witnessed
only thrity-eight inspections, and just thirty to thirty-five inspections were
staged over the next seventy-five years). Under Nicholas and his successors, Senate inspectors were sent out to investigate the causes of a various
dramatic events: social disorder, a draught, a famine. Alexander I attempted
to use inspections as a mechanism for establishing a rapport with society, a
tribunal settling complaints of the population against the local administration, and as a mechanism for gathering objective on-site information from
situations. In the absence of a modern state apparatus, rationalized legislation, and trained bureaucracy, inspections were seen by the Emperor as the
most efficient way to impose justice and protect state interests. In his personification of politics, Alexander trusted people rather than institutes, and
explained the corruption and inefficiency of administration by the personality of certain officials. Moreover, by authorizing inspecting Senators to
use local gentry as investigators, Alexander de facto enfranchised them as
citizens who had more authority than any government administrator.
186

Ab Imperio, 4/2006

Olga MAIOROVA

SEARCHING FOR A NEW LANGUAGE OF


COLLECTIVE SELF:
THE SYMBOLISM OF RUSSIAN NATIONAL BELONGING
DURING AND AFTER THE CRIMEAN WAR*

The Crimean War (1853-1856), initially called the Eastern War, began
as yet another round in the ongoing struggle between the Russian and Ottoman Empires. Deploying a rich arsenal of patriotic idioms cultivated over
the preceding decades, wartime rhetoric focused not only on Russias centuries-old confrontation with the East, but also since England and France
joined forces with Turkey on her conflicted relationship with the West.1
Yet the war proved a losing one, ultimately discrediting the patriotic rhetoric it had elicited. It is widely acknowledged that the disastrous outcome of
the Crimean campaign compromised Russias geopolitical status, provoked
sharp criticism of the government, and paved the way for the Great Re*
I would like to thank reviewers of Ab Imperio for valuable insights and comments on
my work.
1
As the war unfolded, Austria also threatened to attack Russia and Prussia constituted at
best a latent hazard. On the Crimean War and the international situation which led to the
war and unfolded during the war see, David M. Goldfrank. The Origins of the Crimean
War. London and New York, 1994; John Shelton Curtiss. Russias Crimean War. Durham,
NC, 1979; E. V. Tarle. Krymskaia voina. 2nd ed., rev. and enl. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950.

187

O. Maiorova, Searching for a New Language of Collective Self...


forms. What remains understudied, however, is the defeats impact on the
vision of the nation. How did Russians contrive to reconcile the stunning
failure with their sense of national greatness? Which concepts of an authentic self came to dominate and which were shifted to the margins? The humiliating defeat set the stage for new ways of articulating the nation that
superseded and sometimes undermined the patriotic rhetoric of earlier years.
What symbol of Russia, for example, could be more persuasive or more
persistent than her boundless expanses? From the eighteenth century
onward, various forms of cultural production, working from different ideological perspectives, encoded Russias vast, flat, open space as a metaphor
for her imperial might and for the boundless potential of her people.2 Though
during the Crimean War this cultural construct enjoyed wide currency, after the defeat, as we shall see, the most distinguished Russian writers either
dramatically transformed those limitless, dreaming fields into sucking
swamps and snowy wastes, or else severed the conventional links between
their native landscape and national virtues.
Other patriotic symbols underwent a similar evolution. Throughout the
reign of Nicholas I, both official propaganda and public opinion commemorated the Patriotic War (1812-1815), cherishing it most in times of crisis.
Thus, in response to the November rebellion in the Kingdom of Poland
(1830-1831), poets, independent thinkers, and partisans of official ideology
all made the 1812 triumph the focus of their historical allusions, seeing in it
a confirmation of Russias collective capacity for sacrifice, of the brotherhood supposedly prevailing among social strata, and of the countrys messianic role in world history.3 While during the Crimean War memories of
1812 constituted one of the central tropes of the invincible nation, by
wars end and immediately thereafter nationally-minded intellectuals had
not only grown skeptical of such exploitation of the victory over Napoleon,
but, as I shall demonstrate below, transformed it from a source of national
aggrandizement to an instrument of critique.
It is far from coincidental that both symbols should have been challenged at once. In rhetorical practice the two were often intertwined, illus2

Simon Franklin & Emma Widdis (Ed.). National Identity in Russian Culture: An
Introduction. New York, 2004; Christopher Ely. This Meager Nature: Landscape and
National Identity in Imperial Russia. De Kalb, 2002.
3
See A. G. Tartakovskii. 1812 god i russkaia memuaristika: Opyt istochnikovedcheskogo
izucheniia. Moscow, 1980; D. Rebekkini. Russkie istoricheskie romany 1830-kh godov
XIX veka (Bibliograficheskii ukazatel) // Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie. 1998. No. 34.
Pp. 416-433.

188

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
trating and supporting one another. Indeed, nothing so convincingly cast
the native landscape as proof of the peoples might and a repository of their
glorious memories as the story of the expulsion of Napoleons army which,
as the recurrent patriotic clich would have it, bogged down in 1812 in
Russias endless snowy fields. Reinterpretation of one symbol required that
of the other since both stemmed from a common national vision that defined the collective self by reference to historical achievements, nature, or
Providence. The loss of the Crimean War encouraged attempts to break out
of this conceptual framework because, as I argue below, the defeat had
brought about fundamental changes to patterns of national self-perception
and led to the crystallization of a whole new set of attitudes towards the
Russian community. This article seeks to capture what changed in the understanding of the Russian collective self over the 1850s and how national
symbolism reflected this shift.
This is not to say that the intelligentsia used only symbolic language
to express their new visions of the collective self. Thaw and glasnost
concepts first introduced into the political lexicon in the late 1850s and
the preparations for the Great Reforms themselves engaged public opinion and made it possible to openly venture new approaches to the nation.
Looking to the Western countries that had won the Crimean War, some
liberals even urged the Russian government to take steps towards introducing elements of civic nationalism. Although at the outset of the Reform era the regime seemed to have opened the floodgates for wider participation in decision making, it ultimately curtailed any possibility of
popular participation in political life. In an autocratic state with a sharply
limited public sphere and a lack of institutional space for articulating the
nation, symbolic language offered a fruitful indeed at times the only
avenue for rhetorically constructing an authentic collective self. Moreover, since national symbolism draws upon a shared heritage, metaphoric
expressions of collective self can function as the common denominator of
disparate constructs, even those inscribed within distinct ideological paradigms. Thus, tracing how intellectuals reinterpreted idioms of nation
can help us reveal a general shift across political divides, rather than the
differences between individual thinkers. This article explores how national symbolism evolved during the 1850s, beginning with a study of
wartime rhetoric, which played a two-fold role in the development of
Russian national discourse: it both exerted a measure of influence on intellectuals post-war attempts to redefine the self and constituted a point
of departure for many of them.
189

O. Maiorova, Searching for a New Language of Collective Self...


The Crimean War as a Commemoration of the 1812 Triumph
Even before it began, the Crimean War was given a poetic interpretation
through the prism of Russias struggle with Napoleon. In the first days of
September, 1853 more than a month before the start of military action
against the Ottoman Empire and almost half a year before the Western powers entry into the war Fedor Tiutchev composed the poem Nieman, in
which he covertly predicted that Russia stood on the brink of another triumphant war with the West. Depicting the Grand Armys triumphal entry
into Russian territory in 1812, Nieman focuses on the glorious warrior
(voitel divnyi) who controls the fates of humanity. Yet, as the poem unfolds, the portrait of a victor gives way to the image of a doomed commander leading his army to defeat. Nieman offers a remarkable example
of how the romantic cult of Napoleon, enormously popular in Russia, and
the vision of the Patriotic War as confirmation of Russias greatness could
coexist within a single text. The more Tiutchev elevates the man of genius, the more the triumph over him becomes proof positive that Russia
was fated to play a unique role in the divine plan of salvation.4
Tiutchevs zealous expectations were fueled by ominous preparations
already being made on both sides. By September 1853 Russia had occupied
the Danube principalities of Moldavia and Walachia and the combined navy
of England and France had entered the Dardanelles.5 Military and diplomatic maneuvers leading up to the war were conducted against a backdrop
of fundamental political change in France. In 1852, the Second Empire was
proclaimed and Louis Napoleon, French president and nephew of the great
Emperor Napoleon, declared himself Napoleon III. Despite the Russian
courts opposition, the Napoleonic dynasty sat again on the throne of France,
undermining the Holy Alliances decisions and symbolically restoring the
First Empire.6 Events themselves thus offered fertile ground for historical
4

F. I. Tiutchev. Polnoe sobranie stikhotvorenii. Leningrad, 1987. Pp. 186-187.


The Russo-Turkish campaign began in October of 1853; England and France joined
the war in March of 1854.
6
The new emperor of France based his policy on appealing to the accomplishments of
his great uncle, while Prince Napoleon-Joseph Bonaparte openly announced that the
declaration of empire was a peaceful revenge for the defeat of France in 1814-1815
(see, John Shelton Curtiss. Russias Crimean War. P. 52). On the pronouncement of the
Second Empire and the struggle over Louis-Napoleons title, see Tarle. Krymskaia voina.
Pp. 117-130; Curtiss. Russias Crimean War. Pp. 50-57; Goldfrank. The Origins of the
Crimean War. Pp. 17, 32, 92, 102-103. On the Second Empires continuity with respect
to the First and on Russian perception of their similarities, see also: Tartakovskii. 1812
god i russkaia memuaristika. P. 230.
5

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rhymes. When the war started, Tiutchev envisioned it as the recurrence of
1812, the victorious resolution of the thousand-year dispute of East and
West, and a portent of the triumphal fulfillment of Russias high destiny.7 These expectations proved prophetic only in anticipating the essential pattern that was to govern perceptions of the war through the prism of
1812.
At the outset of the Eastern campaign, many intellectuals conflated
memories of the Patriotic War with the history of the Crusades, in which
Russia had never participated. In his letter to M. P. Pogodin on Christmas
of 1853, S. P. Shevyrev, a famous partisan of official ideology, redirected
memory of the Patriotic War to solve the Eastern question: From all of
Russia there is sympathy for the war [] Its a crusade [] Everyone is
ready to sacrifice. The movements remind me of 1812.8 Pogodins articles
and G. Titovs book The Crusades and the Eastern Question (1854) forged
a still more explicit link between the Patriotic War and the centuries-long
struggle for the Christian Holy Land: only the country that had bested Napoleon could fulfill the high mission to which exhausted Western Europe
had proved itself unequal.9 The year 1853 marked exactly 400 years since
the capture of Constantinople by the Turks, and many viewed this anniversary as a symbolic threshold auguring the rebirth of an Orthodox
7
Literaturnoe nasledstvo. Fedor Ivanovich Tiutchev. Vol. 97. Book II. Moskow, 1989.
P. 257; I. S. Aksakov. Biografiia Fedora Ivanovicha Tiutcheva. Moscow, 1886. P. 234.
For a selection of testimony to societys mood, harmonizing with Tiutchevs, see Nikolai
Barsukov. Zhizn i trudy M. P. Pogodina. Vol. XIII. S-Petersburg, 1899. P. 6; N. M. Druzhinin. Moskva v gody Krymskoi voiny // N. M. Druzhinin and M. K. Rozhkovaia (Ed.).
Istoriia Moskvy. Vol. 3. Moscow, 1954. Ch. XVII. Pp. 728-783; Zapiski Aleksandra
Ivanovicha Kosheleva (1812-1884). Berlin, 1884. P. 81.
8
Letter from Shevyrev to Pogodin, December 25, 1853 // Barsukov. Zhizn i trudy
Pogodina. Vol. XIII. Pp. 18-19.
9
M. P. Pogodin. Nastoiashchaia voina v otnoshenii k russkoi istorii // M. P. Pogodin.
Istoriko-politicheskie pisma i zapiski v prodolzhenii Krymskoi voiny: 1853-1856. Moscow, 1874. P. 143. This article was written in June, 1854 and then circulated in manuscript; M. P. Pogodin. Chtenie poslednego manifesta po prikhodskim tserkvam v Moskve sego dekabria 25 chisla, 1854 goda // Barsukov. Zhizn i trudy Pogodina. Vol. XIII. P.
202; G. Titov. Krestovye pokhody i Vostochnyi vopros // Russkii invalid. 1854. No.
127. July 8; No. 128. July 9. Excerpts of the book were published in the newspaper
Russkii invalid and it was regularly advertised in the newspapers bibliographic section.
In the same year it appeared as a separate publication (G. Titov. Krestovye pokhody i
Vostochnyi vopros. St. Petersburg, 1854). The struggle for the right to control Jerusalems holy sites constituted one of the points of disagreement between France and Russia and became one of the pretexts of the war.

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East.10 The perception of the Crimean War as an extension of the successes
of the Patriotic War and thus a further step towards implementing Russias
messianic role in world history, ridicule of the nephew (Napoleon III) as
the direct inheritor of his uncles (Napoleon I) disgrace, interpretation of
coincidences in the chronology of the two campaigns as providential signs
all these themes permeated the press, popular verse, and personal correspondence in the early days of the war.
At first glance, this vision of the Eastern campaign is nothing short of
astonishing. One might have expected the interpretation of military events
to hinge on Russias previous victories in the Crimea and Caucasus the
main theaters of the current war and to rely on historical memories
invoking Russias age-old struggle with the barbaric East. Or else one
might have expected historical symbolism to focus on the Russias traditional role as defender of oppressed Slavic peoples, since many intellectuals, above all the Panslavists, viewed the defense of the Orthodox peoples
of the Ottoman Empire as one of Russias main motivations in the present
conflict. Although such memories, to be sure, did play a role in wartime
rhetoric, the projection of current events onto the Patriotic War overshadowed and absorbed all other historical parallels. Tiutchev, Shevyrev, and
Pogodin, whose formulations generally stayed close to official ideology, in
this case exceeded the limits set by the authorities with their ecstatic expectations and Panslavist hopes and they expressed these hopes through the
memory of 1812. But then even the government elevated the Patriotic War
over other military accomplishments.
The glories of 1812, still a living memory at the time of the Crimean
War, allowed official rhetoric to hearten the Russian army by proclaiming its invincibility, and, as regarded the international context, to repudiate Western powers attempts to undermine Russias leading status within
the concert of European powers. Nicholas I made this function of the
Patriotic war explicit in an imperial decree issued on February 9, 1854
and announcing the severing of diplomatic relations with England and
France: if enemies attack its [Russias] borders, we will be ready to
meet them with the severity bequeathed us by our ancestors. Are we not
now the same Russian people whose valor is attested by the memorable
10

An expressive instance of appealing to the famous date is the poems written on this
theme by K. S. Aksakov Severnyi Orel (1453-1853) and by A. N. Maikov Pamiati
Derzhavina (A. N. Maikov. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii. 7th ed. Vol. IV. St. Petersburg,
1901. P. 284), Klermonskii sobor (A. N. Maikov. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii. 6th ed.
Vol. II. St. Petersburg, 1893. P. 32).

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events of 1812!11 Nicholas was well aware, however, of the dangers
inherent in 1812 as a symbol of unconstrained popular movements potentially hostile to the regime. 12 To erase these implications of the 1812
memory, long before the Eastern campaign, official ideology presented
the Patriotic War as the peoples struggle not so much for their own freedom, as for legitimate order. Throughout Nicholas reign, this interpretation of Russias triumph over Napoleon was fostered by carefully crafted
public ceremonies and a historiography controlled by the tsar himself.13
As the official newspaper Russkii invalid shows, during the Crimean campaign parallels with the Patriotic War proved even more adaptable: they
encapsulated Nicholas vision of the Russian empire and the Russian nation.14
Many contributors to Russkii invalid promoted the memory of 1812 as
the apotheosis of the true Russian spirit, emerging visibly across divergent
regions of the state to unite them in time of war. Praising the bravery of
Odessas inhabitants when their town was under bombardment (1854), the
author of one account ecstatically observes that merry souls sang the native legends of the year twelve and in this fashion under the thunder of
11
Barsukov. Zhizn i trudy Pogodina. Vol. XIII. Pp. 40-41. On October 16, 1854, Nicholas I instructed Prince A. S. Menshikov, then in command of the Crimean army: It is
highly desirable that we prove in the eyes of our foreign enemies and even of Russia
itself, that we are still the same Russians of 1812 of Borodino and Paris! N. F. Dubrovin. Istoriia Krymskoi voiny i oborony Sevastopolia. 3 vols. St. Petersburg, 1900.
Vol. II. P. 114.
12
Nicholas insisted that parallels with the Patriotic War be used sparingly. On December
11, 1854, he wrote to Prince M. D. Gorchakov, the commander of the Crimean army: I
know that when the minute comes to call on Russia, it will become what it was in 1812,
but I need to husband this resource carefully and not exhaust our energies prematurely.
Dubrovin. Istoriia Krymskoi voiny. Vol. II. P. 385.
13
On public ceremonies see: Richard S. Wortman. Scenarios of Power: Myth and Ceremony in Russian Monarchy. 2 vols. Princeton, 1995. Vol. 1. Pp. 316-321, 384-386. On
historiography see, Tartakovskii. 1812 god i russkaia memuaristika. Pp. 199-212.
14
For official nationalism during Nicholas reign, see Nicholas Riasanovsky. Nicholas I
and Official Nationality in Russia, 1825-1855. Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1967;
Wortman. Scenarios of Power. Vol. I. Pp. 297-332, 379-381; Nathaniel Knight. Ethnicity,
Nationality, and the Masses: Narodnost and Modernity in Imperial Russia // David L.
Hoffmann and Yanni Kotsonis (Eds.). Modernity: Politics, Knowledge, Practices. New
York, 2000. Pp. 54-60. For Nicholas concept of national empire, see Richard Wortman.
Simvoly imperii: Ekzoticheskie narody i tseremonii koronatsii rossiiskikh imperatorov //
I. Gerasimov, S. Glebov, A. Kaplunovskii, M. Mogilner, A. Semenov (Eds.). Novaia
imperskaia istoriia post-sovetskogo prostranstva. Kazan, 2004, especially Pp. 414-421.

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enemy fire Odessa took on an authentic Russian character.15 The sermons
of Innokentii, Archbishop of Kherson and Tavrida and the main official
wartime prognosticator, clearly demonstrate the power of memories of 1812
both to symbolically unify and Russify the empire. As though following
Tiutchevs poetic logic, Innokentii interpreted the Anglo-French landing
on the Crimean coast as an echo of the successful entry of Napoleons troops
in 1812 which could only presage the foes inevitable downfall: In time
of battle, does the enemy intrude first into the Russian land? To invade it,
with its vast expanses, is always possible; what is hard as experience
shows is to extricate oneself without falling prey to the birds of the air
and the beasts of the earth...16 Directly contradicting customary representations of the Crimea as temperate, picturesque and ultimately foreign, 17
Innokentii extends the fearsome features of Russias heartland the endless expanses, harsh climate, and wild animals to its exotic southern extremity. The preacher thus endows a relatively recently acquired corner of
the empire with the attributes of Russianness, making the diverse state into
a single entity bound together by the Russian spirit which accorded perfectly with Nicholas concept of a national empire. Russkii invalid even
presented the Patriotic War as a blueprint for martial achievements by the
empires various ethnic groups. A Nizhnii Novgorod imam serving as army
chaplain called on his coreligionists to follow the feats of 1812 and to defend their homeland in whose depths repose the bones of our fathers.18
Thus official propaganda utilized the glories of 1812 to incorporate nonRussian ethnic groups, even the Tatars, in the struggle against the Turks
15

Ia. Psarev. Russkie-spartantsy // Russkii invalid. 1854. No. 150. July 8. Another
contributor wrote: now Odessa is our native land (Dm. B. Pismo iz Voronezhskoi
gubernii // Ibid. 1854. No. 155. July 14). For the same interpretation of how Odessa
acquired Russian spirit under fire see also P. A. Viazemskiis poem: Odessa // Ibid.
1854. No. 143.
16
Innokentii. Sermon while Visiting his Flock // Sochineniia Innokentiia, arkhiepiskopa
Khersonskogo i Tavricheskogo. St. Petersburg, 1908. Vol. II. Pp. 448-449. This sermon,
preached in Simferopols Alexander Nevskii Cathedral on September 14, 1854, first
appeared in Odesskii vestnik (1854. No. 118) and then in Russkii invalid, where all
Innokentiis wartime sermons were printed. Later it was included in N. F. Dubrovin
(Ed.). Materialy dlia istorii Krymskoi voiny i oborony Sevastopolia. St. Petersburg, 1900.
Vol. III. Pp. 168-169. While at the beginning of military action Innokentii set in motion
a myth of the Tavrida peninsula as cradle of Russian Orthodoxy, as the campaign wore
on, he turned to the symbol of 1812.
17
Ely. This Meager Nature. Pp. 13-14
18
Nastavlenie nizhegorodskogo voennogo imama Zamiga Khatyba // Russkii invalid.
1854. No. 181. August 14.

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and it was all the more important to do so, since some of the Crimean Tatars
had gone over to the enemys side.
The Patriotic War symbolized the Russian-centric focus of the entire
empire. Popular poetry published in Russkii invalid provides a good example of how literature, reiterating the poetic tradition of memorializing 1812,
provided a device for this symbols interpretation. Celebrating the Russian
victory over the Ottoman fleet in the battle of Sinop (1854), the poem On
the current war begins with conventional praise of late eighteenth century
triumphs on the Black Sea. In the second half of the text, however, the
poems conceptual center shifts to conflicts with the Western powers, focusing on the victory over Napoleon. Shifting from the naval victories of
the expanding empire, won at the periphery of the state, to the Patriotic
War, which took place in its historical heartland, the poem underscores the
ethno-national dimension of the event:
Ne dvenadtsatogo-l goda
Vy khotite, gospoda?
My gotovy. Rus rodnaia
I mogucha i silna.
[Gentlemen, do you seek
The year twelve?
We are ready. Native Rus
Is strong and potent.]19
Presenting the 1812 campaign as an achievement of Rus and setting it
atop the hierarchy of Russias victories, the poem symbolically enshrines
the ethnic core of the state as the defining spirit and the dominant force of
the diverse empire. To produce this effect the unknown author also applies
the word Russkoe to the Black Sea, while conventionally the sea was called
Rossiiskoe. With a final, hidden echo of To the Slanderers of Russia (1831),
the poem reiterates Pushkins use of 1812 in articulating his vision of the
relation between Russian nationality and the imperial polity:
Prikhodite zhe k nam v gosti!
Chestno vstretim my gostei.
I ulozhim vashi kosti,
Sred nechuzhdykh vam kostei!...
19

Petr G.o.v.e.n. Rampovanov. On the current war // Russkii invalid. 1854. No.116.
May 25. Petr Rampovanov is most likely the pseudonym of an unknown author.
This and further translations are my own, unless otherwise noted. O.M.

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[Come, then, be our guests!
We know how to treat a guest.
We will lay you to rest
Among familiar bones!...]

Given the markedness of the word nechuzhdyi in the Russian poetic


lexicon and the poets use of parallel syntactic constructions, these final
words read as a recognizable reference to Pushkins:
Tak vysylaite zh k nam, vitii,
Svoikh ozloblennykh synov:
Est mesto im v poliakh Rossii
Sredi nechuzhdykh im grobov
[So, bards, send along to us
Your enraged sons:
Theres room for them in Russian fields
Among familiar graves]

In To the Slanderers of Russia, officially sanctioned under Nicholas,


Pushkin projects the Polish unrest (1830-1831) onto Russias struggle with
Napoleon, emphasizing two dimensions of the memory of 1812. On the
one hand, the Patriotic War represents a holy war of ethno-national resistance, a feat of Russian nationality. Lines about the ancient quarrel among
the Slavs revive the longstanding parallel between 1812 and 1612 the
end of the Time of Troubles, when a Russian popular militia led by Minin
and Pozharskii liberated Moscow from Polish intruders. Reference to this
peoples war, calling the Russian people a Slavic tribe, veneration of the
Moscow Kremlin, evocations of the national epic hero (bogatyr), all inscribe the November uprising in Poland and the memory of 1812 into a
paradigm of ethnic resistance. Yet on the other hand, Pushkin engages memories of imperial victories (the taking of Izmail) and envisions the diverse
imperial realm from Perm to Tavrida, from the cold Finnish cliffs to
burning Colchis joining together in opposition to the enemy. Thus he
inserts the destruction of Napoleons army into the triumphal imperial narrative. To the Slanderers of Russia does not contrast the ethnic and imperial dimensions of the memory of 1812, but rather fuses them into one. At
the conclusion of the poem, Pushkin calls the entire imperial space Russian land, united by a shared sense of patriotism.20 On the pages of Russkii
20
To the Slanderers of Russia, along with another Pushkins poem The Borodinos
Anniversary (1831) and with V. A. Zhukovskiis Russkaia pesnia vziatiia Varshavy
were published in the officially sanctioned brochure Na vziatie Varshavy (1831). On

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invalid one finds repeated references to this poem by Pushkin, to his vision
of 1812 and the empires national character.
During the Crimean War, official ideology also turned parallels with
1812 into a means of buttressing the dynastic conception of the nation. For
Nicholas, the triumph over Napoleon stood as a symbol of the dynasty and
the peoples common past, and helped to present the ruler as an embodiment of the nations will. In an imperial manifesto issued in December,
1854, the tsar referred to the upheavals of 1812: When necessary we all,
tsar and subjects to repeat the words of the Emperor Alexander spoken in
a time of trial similar to this stand before the ranks of our enemies with
sword in hand and the cross in our hearts to defend the most precious
blessings in this world: the safety and honor of the Fatherland (italics in
the original).21 Calling his subjects to battle, he missed no opportunity to
remind them that love for the tsar was a particularly Russian trait. This
manifesto is dated December 14, 1854 the same day as the Decembrist
uprising. Throughout Nicholas reign, official ideology presented the suppression of the uprising as a victory of national ideals over Western doctrines and a visible reassertion of the triumphal union of monarch and common people.22 In Nicholas era an annual prayer service commemorated
the imperial familys deliverance from danger on this date. The day the
manifesto was read from the pulpits December 25, 1854 was another
famous date. From 1812 onward, on the first day of Christmas, all of Russias churches held a thanksgiving service to commemorate the expulsion
of Napoleons army.23 The choice of both these dates the date the manifesto was signed and the date of its promulgation formed a chain of crucial historical events, each a high-water mark in the union of the monarchy
the imperial patriotism Pushkin expresses in these poems, see: A. L. Ospovat. Pushkin,
Tiutchev i Polskoe vosstanie 1830-1831 godov // Pushkinskie chteniia v Tartu. Tezisy
dokladov nauchnoi konferentsii. Tallinn, 1987. Pp. 49-52.
21
Cited from: Barsukov. Zhizn i trudy Pogodina. St. Petersburg, 1899. Vol. XIII. Pp.
197-198.
22
For the representation of the suppression of the Decembrist uprising during Nicholas
reign and the annual December 14 prayers, see Wortman. Scenarios of Power. Vol. 1.
Pp. 265-269, 275-278. On the prayer service of December 14, 1854, see A. F. Tiutcheva.
Pri dvore dvukh imperatorov / Transl. from the French by E. V. Gere, introd. essay and
notes by S. V. Bakhrushin. Moscow, 1928. Vol. 1. P. 121.
23
On the reading of the manifesto see M. P. Pogodin. Chtenie poslednego manifesta po
prikhodskim tserkvam v Moskve sego dekabria 25 chisla, 1854 goda // Barsukov. Zhizn
i trudy Pogodina. Vol. XIII. Pp. 202-203. During the war this article circulated in
manuscript.

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and the people. The manifesto brought the Crimean War into this chain, as
well.
Wartime propaganda constantly equated the defenders of Sevastopol
site of the most ferocious battles of the Crimean campaign with the heroes of Borodino, thus emphasizing the unchanging nature of Russians.
With this in mind, Innokentii seems not to pass up a single chronological
coincidence with the Patriotic War: ...have you noticed which day the
enemies appeared in your land? On the same day that they once entered
Moscow, as if to augur that in the Crimea the same bitter fate awaits them
that they suffered after taking our first capital.24 Developing this parallel,
the preacher not only ascribes to the Anglo-French troops the same motives
that had drawn Napoleons army to Russia (godlessness and passion, the
overthrow of altars and thrones), but also attributes to his compatriots the
permanent qualities of piety and devotion to the throne.25 Appealing to the
militia of 1812, the government clearly expressed this idea in the manifesto
On the Summoning of a National Militia (January 29, 1855): More than
once already, Russia has faced and been overtaken by difficult, sometimes
cruel, trials. But it has always been saved by humble faith in Providence
and the strong, unshakeable bond of the Tsar with His subjects, His devoted
children. Be it so even now.26
The more tragically military events unfolded, the more ingeniously the
authorities exploited the memory of the Patriotic War. Once the Crimean
events were projected through the prism of the Patriotic War, any military
24

Sochineniia Innokentiia. Vol. II. Pp. 448-449; Dubrovin (Ed.). Materialy dlia istorii
Krymskoi voiny i oborony Sevastopolia. Vol. III. Pp. 168-169. Innokentii clearly had in
mind the landing of the allied forces of England and France between Evpatorii and
Kaptugai, which took place in 1854, on September 2 the day of Napoleons armys
entry into Moscow in 1812. It is worth mentioning that this was not the first landing of
the allied military forces onto Crimean territory, however, given the pull of significant
dates, it was this event that was surrounded by mythological associations. Pogodin also
wrote in Moskvitianin: ...it had to happen that the enemies landed on the Crimea on the
second of September, the day of the French entry into Moscow in 1812 (cited from:
Barsukov. Zhizn i trudy Pogodina. Vol. XIII. P. 139).
25
Sochineniia Innokentiia. Vol. II. P. 451.
26
O prizvanii k gosudartvennomu opolcheniiu (January 29, 1855) // Polnoe sobranie
zakonov Rossiiskoi imperii. Sobranie II. Otdel I. Vol. XXX. P. 85 (No. 28991). Within a
few months a brochure was published The general militia of Russia for faith, tsar, and
fatherland, or the Russian soldiers at the time of the Emperor Alexander and the currently
reigning Alexander II (Moscow, 1855), which contained the text of Alexander Is
manifestoes and the history of the militia of 1812. On this brochure see: Druzhinin.
Moskva v gody Krymskoi voiny. P. 758.

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failure could be interpreted as a sign of Providences special design, as a
token of inevitable future success, and as testament to the constancy of
Russian virtues, since the Russian army of 1812 had also withstood many
losses.27 This is why Alexander II, upon his ascent to the throne, resorted to
the symbol of 1812 even more persistently than his father. On receiving
word of Sevastopols collapse, the young tsar encouraged Prince M. N. Gorchakov: Do not lose heart, but remember 1812 and trust in God. Two
years after the burning of Moscow, our triumphant troops entered Paris. We
are the same Russians and God is with us!28 Informing the Russian armies
and the navy of Sevastopols surrender, he compared its defense to the greatest feats of Russian arms, among them the Battle of Borodino.29 Even when
the government signed the humiliating Paris treaty (1856), in public ceremonies Alexander II visibly entwined the narratives of the two wars.30 His
coronation (1856), set to coincide with the anniversary of the battle of Borodino (August 26), was intended to symbolically overcome the painful loss of
the war and to reassert the deep bond between the monarch and his subjects.
Read through the scenario of the Patriotic War, the Crimean campaign
turned into a commemoration of 1812. By merging the events of the two
wars, won and lost, into a single narrative, official propaganda found a way
to highlight the stability of the Russian peoples nature and thus made it
possible to sustain the official vision of the empire and the nation. Yet public opinion, deeply traumatized by the course and outcome of the Crimean
War, turned the memory of 1812 in a far different direction.
27

In September of 1854, having given the order to sink the ships of the Black Sea fleet
to prevent an enemy raid, Vice-Admiral V. A. Kornilov encouraged the sailors: Moscow
burned, and Rus did not perish! On the contrary, it became stronger. God is merciful!
Even now He is preparing for His faithful Russian people a similar fate. (Dubrovin.
Istoriia Krymskoi voiny i oborony Sevastopolia. Vol. I. P. 317).
28
M. I. Bogdanovich. Vostochnaia voina: 1853-1856 gody. 5 vols. St. Petersburg, 1876.
Vol. IV. P. 141. See also Dubrovin. Istoriia Krymskoi voiny i oborony Sevastopolia. Vol.
III. Pp. 427-428.
29
Bogdanovich. Vostochnaia voina. Vol. IV. P. 141. Alexander II issued this order to the
army on his name day, August 30, 1855. Seconding the tsars words in his orders to the
army, Gorchakov portrayed surrendered Sevastopol by analogy with Moscow
abandoned in 1812 as a redeeming sacrifice, portent of the resurrection of Russia
(Ibid. P. 141)
30
His official visit to Moscow following the surrender of Sevastopol was staged as a
repeat performance of Alexander Is dramatic appearance after Napoleons invasion.
(Wortman. Scenarios of Power. Vol. 2. P. 25).

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1812 as Contested Symbol
The Crimean War provoked a complex amalgam of emotions and attitudes in Russian society from ecstatic expectations of the impending fulfillment of Russias historical destiny (as we have seen in case of Tiutchev,
Pogodin, and Shevyrev) to a bitter defeatism, which hoped that military
loss might bring with it a weakening of the repressive regime.31 This is not
to say that all critics of the government dreamed of defeat and all enthusiasts of the war blindly supported the government. Alhough Aleksei Khomiakov, like the rest of the Slavophiles, supported the Eastern campaign,
his oppositional mindset is evident in his then-popular poem, Russia
(1854). For Khomiakov, the war had the potential to cleanse the country of
its sins the yoke of slavery and black injustice in the courts and for
this very reason the war opened the way to the realization of Russias high
mission: the liberation of the Slavs: O, unworthy chosen one, you are chosen32 Another proponent of the war, Mikhail Pogodin who had contributed to the theory of official nationality now harshly denounced the
governments unwillingness to introduce some freedom into Russian life
and its readiness to sacrifice the interests of the Slavs, which for him was
tantamount to betraying Russian national interests.33 Thus support for the
war and criticism of the regime often went hand in hand. In Nicholas Russia, where the regime blocked almost all open advocacy of change, militarist
schemes appeared to many the only accessible cure for the countrys ills.
Just like official rhetoric, many critics of the government tended to perceive the Crimean War through the prism of the 1812 triumph. For them,
however, the real value of the Patriotic War lay in its potential to symbolize
unconstrained popular movement, which Nicholas I prudently avoided
rousing, even rhetorically. Hoping that the campaign for the liberation of
brother Slavs would turn into a Russian peoples war, Pogodin claimed that
Russia had reached a moment of decision such as had not been seen since
the days of Poltava and Borodino. He therefore urged the tsar to sound the
31

The defeatist approach is reflected in memoirs by the famous historian S. M. Soloviev


and a journalist E. M. Feoktistov (Zapiski Sergeia Mikhailovicha Soloveva. Petrograd,
1914. P. 150; E. M. Feoktistov. Za kulisami politiki i literatury: 1848-1896: Vospominaniia. Moscow, 1991. P. 105).
32
On the governments sharply negative reaction to this poem of Khomiakovs, see:
O. M. Bodianskii. Vyderzhki iz dnevnika // Sbornik obshchestva liubitelei rossiiskoi
slovesnosti na 1891 god. Moscow, 1891. Pp. 123-124 (entry of June 19, 1854).
33
M. P. Pogodin. Pismo k grafine Bludovoi, v dekabre mesiatse 1855 // Pogodin. Istorikopoliticheskie pisma i zapiski v prodolzhenii Krymskoi voiny. Pp. 78-80.

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call and raise up all the land.34 The diary of V. S. Aksakova, sister of
two famous Slavophiles, records how the growing oppositional mood among
Moscow intellectuals coalesced around the memory of the Patriotic War as
a peoples war. She compared the militias of 1812 and 1855 to reveal, on
the one hand, the governments underlying fear of popular participation in
military action and, on the other, the peoples boundless potential and capacity for deciding the fate of Russia. After the noble assemblies of several
Russian provinces elected the disgraced Ermolov, a hero of the Patriotic
War, to head the militia, he took on in the eyes of society the aura of a national leader and even a rival to the tsar. Regularly compared with M. I. Kutuzov,
the commander-in-chief of the Russian Army of 1812 (and who had also
been little loved by the court), Ermolov came to represent the nation as
distinct from the absolutist state.35
Both major intellectual trends of the time, Slavophilism and Westernism,
subscribed to the vision of 1812 as evidence of the peoples viability and
strength. In the first volume of My Past and Thoughts, as in many other
works of his written during and immediately after the Crimean War, Herzen
utilizes the memory of the Russian triumph over Napoleon as a means of
revealing the nation, otherwise obscured by Nicholas regime. Of course,
the mission assigned the Russian people by the famous Westernizer differed substantially from that envisioned by the Slavophiles and Panslavists.
The moral superiority of the Russian people over Western civilizations,
their immunity to bourgeois corruption and their ability to bring socialism to Europe, thus once again liberating the Europeans (this time from the
tyranny of bourgeois values, rather than from Napoleon) all these constructs Herzen demonstrated through references to and comparison with
the glory of 1812 that was understood as a military accomplishment of the
common folk.36 Although, like the Slavophiles, Herzen takes the memory
of 1812 as a token of national superiority, unlike them he weaves the victory over Napoleon into a history of the revolutionary movement in Russia,
thus even more dramatically contrasting the people and the government. In
34

Ibid. P. 78. This article passed from hand to hand and was read in the Winter Palace.
V. S. Aksakova. Dnevnik (1854-1855). St. Petersburg, 1913. Pp. 102-103, 126 (entries
of April 10 and September 3, 1855). M. O. Bodianskiis diary also records testimony to
the fact that at the time of the Crimean campaign the memory of M. I. Kutuzov was
cultivated as a symbol of popular war (Bodianskii. Vyderzhki iz dnevnika. P. 114; entry
of May 21, 1853).
36
Sh. M. Levin. Gertsen i Krymskaia voina // Istoricheskie zapiski / Edited by B. D. Grekov. Moscow, 1949. Vol. 29. Pp. 164-199.
35

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this way, the memory of the Patriotic War being promoted by the intelligentsia sounded an altogether different note than did government propaganda.
Many years later, Dostoevskii parodied these struggles over 1812 in his
novel, The Idiot (1868-1869). The author devotes an entire chapter to the
mentally disturbed general Ivolgins fantastic tale about how as a boy he
stayed behind in French-held Moscow and served as a page to Napoleon.
This tale is but a hyperbolic version of the many appropriations of the memory of 1812. A man of ruined reputation, Ivolgin uses the sacred national
symbol to rehabilitate himself in the eyes of his fellows. The general has
his child persona utter fiery patriotic phrases, impressing the great conqueror with the indomitable Russian spirit.37 To make clear the parodic
function of Ivolgins memoirs, Dostoevskii introduces a competing wild
story on exactly the same subject: the tale of Lebedevs leg, blown off by a
bomb and buried with pomp and circumstance in French-held Moscow.
Lebedev concocts this story, despite being in possession of two perfectly
healthy legs, and in any case being much too young to have participated in
the 1812 events, in order to openly ridicule the disturbed general.
Both absurd anecdotes represent Dostoevskiis covert sarcasm at the
uses of the Patriotic War. It is no coincidence though it seems at first
glance strange that Prince Myshkin, the novels protagonist, should compare Ivolgins mad inventions to the opening chapter of Herzens Past and
Thoughts, where the memoirist recounts how, when he was a new-born
baby, he and his parents stayed behind in surrendered Moscow. His father
chanced to meet Napoleon, and the French emperor sent him to the Russian
emperor with an offer of peace.38 Despite their utter dissimilarity in tone
and content, the thematic echoes between Ivolgins and Herzens stories a
child as the natural intermediary between warring sides, and Napoleons
search for a Russian emissary to send to Alexander justify the odd comparison of the mad generals baseless fantasies with Herzens factually
grounded recollection. With his parallel to Ivolgins fantasies, Dostoevskii
discredits Herzens use of memories of the Patriotic War. I would contend
that the authors aim was in fact wider and that The Idiot was parodying the
entire polarization of conceptions of the victory over Napoleon which marked
37

F. M. Dostoevsky. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii v 30 tomakh. Leningrad, 1973. Vol.


VIII. Pp. 409-416. For analysis of the literary sources of this fragment of The Idiot, see
Deborah A. Martinsen. Surprised by Shame: Dostoevskys Liars and Narrative Exposure.
Columbus, 2003. Pp. 78-82.
38
Dostoevsky. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii. Vol. VIII. P. 412; Gertsen. Byloe i dumy.
Chast 1. Moscow, 1958. Pp. 35-36.

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relations between society and the regime. In this context it is significant
that both of Dostoevskiis characters, Ivolgin and Lebedev, recount the events
of 1812 differently, partly because they gravitate to different social and
ideological groups. While the mad general sees himself as an inheritor of
the noble tradition and articulates the tenets of official nationalism, Lebedev
is a raznochinets (a person of humble origins) and a friend of nihilists, who
openly debunked patriotic symbols.
Though, as the novel shows, the Patriotic War persisted into the 1860s
as a highly contested symbol and an indicator of ideological divisions,
Dostoevskii was moved to caricature the struggle because by the end of the
Crimean War 1812 had taken on new connotations within the national discourse. For intellectuals, 1812 became not so much a scenario of popular
war and a means of finding the nation apart from the state, as it had become
a symbol that could be used to criticize both the government and the people. On learning of the surrender of Sevastopol, Dmitrii Obolenskii disputed
the official equation (we are the same, of Borodino and Paris): Now,
in consolation over the fall of Sevastopol, many say: Its nothing. The
enemy was also in Moscow. I dont know if 1812 can serve as a guarantor
of the current wars being concluded successfully not only were the
character and purpose of that war, undertaken by a single conqueror, completely different, but Russian society was also incomparably more whole,
more moral, and the government more reasonable.39 As though challenging
both Innokentiis sermons and the imperial manifestoes, Elena Shtakenshneider likewise opposed the government line, recording in her memoirs the
opinion of the Petersburg liberal circle to which she belonged: Without
railroads, without telegraphs, what made Russia so frightening? Surely not
just its size and unfamiliarity? Or was it still 1812 and the glory of 1814?
We had grown so used to appearing strong that we came to believe in our
own strength, although we should have known very well what strength a
decaying organism possesses.40 In postwar rhetorical practice two series
of metaphors that reflected the need for reforms gained extremely wide
currency. The end of the Crimean campaign saw the proliferation of metaphors of spoilage, sickness, injury, decay, torpor, and the sleep of a great
nation. Meanwhile, with Alexander IIs ascent to the throne and the awakening of hopes for an increase of freedom, metaphors of rebirth, recovery,
39

Dmitrii Obolenskii. Memoirs // Bakhmeteff Archive at Columbia University. Dm.


Obolenskii Collection. Folder I. P. 99.
40
Elena A. Shtakenshneider. Dnevnik i zapiski: 1854-1886. Moscow, 1934. Reprint
with new foreword, Newtonville, 1980. P. 40.

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and refinement joined the metaphors of spoilage in the public domain. Like
many others, Shtakenshneider equated the accomplishments of 1812 with
the nations strength, and current events with its decay.
As the accounts of many memoirists demonstrate, comparison of the
Crimean and Patriotic Wars served as a marker of the generational divide
and as a measure of how far the people had deviated from their authentic
self. This, of course, undermined the official conception of the nation. If
wartime propaganda postulated the might of Russia as the consequence of
exclusive, immutable, and eternal national features (piety and devotion to
the monarch), then the defeat brought into question not only the protective
power of these virtues, but their very existence. Filaret, the metropolitan of
Moscow, directly linked the military failures to Russias deviation from the
path of righteousness and, flatly contradicting official rhetoric, accentuated
the rupture between generations: Sons of Russia! The God of Vladimir,
the God of Alexander Nevskii, the God of Peter from generation to generation down through the centuries has bequeathed and preserved for us the
pure, holy Orthodox faith in Christ and through this faith has sowed and
propagated in the lives of our ancestors good seeds Are we using this
inheritance wisely? It would be hard to stop if we set out to name how
many of the pious, good, innocent, humble traditions and habits of our fathers are neglected and lost.41 Where Filaret, the most authoritative
church leader, considered Orthodoxy compromised and thus questioned the
first tenet of Uvarovs triad, the liberal intellectual elite openly challenged
the underlying principle of official nationality, namely, loyalty to the monarch. The young Moscow University Professor, B. N. Chicherin, wrote that
The war had shattered the union of tsar and people, it had decisively disgraced the reign.42 P. A. Valuev, the future Minister of Internal Affairs,
claimed in a personal letter to Alexander II that antagonism permeated societys attitude toward the government.43 To be sure, Filaret, Chicherin,
and Valuev criticized the regime from differing political viewpoints, but all
their observations pointed in the same direction.
41

Filaret (V. M. Drozdov). Beseda v den pamiati sviatitelia Aleksiia (12 fevralia 1855) //
Sochineniia Filareta, mitropolita moskovskogo: Slova i rechi. 5 vols. Moscow, 1885.
Vol. V. Pp. 302-303.
42
B. N. Chicherin, Vostochnaia voina s russkoi tochki zreniia // Blagonamerennyi. 1862.
No. 12. In 1855, this tract circulated in manuscript. (Cited from: Sh. M. Levin. Ocherki
po istorii russkoi obshchestvennoi mysli. Vtoraia polovina XIX nachalo XX veka.
Leningrad, 1974. Pp. 338-339).
43
P. A. Valuev. Duma russkogo vo vtoroi polovine 1855 goda // Russkaia starina. 1893.
Vol. 79. Pp. 512-513.

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Military failure had destabilized the official image of the nation. It similarly undermined the concept of the national empire. Even those critics of
the regime who supported the idea of a dominant homogeneous Russian
mass within the empire (that is, did not distinguish between Ukrainians,
Belorussians, and Great Russians) admitted that Russians did not assimilate subject non-Russian populations, but rather alienated them with forced
Russification. Germans are the same in Alsace and in the towns and castles of Ostsee; why is it that French Germans think of themselves as French,
while ours are still German? asked N. A. Melgunov, the author of a pamphlet exposing Nicholas Russia (1856). Subscribing to the recurrent patriotic clich, he claimed that Russian people are distinguished by their uncommon ability to live alongside other nationalities and succeed in turning them into Russians only under conditions of moral union and respect for other nationalities.44 In Mikhail Katkovs article, Pushkin
(1856), which he placed in the first issues of the newly permitted journal
Russkii vestnik, the national empire is also articulated as a thing to be made,
not a given: The multiplicity of various tribes which occupy our homeland
must consciously and morally submit to the Russian nationality, just as
they now submit to the Russian government. Not the regime with its mechanisms of compulsion, but the universal power of the Russian word and
the great potential of the Russian people, Katkov asserted, would be the
instrument of consolidation of the empire.45
Defeat in the Crimean war brought about fundamental changes in the
national self-image. While explicitly criticizing official nationalism, intellectuals began to search for new strategies for defining the collective self.
Attempting as before to locate the nation apart from the state, independent
thinkers now, rather than claiming the immutability of the Russian people
or defining them by reference to their heroic past or unique natural environment, tended instead to use historical symbols to measure how far the
people had deviated, how the state had damaged them, and what might be
done to improve national life. The idea of the nation as an evolving entity
and an object of care now entered the political discourse. The Patriotic War
came to represent both an instrument for measuring degradation and a lost
ideal that should have been realized. These changes in approaching the
44

N. A. Melgunov. Mysli vslukh ob istekshem tridtsatiletii Rossii // Golosa iz Rossii.


Sborniki A. I. Gertsena i N. P. Ogareva. London, 1856. Issue I. Pp. 66-71, 112-117
(facsimile edition: Moscow: Nauka, 1974-1975).
45
M. N. Katkov. Pushkin. Sochineniia A. S. Pushkina. Izdanie P. V. Annenkova // Russkii
vestnik. 1856. Vol. 1. Issue 2. P. 322.

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O. Maiorova, Searching for a New Language of Collective Self...


collective self were also clearly reflected in how the conception of national
character evolved during the 1850s. The following two sections, in which
this evolution is traced, seek to demonstrate a fundamental shift in the language of self brought about through discussions of national character.
Wartime Representations of National Character
In its catalogue of national virtues, official wartime rhetoric entwined
the peoples humility and devotion to the throne with their martial valor,
and their physical and spiritual strength. What supposedly distinguished
Russians from others was this amalgam of submissiveness and epic heroism symbolized above all, of course, by Ivan Susanin, whose legendary
self-sacrifice in saving Mikhail Romanov, the founder of the ruling dynasty, had placed him during Nicholas reign at the center of myth-making
about the unbreakable union of dynasty and people.46 His blood has soaked
into the heart of every Russian, thus Russkii invalid explained the mass
heroism of the defenders of Sevastopol.47 Physical strength and courage
were traditionally evoked through the feats of ancient Greek and Roman
heroes. This habit, rooted in classicism, of comparing the victors of the
Patriotic War with the heroes of classical antiquity played a key role in
descriptions of that conflict and persisted into the Crimean War. Though
neo-classical style was out of date by the mid-nineteenth century, Russians
clung to it for reasons of their own. If at that time they were saddled with an
inferiority complex when it came to poetry and literature, and denied themselves the right to compete in this arena with Western European countries,48
then military feats, in their eyes, could still elevate them to the heights of
Homeric epic. As a result, there emerged in the pages of Russkii invalid a
curious cultural hybrid: Susanins with classical traits. The newspaper extolled the Russian warrior, graced equally by Spartan qualities and by a
readiness to sacrifice himself at the tsars first word.49
46

L. N. Kiseleva. Stanovlenie russkoi natsionalnoi mifologii v nikolaevskuiu epokhu


(susaninskii siuzhet) // Lotmanovskii sbornik 2. Moscow, 1997; Wortman. Scenarios of
Power. Vol. 1. Pp. 390-395
47
Vnutrennie izvestiia // Russkii invalid. 1854. No. 153. July 11.
48
An anonymous writer for Russkii invalid wrote: If it is true that the literature of every
nation is a complete reflection of its internal and external reality, then Prince [P. A.]
Viazemskiis judgment still holds true, that Russian literature is not so great or significant
as Russia herself. (Voennye rasskazy o podvigakh russkogo voiska, poiavivshiesia v
russkikh zhurnalakh // Russkii invalid. 1854. September 17. No. 208).
49
Ia. Psarev. Russkie-spartantsy // Russkii invalid. 1854. No. 150. July 8.

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In 1854 Pogodin even claimed that the heroes of the current war had
surpassed the Iliad. The source of their superiority over other nations
was, of course, Russian Orthodoxy with its spirit of humility and its readiness to submit to blows, to be wounded for tsar and fatherland.50 This
conflation of bellicosity with self-sacrifice and of Homeric heroes with the
Russian Christ-figure constituted common ground for both official rhetoric
and wartime literary representations of national character, often the product of opposition-minded intellectuals. Although at that time interpretation
of 1812 served as an indicator of ideological divisions, visions of Russias
distinctive spirit functioned similarly at both ends of the political spectrum.
As always in times of crisis, official ideology aggressively solicited support from literature.51 The noble literary elite, in turn, eagerly allied itself
with the government, arrogating to itself the role of enlightened counselor,
capable, as P. A. Viazemskii had foreseen back in the 1830s, of synthesizing
European culture and narodnost.52 In his own literary practice this program engendered a combination of official patriotic rhetoric and a definition of the collective self through folklore, nature, and the customs of the
common people. Far from unique, this combination characterizes a wide
circle of writers of the Crimean War period, including the provincial poetautodidact I. S. Nikitin, plucked from obscurity by the intelligentsia to serve
as true voice of the people. In 1854, Russkii invalid published his missive
To the Don Cossacks (Dontsam), where the constant motifs of official
propaganda all figure: the dominance of the Russian spirit over the entire
imperial geography and the concomitant identification of Russia with Rus;
harsh nature and the endless steppe as our natural defenses; and military
feats as the redeeming sacrifice of the Christ-like Russian warrior.53 One
50

M. P. Pogodin. Neskolko myslei po prochtenii solovetskogo doneseniia // Russkii invalid. 1854. No. 195. September 1; Barsukov. Zhizn i trudy Pogodina. Vol. XIII. P. 199.
51
The newspaper Russkii invalid praised I. S. Turgenevs A Hunters Sketches (although its author had not long before been under arrest) and N. V. Gogols The Inspector-General, and widely quoted Pushkin (particularly To the Slanderers of Russia
and The Anniversary of Borodino). See, for example, Feleton. Smes // Russkii invalid. 1854. No. 186. August 20; Pismo grafa V. A. Sologuba k redaktory Journal de St.
Peterburg // Ibid. 1854. No. 165. July 25.
52
On this position of Viazemskiis, see: E. A. Toldes. O mirovozzrenii P. A. Viazemskogo posle 1825 goda // Pushkinskii sbornik. Issue 2. Riga, 1974. Pp. 123-166.
53
I. N. [I. S. Nikitin] Dontsam // Russkii invalid. 1854. No. 181. August 14. Collections
of I. S. Nikitins verse erroneously indicate that this missive was first published in 1912
(see I. S. Nikitin. Polnoe sobranie stikhotvorenii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1965. Pp. 166168, 580). In fact it appeared initially in Russkii invalid, though the newspaper version
differs substantially from the authors version, due to the censors interference. On how

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O. Maiorova, Searching for a New Language of Collective Self...


cannot, however, consider Nikitin a mouthpiece of official propaganda.
Comparison of the authors version of the poem with its newspaper edition
shows that the censor downplayed the theme of the Russian peoples love
for freedom and their boundless might, suppressed the motif of liberating
brother-Slavs, and foregrounded faithfulness to the dynasty and the defense of thrones, even foreign ones, as a distinctive national trait. However
significant these discrepancies, they still left room for using identical patriotic idioms and glorifying the very same national qualities.
Lev Tolstoys wartime prose demonstrates that he also drew on the
common arsenal of patriotic rhetoric, though he did so ambivalently and
searched for new justifications for widespread idioms. At the start of the
war, depressed by the military losses, the young artillery officer Count
Tolstoy sharply criticized the Russian army, seeing in it the corrupt and
repressive regime in miniature. Like the majority of intellectuals, he blames
military failures on serfdom, which official propaganda had completely
erased from the general picture: We have not an army, but a rabble of
oppressed slaves, taking orders from thieves and mercenaries.54 Tolstoy
pronounces this verdict in an unfinished tract that reads like part of the
periods flood of expos literature. Yet, as Donna Orwin has astutely observed, the articles dismal classification of Russian soldiers (oppressed,
oppressive, and despairing) finds its optimistic mirror image in the story
The Woodfelling (1855), completed after the author, arriving in Sevastopol, experienced a strong attack of patriotism.55 Here Tolstoy divides
soldiers into the submissive, the commanding, and the despairing, endowing the commanding with noble traits and declaring the submissive to be the most widespread type, embodying the best Christian virNikitins poetry mingled praise for Russias military glory with descriptions of Russias
distinctive landscape, see Ely. This Meager Nature. P. 121.
54
L. N. Tolstoy. Zapiska ob otritsatelnykh storornakh russkogo soldata i ofitsera //
L. N. Tolstoy. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii v 90 tomakh. Moscow-Leningrad, 1928-1958.
Vol. IV. P. 291. Since the author left the article unfinished and untitled, the title cited
above was given by the editors of the collected works (some scholars consider this title
groundless, see N. N. Gusev. Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy: Materialy k biografii s 1828 po
1855 god. Moscow, 1954. P. 528). This tract by Tolstoy, intended for submission to one
of Nicholas Is sons and inspired by hopes of army reform, was not circulated in manuscript.
55
Donna Orwin. Tolstoy and Patriotism // Andrew Donskov and John Woodsworth (Ed.).
Lev Tolstoy and the Concept of Brotherhood. New York; Ottawa; Toronto, 1996. P. 56.
On Tolstoys patriotic mood at the start of the Crimean War, see R. F. Christian. Tolstoy:
A Critical Introduction. Cambridge, UK., 1969. Pp. 59-60.

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tues.56 In the sketch, Sevastopol in December (1855), written immediately after The Woodfelling, Tolstoy more explicitly excludes the theme
of oppression from his picture of the army, claiming that neither the hope of
reward nor the fear of authority could inspire such feats as the defenders of
Sevastopol had accomplished.57
One idealized national trait begets another. The unbreakable union of
humility and heroism constitutes the underlying motif of Sevastopol in
December and fits tidily into official war rhetoric. Moreover, by accentuating the epic strength of the Russian warrior, the writer clothes him in
antique dress, and in this way again echoes official propaganda. In the same
kind of conventional spirit that he will subsequently deride in War and
Peace, Tolstoy calls Kornilov a hero worthy of ancient Greece.58 If the
author of War and Peace makes it his aim to reveal the truth hidden behind
the mythical accretions, then in this Sevastopol sketch he, on the contrary,
portrays the ongoing military action as the embodiment of a glorious historical legend.59
In Tolstoys military prose of the 1850s one finds a number of other
thematic echoes of official propaganda. As in Innokentiis sermons, the
author symbolically annexes the Crimean peninsula to the Russian spirit.
While depicting southern nature as markedly exotic, he at the same time
asserts that the fearlessness of Sevastopols inhabitants gives the town a
thoroughly Russian character.60 The motifs of unique Russian bravery (in
56

Tolstoy, however, admits in this story that he also knows those who command badly.
L. N. Tolstoy. Rubka lesa // Tolstoy. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii v 90 tomakh. Vol. III.
Pp. 309-311.
57
Tolstoy. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii. Vol. IV. P. 16.
58
Ibid. P. 16. These lines are in direct contrast with the episode in War and Peace where
the author through Nikolai Rostov ridicules the comparison of Raevskiis triumph to the
legendary heroism of the Greeks at Thermopylae.
59
Ibid. P. 16.
60
In besieged Sevastopol, every soldier goes about his work calmly, assuredly, coolly,
as though all this were happening somewhere in Tula or Saransk (Ibid. P. 5). The author
mentions towns in Russias heartland not only because their inhabitants are far from
danger. Apart from this obvious reason, the comparison also asserts the unchanging
ethos of Russians in any corner of the empire. It is characteristic that the sketch should
conclude with the assertion that not only will Sevastopol not be taken by the enemy, but
it is impossible to shake the power of the Russian people, wherever they may be (Ibid.
P. 16; italics mine O.M.) In the sketch Sevastopol in May Tolstoy again emphasizes
the unified nature of people throughout Russia in Saratov, in Mamadysh, in Vinnitsa
(Ibid. P. 23). He enumerates here cities populated by various ethnic groups of the empire
(Great Russians, Tatars, Ukrainians, and Jews).

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O. Maiorova, Searching for a New Language of Collective Self...


details developed in The Raid and Sevastopol in December)61 and unity across social barriers (Sevastopol in December), the optimistic tone of
the story about the surrender of Sevastopol (Sevastopol in August) all
these constitute points of commonality between Tolstoy and official propaganda. It comes as no surprise that Russkii invalid excerpted the sketch
Sevastopol in December from Sovremennik, and Alexander II ordered
that the sketch be translated into French.62
This is not to overlook the serious limitations in Tolstoys willingness to
subscribe to the official vision of the nation, or to downplay his iconoclastic attitude towards conventional literary representations of the war. As
Eikhenbaum observed, Tolstoys instinct to contradict made him incapable of writing anything primitive or tendentious.63 Like Nikitin and many
others, Tolstoy interwove elements of official rhetoric with a definition of
the Russian self through folklore and authentic national traditions.64 Like
no one else, he enriched his battle prose with fine psychological portraits
that were arresting to his contemporaries. The censors numerous changes
to the journal version of the Sevastopol stories testify to their innovative
character and Tolstoys unusual use of existing idioms. The dialectic of fear
and courage, pacifism combined with delight at military feats, the portrayal
of blood and mud as a background for heroism and, finally, the absence of
jingoistic slogans all of these the censors pen and scissors corrected.65
Even though during the Crimean campaign Tolstoy overturned many conventional assumptions about the war, this should not prevent us from seeing that he exploited extant patriotic idioms and praised the same national
traits that were idealized in Russkii invalid. He praised them, however, on
new rhetorical and mimetic grounds. Here Tolstoys famous defamiliarization making the ordinary extraordinary and thus refreshing or changing
our vision of familiar things comes into play.

61

Orwin. Tolstoy and patriotism. P. 57.


Russkii invalid. 1855. No. 122. June 5; For V. I. Sreznevskiis comments on this fact
see Tolstoy. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii. Vol. IV. P. 385.
63
B. M. Eikheinbaum. Lev Tolstoy. Mnchen, 1968. Vol. 1. P. 147.
64
In The Wood-felling Tolstoy explicitly followed I. S. Turgenevs The Singers
(and dedicated the story to him) defining the national character through folk songs. For
a discussion of how Turgenevs approach to the Russian true self influenced The Woodfelling see: Orwin. Tolstoy and patriotism. P. 57.
65
The censors corrections of the Sevastopol stories are reflected in printed variations of
the text: Tolstoy. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii. Vol. IV. Pp. 173-278.
62

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Tolstoys The Cossacks and the Postwar Shift in the Vision of the Nation
In the years immediately following his return from Sevastopol, Tolstoys attitude toward wartime rhetoric took a sharply skeptical turn, due in
part to the influence of the liberal intelligentsia and the opposition-minded
circle around the journal Sovremennik, where all his first writings appeared.
By the beginning of the 1860s, however, he developed a no less critical
view of the liberal movement, with its Westernism, progressivism, propagandizing for womens emancipation, advocacy of modernization of Russian institutions, and reliance on the bureaucratic state as a major agency of
the impending reforms. In The Decembrists (1860-1861) an unfinished
novel that laid the groundwork for War and Peace, but was set in the
1850s he finds a way to target both wartime patriotic language and the
intelligentsias post-war exaltation at the prospect of fundamental change.
Tolstoy here retells his own Sevastopol sketches in parodic fashion, while
at the same time highlighting the absurdity of the triumphal spirit that prevailed in educated society as the defeat was being absorbed: ...the victorious Russian troops returned from surrendering Sevastopol to the enemy...
Russia celebrated the destruction of the Black Sea fleet, and Moscow of the
White Stones met and congratulated the remainder of the fleets crews on
these happy events.66
If The Decembrists reveals the writers tendency to debunk the ideological trends of the 1850s, then the novella The Cossacks (1853-1863) represents his attempt to provide new communal definitions and goals. Like the
literature of the preceding decades, The Cossacks approached the question
of the authentic Russian self by juxtaposing the Europeanized cultural elite
with the simple folk, taken as the incarnation of the national spirit. The
aristocrat Olenin, the authors alter ego, finds his ideal in a Cossack village,
but his desire to fit into it proves unsuccessful. There is nothing new in the
conflict itself, except, perhaps, the piercing sense of personal tragedy Olenin experiences over his estrangement from the Cossacks. What is new is
that the novella signaled a move away from simple worship of the common
people as the repository of true Russian virtues. Though Tolstoy elevates
the Cossack community to epic heights,67 through this celebration he ad66
Tolstoy. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii. Vol. XVII. P. 8. On Tolstoys shift towards liberalism after his return from Sevastopol and his subsequent rejection of liberal ideas, see
Kathryn B. Feuer. Tolstoy and the Genesis of War and Peace. Ithaca, 1996. Pp. 135-167.
67
While working on the story, Tolstoy several times compares the Cossack world with
Homers epic and Biblical legends (Tolstoy. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii. Vol. XLVII.
P. 146).

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dresses key issues which had come into sharp focus as a result of the defeat:
How should the national community develop? Who and what embodied its
true spirit? Where were the resources for its consolidation to come from?
Expressive of Tolstoys personal views, which differed substantially from
any of the ideological movements of the late 1850s and early 1860s, The
Cossacks at the same time fits within the broad current of attempts to discursively redefine the Russian collective self.
The novella undermines the notion of Russians distinctive quality as an
amalgam of strength and submissiveness. Among the Cossack traits foregrounded in the story, there is no mention of either humility or obedience,
while independence, initiative, adventurousness, and daring appear in abundance, often to excess. Although Olenin condemns the theft, debauchery
and sexual license of the village, the self-reliance, creative potential, and
primordial energy of the Cossacks captivate him, overshadowing problematic ethical areas in the life of the community. What attracts both protagonist and author to the Cossacks is their spirit of independence, inherent
not only in the men but also the women of the community. Descendants
of refugees from Russia, living from time immemorial in the Caucasus
on the Greben (the Ridge) the first crest of forested mountains in
Chechnia, this Old Believer community escaped from both church control and state pressure, above all from serfdom, and thus symbolizes a
double freedom, religious and personal. The independent spirit of these
inhabitants of the empires dangerous frontier holds deep political implications.
While Tolstoy was still in the Caucasus (1851-1854), the wild country attracted him with its combination of two utterly contradictory things
war and freedom.68 These contradictory things coalesce in the underlying thematic motif of the novella, making it possible for Tolstoy to explicitly position the Greben Cossacks apart from the state. Drawn into war with
the Chechens, they do not enter the regular standing army, with its subjection of every soldier to the brutality of the commanders and equally rampant indulgence in violence toward civilians. Moreover, Tolstoy stresses
the spirit of enmity that separates the army and the Cossacks. The Greben
settlers look with hatred on the infantry regiment quartered in their village.
Cossack women curse the soldiers and call them the horde. The author
emphasizes that the Cossack disdains the oppressor-soldier, and in a
draft of the novella even compares the infantry regiment in the Cossack
68

Ibid. Vol. XLVII. P. 10 (entry of July 9, 1854).

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village to an enemy army in captured territory.69 Indeed, the Greben Cossacks often react to the Russian troops as enemies. Tolstoy places at the
center of the story a symbolic scene where the daring Lukashka, one of the
central characters and the embodiment of the Cossack spirit, intentionally
refuses to give way to soldiers marching towards him, thereby seeking an
altercation.70 The Greben community becomes neither the object of systematic oppression on the part of the regime (like the mass of Russian peasants) nor the subject of state coercion (like the regular army).
Tolstoy not only plucks the Greben community from the shadow of the
state, but also highlights how different its members are from the rest of
Russian ethnicity, thus calling into question Russians homogeneity as an
ethnic group. While the soldiers ridicule the Cossacks language and customs and do not recognize them as Russians, for the Greben community
the Russian muzhik is something strange, a wild and contemptible creature.71 Mutual alienation, according to Tolstoy, divides not only the army
and civilians, not only the cultural elite and the simple folk, but also the
Russian common people among themselves. At the same time that Tolstoy
raises high cultural and linguistic barriers between different groups of the
empires ethnic core, he blurs the lines between the Cossacks and their
Muslim counterparts. Due to their centuries-long contacts and intermarriages, the exiles of the Greben show some similarities to the Chechens: a
common ethos with respect to war; the cult of the horse, bravery, highwaymen, weapons, friendship (kunaki), and freedom;72 and the dominant position of women in domestic life.73 If in The Woodfelling (1855) Tolstoy
tends to attribute true courage only to Russians, contrasting them with peoples of the East,74 he is now inclined to liken the Greben community to the
Chechens, with their martial spirit constituting the point of commonality. It
is possible to identify two converging, though seemingly contradictory, tendencies in this works depiction of the Cossacks. On the one hand, Tolstoy
69

Ibid. Vol. VI. P. 16, 51. The draft is published in L. N. Tolstoy. Kazaki. Moscow, 1961.
Pp. 163-167.
70
Tolstoy. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii. Vol. VI. Pp. 51-52.
71
Ibid. P. 16.
72
Susan Layton. Russian Literature and Empire: Conquest of the Caucasus from Pushkin
to Tolstoy. Cambridge; New York, NY, 1994. Pp. 236, 245.
73
Tolstoy. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii. Vol. VI. P. 16. In this instance Tolstoy is of course
breaking stereotypes about both the Muslim world and Russian traditions and confronts
the liberal intelligentsia, with its advocacy of womens emancipation
74
Eastern courage, the writer asserts, unlike Russian courage, is based on a quickly
flaring and quickly cooling enthusiasm.

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emphasizes their otherness and educates his readers, explaining in detail
the ethnographic and linguistic differences of the Grebens inhabitants from
the peasants of Russias heartland. On the other hand, Tolstoy claims that
the Cossacks held onto the Russian language and old belief in all its
purity,75 ascribes to them elements of central Russian dialects, and makes
them the bearers of a common Russian folk tradition.76 As a result, the
Greben community simultaneously represents both the Russian self and its
other.77 In these militant Old Believers pushed to the frontier, Tolstoy finds
a free Russian community unconstrained by the state, close to the barbaric
Eastern world and thus embodying Rousseaus ideal of the noble savage.
With this interpretation of the Greben settlers, Tolstoy addresses at least
three sets of issues that were much discussed in the wake of the defeat.
First, he calls the unity of Russian nationhood into question, emphasizing
the fragmented nature of the ruling nationality and the elusiveness of its
body, stifled and divided by the state. Second, he overthrows the myth of a
national empire, portraying the Greben Old Believers as Chechenized,
whereas in traditional interpretations the Cossacks were considered indomitable propagators of the Russian spirit and the prime movers of the imperial mission on the frontiers. Finally, Tolstoy raises the issue of national character, demonstrating that initiative and energy do constitute distinctive Russian traits, but are preserved intact only in a marginalized segment of the
population.
Several generations of thinkers, poets, and writers found an active
and vibrant nation in folklore, language, religious traditions, and historical
memories. The lost war showed, however, just how difficult it was to separate the people from the state, and how easy it was to stifle their creative
potential. Who lost the war: the government or the people? Although the
heroism of the rank and file defenders of Sevastopol seemed to give a clear
answer to that question, doubts inevitably arose: Were only the authorities
guilty? Did they alone bring about the defeat? N. A. Melgunov, the author
of a pamphlet exposing Nicholas Russia, concisely expressed these doubts:
Courage and composure in military affairs are the defining traits of the
Russian; but are these qualities sufficient when it comes not to obeying
75

Ibid. Vol. VI. P. 15.


L. D. Opulskaia. Povest L. N. Tolstogo Kazaki // Tolstoy. Kazaki. Moscow, 1961. P.
348 (footnote 11).
77
On representations of Cossacks in literature as simultaneously Russian self and other,
see Judith Kornblatt. The Cossack Hero in Russian Literature: A Study in Cultural
Mythology. Madison, Wisc., 1992. Pp. 94-96.
76

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an order, but using ones head!78 The sentence ends not with a question
mark but an exclamation point. For many thinkers, the defeat had provided
a dismal answer.
The passivity of the common people came to occupy the central place in
political tracts circulated in manuscript or published abroad at the end of
the war and immediately thereafter. The Westernizers B. N. Chicherin and
K. D. Kavelin saw the Russian muzhik as a miserable sufferer not yet
awakened to independent and rational action.79 Even the Slavophile Iu.
F. Samarin included in his list of blatant Russian maladies the nations mental somnolence and the stagnation of its creative forces. 80 N. A. Melgunov,
who occupied an intermediate position between the Slavophiles and Westernizers, surpassed them all, calling the lack of inventiveness and capacity for initiative Russias original sin.81 Criticism of the national character seeped into literature. I. S. Turgenev focused on passivity among the
educated segments of society. Elena, the main character of his novel On the
Eve (1859), falls in love with the energetic Bulgarian Insarov, rejecting the
attentions of her compatriots because of their lack of convictions and purpose. For Turgenev, the erotic, matrimonial, and ultimately creative debacle of Insarovs Russian rivals resulted not so much from their own personal weaknesses as from the suffocating political system which had deprived
them of initiative. Lingering oppression damaged all levels of society, submerging it in lethargy on this point intellectuals from across the political
spectrum could agree.82
Although, unlike the liberals, Tolstoy saw the Crimean war and the defense of Sevastopol as confirmations of the might of the Russian people,
for him the bureaucracy in general and Nicholas regime in particular had
weakened and suppressed the nation. Unlike the majority of his contemporaries, however, he expressed this thought not by negative means that is,
by pointing out what was lacking; but positively by celebrating the spirit
of independence and creativity that still survived, if only in a community
78

N. A. Melgunov. Mysli vslukh ob istekshem tridtsatiletii Rossii. P. 130-131.


Russkii liberal [K. D. Kavelin and B. N. Chicherin]. Pismo k izdateliu // Golosa iz
Rossii. Sborniki A. I. Gertsena i N. P. Ogareva. London, 1856 (facsimile edition). Issue
I. P. 23.
80
Iu. F. Samarin. O krepostnom sostoianii i o perekhode iz nego k grazhdanskoi svobode (1854-56) // Iu. F. Samarin. Sochineniia. Moscow, 1878. Vol. 2. P. 18.
81
Melgunov. Mysli vslukh ob istekshem tridtsatiletii Rossii. Pp. 118-120; N. A. Melgunov.
Priiatelskii razgovor // Golosa iz Rossii. Issue II. London, 1856 (facsimile edition). P. 25.
82
Golosa iz Rossii. Issue II. Pp. 39, 130-131, 139, 159.
79

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driven into the hinterlands. Tolstoy was not alone in seeking an epitome of
the nations true and best self in a community of Old Believers. Melgunov
also elevated the schismatics exiled to the Caucasus as the distillation of
everything independent that lies hidden in the simple Russian.83 During
the promulgation of the Great Reforms, Old Believers attracted considerable attention as an active, independent, economically successful, and purposeful part of the population, although representatives of various ideological trends tended to construct them differently. Since schismatics were
persecuted (and during Nicholas reign, especially severely), revolutionary
intellectuals placed great hope in the supposed power of their discontent
and considered them the bulwark of the coming revolution.84 Liberal and
conservative publications, on the other hand, often treated them as potential allies of the regime (if only the government would show them tolerance) and looked to their reunion with the official church as a source of
national consolidation.85 Both ends of the political spectrum identified the
Old Believers as a powerful political force; in the former instance destructive, in the latter formative.
Like the radicals, Tolstoy celebrates the Old Believer community as
proof positive that Russian people do exist and flourish apart from the state.
He values them particularly for their isolation from the bulk of the population and for their relative independence from the coercive apparatus of the
regime. Tolstoy does not, however, see them as a destructive force. Like
the liberals and conservatives, he rather portrays the Old Believers as an
embodiment of communal cohesion, a vessel of Russian identity, and a
resource for national rebirth, if only their spirit could be diffused to the
wider population. To reinforce the potency of this construct, Tolstoy singles out the Greben community in two distinctive ways. First, he extends
the history of these settlers opposition to the state. Without a hint of skepticism, the author recounts the Greben Cossacks legend of how at the time
of Ivan the Terrible they were already recognized as an Old Believer community and the tsar guaranteed them religious tolerance.86 Although Greben
83

Melgunov. Mysli vslukh ob istekshem tridtsatiletii Rossii. Pp. 110-111.


For the revolutionary approach to Old Believers see V. I. Kelsiev (Ed.). Sbornik
pravitelstvennykh svedenii o raskolnikakh. London, 1860-1862. Vol. I- IV. It was
Gertsen who inspired Kelsievs work.
85
N. S. Leskovs story The Sealed Angel (1873) reflects the second approach to the
Old Believers, advocated by M. N. Katkov. It was not a coincidence that the story was
published in Katkovs journal Russkii vestnik.
86
Tolstoy. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii. Vol. VI. Pp. 15-16.
84

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folklore does in fact include a legend about negotiating rights with Ivan the
Terrible, in the sixteenth century the Caucasian exiles could not have been
considered Old Believers, since the church schism occurred some one hundred years after Ivans death. As a second distinctive feature, Tolstoy infuses
the story about the Old Believers with the literary topoi of the Cossack myth.
In Pushkins The Captains Daughter and Gogols Taras Bulba, as in
Tolstoys novella, Cossacks also live at the border of alien worlds temporal, spatial, and cultural at times belonging simultaneously to all, at times
to neither. Within the literary tradition Cossacks also embody a primordial
freedom bordering on amorality, and symbolize, though less explicitly than
in Tolstoys story, Russias ambivalent relation to the East.87 Utilizing these
topoi of the Cossack myth, Tolstoy imbued the Cossacks dual nature with
a sharper political meaning than had his predecessors. If the Greben community represents Russias self, it is not foreign enemies or alien cultures
that serve as Russias other, but the coercive bureaucratic state. Tolstoys
anarchistic views made it possible for him to introduce this innovation into
the Cossack myth and thus radically pluck the Russian people from the
shadow of the state.
What also drew a sharp line between Tolstoy and literary tradition is
that he chose not to locate the Greben community in the historical past (as
does Pushkin) or the mythic past (as in Gogol). The Cossacks subtitle, A
Caucasian story of 1852, localizes the action to a point in time on the eve
of the Crimean War. To understand Tolstoys decision one should take into
consideration that the Russian armys victory in the Caucasus, the only
truly successful theater of the Crimean campaign, led to the regions final
subjection to the Russian empire. While The Cossacks appeared in 1863,
by which time the Caucasus had been declared finally subdued, the subtitle indicates that its characters live in a pre-war as-yet-undefeated Caucasus. This means that the Greben community still sits on a dangerous frontier, has not yet been absorbed into the body of the Russian Empire, and can
symbolize a sense of independence. This is not to say that Tolstoy subscribed to anti-imperialistic ideas at that time. His primary concern was to
re-define the Russian nation, and the pre-war period made it possible for
him to construct the Greben community an embodiment of Russias true
self by juxtaposing it with the Chechen one.
The narrative sharply distinguishes between two types of violence, depicting them in very different ways. At the outset of the story, Lukashka,
87

Kornblatt. The Cossack Hero in Russian Literature. P. 96.

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O. Maiorova, Searching for a New Language of Collective Self...


without a moments hesitation, kills a Chechen abrek who intrudes into
Russian territory. Tolstoy describes this killing twice: initially in third person, in an objective manner; and then in first person, in the words of Lukashka
himself, who is excited and proud of the killing. In both versions Tolstoy
surprisingly downplays the moral aspects of the act and the psychology of
courage, both of which are central themes in his martial prose. Moreover,
the author surrounds the event with hunting scenes and comparisons with
the life of animals, evoking in the reader associations with instinctual struggle
and thus justifying the shooting. Olenins reflections on the moral aspect of
the killing serve only to deepen the divide between him and the Greben
settlers, without shedding any light on the event. Among the Cossacks, it is
the old man Eroshka an intermediary between the aristocratic protagonist
and the Greben community who broaches the ethical side of the killing.
But Eroshka sharply limits his discussion of the subject. Yet when soldiers
of the regular army do violence to the Chechens, the author both directly
and indirectly condemns their actions. Now Eroshka does not hold back,
but speaks repeatedly (once he even breaks into song) about the senselessness of the violence inflicted on the mountain-folk by the Russian soldiers.88
The difference in these assessments is explained by the differing nature of
the violence in question. When Lukashka kills the Chechen, he is defending
his land and the Greben community. When the regular army destroys a
mountain village, it is obeying an order. Unlike the soldiers, Lukashka not
only commits violence, but voluntarily exposes himself to danger. In the
final clash with the Chechens no one orders him forward, but he rushes into
the fray of his own accord and receives a potentially fatal wound (the reader
is left in doubt as to the heros fate).
The Cossacks relation to violence constitutes their principal similarity
with the Chechens both sides are defending their land and their community. It is important that Lukashka is wounded by the brother of the abrek he
had killed. The two are not anonymous combatants, but mortal enemies.
This lends the entire conflict the quality of a skirmish between two nationalities, which are equals in battle. Tolstoy is thorough in establishing parallels between Lukashka and the abrek he kills at the beginning of the story.
Although we see Lukashkas victim only after his death, the author constantly reiterates that both men were the most successful warriors of their
communities, that both voluntarily rushed forward in clashes with the ene88

For a different interpretation of the morality of the killing, see Donna Tussing Orwin.
Tolstoys Art and Thought, 1847-1880. Princeton, NJ, 1993. Pp. 86-93.

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my, and both possessed the qualities of leadership. Tolstoy also emphasizes each mans physical beauty and uses their racial differences (the
Chechens brown body and Lukashkas white one) as a backdrop against
which to reveal their similarities (strong, muscular, beautiful bodies). 89 By
setting the narrative in 1852, Tolstoy puts the Cossacks in the same position
of fighting for their independence and their communities as the Chechens.
Since the Greben settlers epitomize the nations true self, their equation
with the Chechens symbolically resolved one of the central conundrums of
Russian national consciousness.
In On the Eve Turgenev argues that Russians do not know the meaning
of love of country and have lost all sense of national identity. Resurgent
Bulgaria and still-uniting Italy represent two different scenarios of struggle
for national rebirth, equally attractive to the author and equally inapplicable to his own country, since the struggle for the Russian nation inevitably
entailed struggle on behalf of the regime that had enslaved and oppressed
the nation. The action of the novel begins in the summer of 1853. The work
shows how movements for the independence of the Balkan nations began
to emerge with the Russian armys successes on the Danube at the very
beginning of the Crimean War. The war brought the Bulgarians hope of
emancipation from the Ottoman yoke, but demands by the Russian people
only increased humility.90 This vicious circle tormented Turgenev and, to
be sure, not only him.91 The Cossacks symbolically breaks the circle, dramatizing an ideal scenario where Russians fight for their own community.
A note made while Tolstoy was at work on the novella concisely encapsulates the authors intent: The future of Russia lies in Cossackdom (kazachestvo): freedom, equality, and compulsory military service for all.92
Lukashka at war with the Chechens is the prototype of the citizen-volunteer defending his community, the antithesis both of the standing army which
lost the Crimean war and of the slave-recruit who fulfills a punitive function with respect to his own people. Still, while Tolstoy believes the Greben
89

Tolstoy. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii. Vol. VI. P. 38.


For the ambiguity of Russian patriotic sentiments as reflected in Turgenevs novel, see
Richard Wortman. Natsionalism, narodnost i rossiiskoe gosudarstvo // Neprikosnovennyi
zapas. 2001. No. 3. Pp. 100-105.
91
On Turgenevs delight at the Italian liberation movement as the antithesis of Russian
life, see his letter to Countess E. E. Lambert of June 12 (24), 1859. I. S. Turgenev.
Polnoe sobranie sochinenii i pisem v 28 tomakh. Pisma. Vol. 3. Moscow-Leningrad,
1961. P. 306.
92
Tolstoy. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii. Vol. XLVII. P. 204 (entry of 1 (13) April 1857).
90

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O. Maiorova, Searching for a New Language of Collective Self...


community holds the key to a renascent Russian nation, his vision of Russias future was not a fully-developed political blueprint. Complete plans
for constructing the nation did not appear until after the Polish uprising the
1860s. Moreover, the note cited above is contradicted by Tolstoys views in
subsequent decades. When the regime introduced universal military service (1874) and thus started down the path towards nationalizing the army
(a path taken by many Western governments long before), Tolstoy underwent an evolution of worldview that placed him at the forefront of protests
against compulsory military service on the grounds that the policy contradicted his teaching of nonresistance to violence. But for the time being, in
the late 1850s and early 1860s, he accepted this idea and thus concurred with
the general tendency of national-minded intellectuals to understand the collective self not as a repository of fixed traits, but as an object of care and
transformations. Depicting the Cossack community as the bearer of qualities
central to the nations sense of self, Tolstoy not only worships it, but uses
Cossackdom to suggest the path for the nations possible reconstruction.
In the aftermath of the Crimean war, the idea of improving, correcting,
and perfecting the national character and the community as a whole gained
ascendancy. A. V. Nikitenko wrote in his diary: Up to now we have shown
ourselves to Europe only as a huge fist, threatening its civic life, rather than
a great power intent on its own perfection and development.93 Recalling
the post-war epoch, S. M. Solovev insisted that almost all his contemporaries saw transformation as the only means of recovering the nations
energies.94 Even some Slavophiles subscribed to this idea of recreating
the nation, though, in keeping with romantic nationalism, they considered
the Russian nation long since formed. In 1856, enumerating parallels with
the Russia of his day, Iu. F. Samarin wrote enthusiastically about how in
1807, destroyed by Napoleons army, Prussia awoke from drunken slumber. The abolition of serfdom that followed, enacted by the strong will
and free mind of the reforms initiators, allowed the Prussians to unite
as a nation.95 This invocation of an intellectual force capable of trans93

A. V. Nikitenko. Dnevnik v trekh tomakh. Moscow, 1955. Vol. 1. P. 423 (diary entry
of October 16, 1855).
94
Zapiski Sergeia Mikhailovicha Soloveva. P. 158.
95
Iu. F. Samarin. Uprazdnenie krepostnogo prava i ustroistvo otnoshenii mezhdu
pomeshchikami i krestianami v Prussii // Iu. F. Samarin. Sochineniia. Vol. 2. This work
was originally published in the journal Selskoe blagoustroistvo (1857). Samarin focuses
on the activities of Freiger von Stein, whom he considered the main inspirer of reform
after Prussias defeat by Napoleons troops in 1807.

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forming the national community is very characteristic of post-war rhetoric.
All these quotations signal a major change in approaches to the nation: it is
no longer taken for granted, but often understood as a thing to be made or
(re)built.
David Bell identifies the awareness of a need to recreate the nation as
the distinctive feature of nationalist ideologies, and traces how, propelled
by institutional crisis, this idea emerged with particular strength in late eighteenth century France.96 Though, unlike in France, the political concept of
nation remained underdeveloped in Russia, the post-Crimean War era witnessed a similar tendency to subject the national character to fundamental
criticism and thus to foster a vision of the nation as a damaged entity in
need of reconstruction. The weakening of censorship made it possible to
publicly articulate plans for improvement. The fortunate coincidence of
these two fundamental shifts reappraisal of the national character and the
beginning of a thaw allowed the idea of the nation as a thing to be made to
enter public discourse.
Tolstoys note cited above (freedom, equality, and compulsory military service for all) brings together the motto of the French revolution
with a plan for universal military service. A spiritual heir of the Enlightenment well acquainted with Western instruments of national consolidation,
Tolstoy never applied them directly to Russian soil. As an opponent of
Westernization, modernization, and political efforts to change social life,
he looked to Russias rich ethnic history for authentic ways to address urgent national issues. Like many European intellectuals, he saw in the extension of military duties to the entire populace a means of forging the
nation. Like many Russian intellectuals, he inscribed his vision of the nations transformations even those developed under the obvious influence
of West European blueprints within the authentic historical patrimony (in
this case, the Cossack institution). This approach to vernacular symbolism
marked a major innovation in the national discourse after the war. Intellectuals rediscovered or manufactured historical distinctiveness not only to
celebrate the nation or to foster a belief in its uniqueness, but also to suggest authentic ways of transforming it. National self-image expressed through
cultural myths served as a means for reviving a true national identity.
Although various ideological groups envisioned the development of the
nation in different ways, after the humiliating defeat even right-wing intel96
David Bell. The Unbearable Lightness of Being French: Law, Republicanism, and
National Identity at the End of the Old Regime // The American Historical Review.
2001. Vol. 106. No. 4. Pp. 1215-1235.

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lectuals conceded the necessity of modernizing Russia; which meant that
they, too, appealed to Western models, albeit cautiously. The necessity of
freeing the serfs, expanding the educational system, developing technologies and means of communication, consolidating the ruling nationality,
finding new bases for imperial unity, and reforming the army, inevitably
turned Russians towards Western practices. But no matter what ideas came
to them from the West, almost all conceptions sought to sustain a sense of
national continuity by rhetorically linking borrowed ideas to ethnic symbols and historical myths. In articulating their program of change, even
such Westernizers as Chicherin and Kavelin asserted: we are a nation overwhelmingly attached to our traditions and customs.97 Recovering a virtuous national past came to be understood as a means of introducing changes
that would not destroy the nations authentic self.
The new approach to the nation as a political construct sharply changed
the functions of pre-existing patriotic clichs. We have seen that after the
Crimean War critics of the regime utilized the memory of the Patriotic War
to measure how the national community had deviated from its true self.
Although the image of wide-open spaces never disappeared from the arsenal of Russian rhetoric, it did undergo significant transformation. During
the Crimean War, Innokentiis sermons, Nikitins verse, and Russkii invalids articles all reinvented the flat landscape of Russia, with its lack of
natural barriers to enemy incursion, as its most reliable defense. Russias
very boundlessness promised death to any invader and was presented as a
repository of the countrys heroic past. Directly disputing this clich, The
Cossacks breaks the link between native landscape and Russias true self.
Tolstoy turns the exotic Caucasian landscape into the home environment of
the Greben Old Believers, evoking in them a sharp sense of belonging.
Unlike most of the works that contribute to the Cossack literary myth, his
Cossacks are cut off from Russias historical homeland and, therefore, from
the main repository of the nations glorious past. But despite this fact they
preserve the nations essence in its pure form, while it has been lost by
other segments of the population. Tolstoys narrative thus not only contradicts the equation of Russianness with unbounded space, but, much more
important, it undermines definitions of the collective self through reference
to landscape, nature and history.
M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin called the metaphor into question from a different direction. If Tolstoy distances ideal Russianness from its conven97

Russkii liberal [K. D. Kavelin and B. N. Chicherin]. Pismo k izdateliu. P. 32.

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tional physical environment, for Shchedrin the traditional national landscape is treacherous and full of peril not for the invading enemy, but for
Russians themselves. In Provincial Sketches (1856-1857), he first paints a
magnificent image of fields as far as the eye can see which represents the
antithesis of the empty life of bureaucrats the authors main target. But
then the peaceful village idyll morphs into endless sleep, the poetic peasant
becomes an obtuse slave, and the boundless expanse turns bloodthirsty: you
drown in the swamp of provincial life, which on the surface is so green that
from a distance you could, perhaps, imagine it to be a lush meadow.98 Recasting the celebration of conventional Russian nature as a funeral for its
inhabitants, Saltykov-Shchedrin pointed to the path many writers would
later take.99 Melgunov proposed the most radical reinterpretation of the
metaphor by refusing to acknowledge Russias expansive territory at all.
Without proper means of communication, he wrote, the Russian expanses
are a fiction, because a person cannot comprehend them. As this last example shows, attempts to undermine the traditional understanding of national
space stemmed from the sense that the nation needed to be reconstructed,
not praised. An advocate of the development of railroads, Melgunov compared them to the blood vessels of an organism, asserting that Russia would
remain fragmented until she was united by modern means of communication.100
This shift in the function of a stable national symbol reflected a new
approach to the collective self. Before the Crimean War, intellectuals defined the nation by reference to something pre-existing something eternal or long since established, be it the physical environment, divine ordinance, historical achievement, or folk heritage. Within this conceptual framework, the nation was given and the agent of its fate was understood to be
something independent of human will. After the war Russians looked at
themselves through a new lens. They came to see the national community
as an evolving entity that might deviate or be resurrected as a result of the
peoples activity, and that therefore should be treated as an object of care
and construction. Where the former approach fell entirely within the paradigm of romantic nationalism, with its tendency to extrapolate a countrys
98

M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin. Sobranie sochinenii v 20-ti tomakh. Moscow, 1965. Vol.


II. Pp. 12-13, 79.
99
In On the Eve, Turgenev also places in the mouth of one of his central characters the
comparison of Russia with a swamp (I. S. Turgenev. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii i pisem
v 30 tomakh. Sochineniia. Moscow, 1981. Vol. 6. P. 277).
100
Melgunov. Mysli vslukh ob istekshem tridtsatiletii Rossii. Pp. 123, 142.

223

O. Maiorova, Searching for a New Language of Collective Self...


fate from its presumed national character, the latter cautiously adopted a
vision of the nation as political construct, with its premise that nations are
not given, but made. When a nation is to be (re)created, the agent of its fate
is man be it the state, the intelligentsia, or a particular class. This shift
brought with it a new way of using inherited patriotic idioms. The physical
environment, historical achievements, or Providence now became grist for
discussions of social transformation, tools for rhetorical redefinition of the
nation.

SUMMARY
,
(1853-1856).

1812 ,
, 1850- . ,
,
. ,
, , . ,

, . 1850- , ,
. , 1860- ,
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1875 .
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LVIA. F. 378. BS, 1864. B. 1461. Ll. 10-11.
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LVIA. F. 378. BS, 1864. B. 1461. L. 2.
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25
LVIA. F. 378. BS, 1866. B. 1152.
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262

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266

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. .: D. Brower. Islam and Ethnicity:
Russian Colonial Policy in Turkestan // Russias Orient. Pp. 113-135; Adeeb Khalid.
The Politics of Muslim Cultural Reform. Jadidism in Central Asia. Berkeley, 1998. Pp.
50-61; . . . (1865-1917):
. , 1998.
113
114

268

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269

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,
( 17 1905 .).118
SUMMARY
Mikhail Dolbilov explores the broad state-led campaign of conversion
to Orthodoxy in the Western borderlands after the January uprising of 1863.
The author situates his research in the context of recent studies of religion
and confession in the Russian empire that highlight the secular and etatist
approach of the imperial government to the Orthodox Church and conversion to Orthodoxy. Focusing on middle-rank bureaucrats who were in charge
of confessional policy in the Western borderlands, Dolbilov argues that the
development of popular Catholicism (as a pan-European phenomenon of
moving toward a more visceral and mystical mode of religiosity) brought
about a perception of Catholicism as ill-suited for the collective identification of subjects with the sovereign. The author analyzes in detail the growing desire of middle and high ranking functionaries to engage in an interventionist policy by way of using police and administrative coercion in the
process of converting of the local Catholic population to Orthodoxy. The
author further analyzes the details of the conversion campaign with accompanying misdemeanors, violence, and fraud. He notes that this large scale
social engineering effort to link political allegiance with confessional status brought about unexpected consequences. It exacerbated conflicts between local functionaries and high-ranked bureaucrats, as well as those
between the Orthodox community in the Western borderlands and newly
converted Orthodox lay people. The article concludes with an analysis of
the failure of the state-led conversion campaign, the key to which was the
growing concern with the spread of atheist ideas and concomitant rise of
political radicalism. The author infers that the Western borderlands campaign demonstrated the limits of mass proselytizing and interventionist policy
in a confessional state and suggests that it ushered imperial bureaucrats
toward the path that ultimately resulted in the acceptance of freedom of
conscience in 1905.
. . 373-375; . .
:
1905 . // Lietuvi katalik mokslo akademijos metratis. Vol. XXVI. Vilnius, 2005. .
447-475.
118

270

Ab Imperio, 4/2006

Liliana RIGA
James KENNEDY

MITTELEUROPA AS MIDDLE AMERICA?


THE INQUIRY AND THE MAPPING
OF EAST CENTRAL EUROPE IN 1919*

The Paris Peace Conferences in 1919 gave 60 million people in East


Central Europe their own states, and another 25 million became ethnic minorities. The Wilsonian commitment to national self-determination assumed that nationalism had been responsible for the War. Its containment,
therefore, required that ethnocultural boundaries be made coterminous with
political ones. So border changes combined with the imposition of minority rights regimes were the main strategies for accommodating identities
and politics in the new East Central Europe. Wilsonians believed that the
road to peace lay in democratizing nationalism understood by American
elites as self-government of the oppressed and in preventing the return
of the atavistic imperialisms rooted in Old Europes social and political
structures.
The United States had brought the big idea to the conference, and it
found fertile soil in East Central Europe. Wilsons rhetoric of national selfdetermination resonated among the nationalities Slovaks, Poles, Czechs,
Serbs, Rumanians and others who had been under illiberal German occu*
We gratefully acknowledge the financial assistance of British Academy Small Grant
SG-44152 and the comments and suggestions of Dominique Arel and Nadine Akhund
on an earlier version of this article, as well the anonymous reviewer of Ab Imperio.

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L. Riga, J. Kennedy, Mitteleuropa as Middle America?


pation, Russian, Austro-Hungarian or Ottoman rule. But where did these
ideas come from? This article explores the influences on those tasked with
mapping a new East Central Europe at the peace conference, focusing on the
most influential of the Allied powers, the United States and the members of
what became known as The Inquiry, a group of academics Wilson appointed to translate national self-determination into postwar boundaries.1
Of course the principle of national self-determination was not an American invention. It had its roots in Central European socialism and was famously developed by the Austro-Marxists and espoused by Lenin years
before Wilsons speech. But its ideas found intellectual and political adherents in two very different contexts: (upper) middle class American Progressive intellectuals, and elites among the smaller nationalities in Central
Europes crumbling multiethnic empires who saw it, and American support, as the key to political power. The language of self-determination resonated with American Progressives domestic social commitments to the
liberal and democratic rights of the common man. Borrowed by Wilson
from socialist internationalists in Central and Eastern Europe, repackaged
in the language of American liberalism, and scientifically grounded in
census and statistical data on the various nationalities, it not only appealed
to the claims of East Central Europes small nationalities but, as the American administration saw it, it also allowed a counterbalance to the rightist
forces of militarist, conservative nationalisms in Europe.2 In the Progressives analysis, self-determination was democratic and of the people, nationalism was of militarist old elites, amoral industrialists, and privileged
aristocracies of the old order many of the same criticisms they were leveling at the United States domestic ills.
Significantly, it was the American Inquirys constructions and definitions of what constituted ethnicity which provided nearly all the ethnographic research, and most of the political judgments, which guided the
boundary deliberations at Versailles. Of course American plenipotentiaries
did not get everything they wanted, and some of the final boundary settle1

Wilsons Fourteen Points speech was drafted by the Inquiry (Walter Lippman, Sidney
Mezes, and David Hunter Miller). The term league was the Inquirys substitution for
association. Lawrence E. Gelfand. The Inquiry: American Preparations for Peace,
1917-1919. New Haven, 1963.
2
On the American desire to use it to counter rightism in East Central Europe, see Klaus
Schwabe. Woodrow Wilson, Revolutionary Germany and Peacemaking 1918-1919.
Chapel Hill, 1985. Pp. 17-19. A few years later it would also be seen as an effective
ideological response to Bolshevism.

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Ab Imperio, 4/2006
ments reflected where their judgments were overruled or, as they put it,
where realpolitik had prevailed. Nevertheless, even when boundary decisions did not go their way, the American Inquirys extensive and meticulous research formed the ethnographic basis of the newly constructed nation-states. The aims of this article, then, are to retrieve the social and intellectual sources of the constructions of national self-determination in 1919
in the mapping of East Central Europe, and to explore the degree to which
American elites universalized particular and new constructions of ethnicity, nationalism, and more pointedly, liberal assimilation. It elaborates,
in other words, Middle American understandings of Mitteleuropean nationalities.
The Inquiry
President Wilson had committed the United States to the War late, indeed intentionally at a point when it was clear that the United States entry
would be determinative in the outcome and so could decisively shape the
post-war peace settlements. In early September 1917 Wilson was cognizant of rumors of an immanent peace and well aware that the Allied Powers
were preparing their cases for the peace conference. He therefore asked his
closest advisor, Colonel Edward House, to quietly gather a group of
academic specialists to collect data on the political, economic, social, and
ethnic requirements for working out an American position on what the postwar peace should look like. This effectively created the Inquiry, the United
States first think tank. It was independent of the electoral process and
worked in relative isolation, but it drew on information from the United
States State Department and Military Intelligence units, and the Central
Powers census data and maps; and because of its very specific mandate
and close proximity to House, it became highly influential at the highest
level of policymaking. Indeed its work was funded by a special reserve
available only to the President. For the fourteen months of its existence the
Inquiry was instructed not only to gather data in the form of ethnographies,
statistics, personality sketches, histories, and economic conditions about the
Central Powers, but they were also mandated to formulate the United States
recommendations for mapping East Central Europes new boundaries.3
3
Gelfand. Op. Cit.; Lawrence E. Gelfand. The American Commission to negotiate the
Peace: An Historian Looks Back // M. F. Boemeke, G. D. Feldman, E. Glaser (Eds.).
The Treaty of Versailles: A Reassessment After 75 Years. Cambridge, 1998. We draw
on this classic work through this section.

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L. Riga, J. Kennedy, Mitteleuropa as Middle America?


Wilson distrusted his Secretary of State, Robert Lansing, and had little
faith in the State Departments ability to advise on post-war peace. But he
was also an academic himself, formerly a professor of political science and
Princeton Universitys president, and had a particular affinity with academic experts. He also embodied the general ethos of the generation of
intellectuals that emerged from the Progressive era in the United States, a
generation committed to the scientific re-shaping of society and to a progressivism premised on liberal social reform. The members of the Inquiry
reflected the assumptions and ideas embedded in the Progressivism of the
expanding urban middle classes in the United States, of academia and public intellectuals, and professionals. Wilson and House felt they needed to
make use of men trained in the collection of factual evidence, hence the
commission was staffed with academics and scholars and not professional
policymakers. Wilson and House were guided, in particular, by the general
belief that academics could offer an important public service, and American academics, because of their disinterested review of factual evidence,
could provide an especially important role in shaping the post-war world.
So East Central Europes post-war territorial arrangements were to be constructed as a scientific peace, one based on the objective findings of
American academic specialists rather than on the narrow national interests
of European statesmen or the power politics of old world diplomacy.
Initially their headquarters were in the New York City Public Library,
and later the American Geographical Society offices, where much of the
Inquirys cartography and map work was provided by the Geographical
Society using Prussian/German, Russian, and Austro-Hungarian ethnographic
and census data and Imperial base maps as their starting points. The Inquiry
worked until January 1919, when the Paris Peace talks began, at which
point thirty-five of its members joined Wilson, House, Secretary of State
Lansing, State Department, and Military Intelligence Division (MID) officials in Paris in what became the American Commission to Negotiate the
Peace. The Conferences Territorial Committees boundary recommendations became final and determinant, and the Inquiry and American Commission members and especially their detailed ethnographic research
became exceedingly influential on these commissions as official technical
advisors.4 The United States delegation as a whole projected substantial
4

These are Harold Nicholsons words (Peacemaking, 1919. London, 1933. Pp. 128129), though he noted that they were not selected with the full implications in mind at
the time; Charles Seymour. Letters from the Paris Peace Conference. New Haven, 1965.
Pp. xxx-xxxi; an American geographer (likely Bowman) also served as an unofficial

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Ab Imperio, 4/2006
influence in the Supreme Council at Versailles, in their roles as specialists in
negotiations, their volumes of data, and in their boundary recommendations.5
In the ranks of the Inquiry were specialists and experts of all kinds
some relevant, such as historians or economists of Poland or Austria-Hungary, while other specialists strained credulity, such as archeologists and
scholars of Greek antiquity. Many years of American isolationism had left
their legacy: there were very few qualified experts or area specialists, academic or otherwise, knowledgeable of world or diplomatic history. The
Inquiry also included Central European and Russian migrs, with the number of academics who had studied geography and history in Imperial Germany particularly noteworthy. Their roles in the Inquirys preparations were
influential beyond their numbers both because of their unique ability to
reflect back on policy and because of their linguistic skills. Yet this was a
group of men (and a few women) noticeable by their general lack of expertise or experience in international politics or policymaking. Significantly,
there was not a single specialist on Germany among the 150 members of
the Inquiry.6 In fact Germany was not included among the fifteen subdivisions of the Inquiry assembled to prepare the European settlements.
Of the 150 members of the Inquiry, 65 percent had obtained their terminal degrees from Columbia, Chicago, Harvard, and Yale, and more than
half were recruited from five institutions: Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, and the American Geographical Society. Most were recruited through
social and professional networks of acquaintances, colleagues, and friends,
rather than on the basis of academic qualification. For the most part, it was
their general capacity and scholarship that was sought. In fourteen months
the Inquiry produced hundreds of reports, census summaries, maps, and
proposals. The judgments that created the postwar map of East Central
Europe were primarily formed on the basis of the Americans empirical
research and their interpretation of the ethnographic data.
representative of the United States on the Commission of Delimitation for the CzechPolish frontier, at the request of both the Polish and Czech governments, see Carnegie
Endowment for International Peace. The Treaties of Peace 1919-1923. Vol. I. New York,
1924. P. liii; Schwabe. Op. Cit.; Charles Haskins, Robert Lord. Some Problems of the
Peace Conference. Cambridge, MA, 1920; Isaiah Bowmans piecemeal recollections
are found in Geography Vs. Geopolitics. New York, 1942, and The Strategy of Territorial Decisions. New York, 1946.
5
There was far from unanimity among the Americans, best epitomized by Robert Lansings account. Robert Lansing. The Peace Negotiations: A Personal Narrative. Boston,
1921. Especially Pp. 4-5.
6
Schwabe excellently draws out its implications of this absence for the final treaties:
Schwabe. Op. Cit.

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L. Riga, J. Kennedy, Mitteleuropa as Middle America?


The Inquiry and the American Context
The social world of the upper middle class Inquiry members was that of
Progressive America, and they brought the experiences and assumptions of
the era to bear on their research and recommendations. Wilson, the members of the Inquiry, and the American delegates to the country-specific Territorial Commissions, were all of the generation that came of political age in
the 1890s and 1910s. Their ideas and their politics were shaped by American Progressivisms moral and ideological content: a belief that social ills
could be solved rationally, scientifically and pragmatically, an optimistic
belief in the transformative power of liberalism, and a conviction in the
need for a new moral social order. As intellectual elites, they articulated the
progressive ethos of the era, and saw themselves as tasked to disseminate
Progressive ideas, both at home and abroad, in their new roles as academic
experts. In short, they espoused Progressivisms analysis of the identity
requirements for social and political stability.
Debates continue on the many ideological and intellectual tensions within
Progressivism, and the social backgrounds of its adherents.7 The significance of these debates lies in what they imply about Progressivisms social
carriers. Progressivisms ideological heterogeneity, combined with its relatively socially homogeneous base, may have been a function of the times to
which it was responding: Progressivism was a militant social reformist ideology at a time when, as Hofstadter noted, American society was actually
quite prosperous. The economic depression of 1893-1897 was over, labor
relations were in a quiescent phase, race relations were in a period of temporary retrenchment following the turbulent Reconstruction era, wealth was
everywhere with growing numbers of millionaires and billionaires, within
the professions and universities salaries were rising, academics power and
influence inside and outside government was increasing, and the expansion
and institutionalization of the social sciences professional associations and
proliferation of new journals, all offered prestige and networks for diffusing
7
On status revolution and progressive leadership: Richard Hofstadter. The Age of Reform. New York, 1955. Ch. 4; Arthur S. Link. What Happened to the Progressive Movement in the 1920s? // American Historical Review. 1959. Vol. 64. Pp. 836-837; David P.
Thelen. Social Tensions and the Origins of Progressivism // Journal of American History. 1969. Vol. 56. Pp. 323, 335-41; Jerome M. Clubb, Howard W. Allen. Collective
Biography and the Progressive Movement: The Status Revolution Revisited // Social
Science History. 1977. Vol. 1. Pp. 518-534; Richard Wightman Fox. The Culture of
Liberal Protestant Progressivism // Journal of Interdisciplinary History. 1993. Vol. XXIII.
Pp. 639-660.

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ideas. Progressive reformist elites like Wilsons cabinet and the academics
of the Inquiry, were not responding to economic dislocation theirs or
others but to changes in power relationships from which they were benefiting, particularly in the rise of academic self-consciousness and influence.8
In short, this was a prosperous and stable era particularly when compared to the massive upheavals of the industrialization of the Gilded Age
that had preceded it, and the conservative reaction and social and economic
volatility that followed in the 1920s and 1930s. 9 Progressive intellectuals
stood in contrast to both the Populists before them and the New Dealers
after them, the latter responding to economic depression and social dislocation.10 Increasing wealth and suburbanization, and growing ideological and
political influence in a time of relative prosperity, meant that intellectuals
could turn their ideological worries to moral character, social conscience,
civic duties, and to the morally corrosive effects of the new wealth.11
Moreover, Progressivism was the social reformist ideology of the upper
and middle classes, north and south, urban and rural. It attracted support
from two key ideological groups: the professoriat and the Protestant clergy.
Its Protestant underpinnings gave it a pragmatic morality, and academics
and intellectuals gave it social content and leadership.12 This was reflected
in their adjectives of concern: morality, civic duty, citizenship, service, patriotism, character and conscience.13 Progressivism aimed not only at reordering society, but also at personal transformation. In its coercive intrusion
8

Although there is still much debate about this among historians, we follow Hofstadters
early work, which still offers the most lucid and persuasive historical sociology of the
progressives social and intellectual world: Richard Hofstadter. The Age of Reform.
New York, 1955.
9
Ibid.
10
Robert Putnam interprets Progressivism as communitarian and the Gilded Age as
individualist: Robert D. Putnam. Bowling Alone: the Collapse and Revival of American
Community. New York, 2000. Ch. 23.
11
See Walter E. Weyl. The New Democracy. New York,1918. with concerns about the
different kinds of wealth in American cities; and Thorstein Veblen. The Theory of the
Leisure Class. New York, 1899.
12
Hofstadter. Op. Cit. Pp. 149, 153; According to Hofstadter progressivism can be
considered a phase in the history of the Protestant conscience. Hofstadter. Op. Cit. P.
152; see also Fox. Op. Cit.; Thelen. Op. Cit.; Link. Op. Cit.; Clubb and Allen. Op. Cit.
13
Hofstadter. Op. Cit. P. 320. Hofstadter suggested, following Weber, that like other
solitary intellectuals of the left in moments of status re-definition, they were attracted to
an ideology seeking to go closer to the people, and ended up sentimentalizing the
common man and absolutizing their particular morality. Hofstadter. Op. Cit. P.19.

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L. Riga, J. Kennedy, Mitteleuropa as Middle America?


into private identities, and in its attempts to remake individuals values,
Progressivism shared with socialism a certain illiberalism.14
This was nowhere more evident than in Progressive attempts at reforming the culture of the immigrant, or the hyphenated foreign-born.
The years when this generation of elites was coming of age politically were
the years of immigration: between 1880-1914 more than 23 million immigrants arrived, mostly Slavs, Catholics and Jews from Southern and Eastern Europe. They comprised nearly 80 percent of the United States urban
populations and more than 15 percent of the total population, so their social
impression was significant.15 These peasant immigrants of the new wave
were residentially concentrated in urban ethnic enclaves, economically concentrated in low and unskilled industrial work, and had comparatively high
levels of illiteracy. Frightened by the perceived conflation of class and ethnicity, especially in the cities of the Northeast, the famous Congressional
Dillingham Commission produced a forty-two volume report in 1911 on
the new immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe (Catholics, Slavs,
and Jews). It concluded they were largely unskilled laborers, culturally and
intellectually inferior, and self-segregated into urban ethnic enclaves that
were resistant to assimilation.16 Contemporary discussions of melting pots
were actually more populist hope than reality.17
These worries not only gave rise to the Chicago Schools sociological
theorizing about the modalities of assimilation, but they also gave rise to
14

Like socialism, Progressivism also suffered from moral exhaustion or crusade-weariness in the 1920s. The moral pitch of the Progressive reformism was arguably so intense
that the conservative reaction of the 1920s, the failure to ratify Wilsons League of
Nations, the defection of many of its key intellectual and urban middle class adherents
(e.g., Lippmann and John Dewey), and the string of anti-immigration policies of the
early 1920s, could all be read as a kind of revolutionary exhaustion, a reaction to the
intensity of the decades of social crusade. The totality of this disillusionment would also
animate, in the 1920s and beyond, the Inquirys and American Commissions analyses
of Versailles and of the boundary changes that had been recommended.
15
See the classic John Higham. Strangers in the Land. New Brunswick, NJ, 1955; George
Creel. The Hopes of the Hyphenated // The Century Magazine. 1915/1916. Vol. XCI.
Pp. 350-363; Michael McGeer. A Fierce Discontent: The Rise and Fall of the Progressive Movement in America. Oxford, 2003. Ch. 6.
16
US Immigration Commission. Washington, DC, 1910. They were reported to have
had low levels of English literacy, submitted few applications for citizenship, and had
high return rates to Europe all proof of their assimilation-resistance.
17
The melting pot was first described by the Frenchman St. Jean de Crvecoeur in
1782; the term gained popularity in Israel Zangwills play of that title in 1908. Desmond
King. Making Americans: Immigration, Race and the Origins of the Diverse Democracy. Cambridge, MA, 2000. P. 15.

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Ab Imperio, 4/2006
the Progressives Americanization Movement, an official and non-official drive to remake the unassimilated immigrant into an American.18 Both
these responses influenced the assumptions underpinning the Inquirys ethnographic research. By 1918, most educated society viewed new immigrant ethnics not of color in terms of their cultural and racial traits,
occasionally fueled by the popularity of eugenicist thought. The social problems associated with urbanization, and the concomitant loss of Americas
rural values, were seen as virtually identical to the problems of the overcrowded ethnic enclaves characterized by familial loyalties, community
insularity, and the proliferation of ethnic newspapers, associations, and
schools.19
Most of the theorizing concerned the modalities of value inculcation
and cultural assimilation. Upper middle class Progressive elites, particularly of the urban northeast, were themselves products of successful social
and political mobility, and so could only with difficulty separate class assimilation from value or cultural assimilation. They directed their efforts at
diffusing the cultural diversity below them by remaking the foreignborn into their own class image.20 They sought to transform the hyphenated by Anglo-Saxonizing their values, so that they might look more familiarly middle class. Analyses regularly conflated class and ethnicity
by imputing economic liabilities to cultural values and traditions.21
At the back of these analyses lay the assumption that by embracing liberal democratic principles people could be remade or culturally transformed.22 The baseline definition of Americanness was generally understood not least by Wilson himself to be that which was created at the
18

Creel saw it as the responsibility of the Federal government to Americanize its hyphenated, and he took Americanization to be emancipatory. Creel. Op. Cit.; for the
difficulties with Americanization see Peter A. Speek. The Meaning of Nationality and
Americanization // American Journal of Sociology. 1926. Vol. 32. Pp. 237-249.
19
In fact, according to the sociologist Robert Park, there were more non-English radical
publications than English ones in the United States in 1922: King. Op. Cit. Table 3.1, P.
55.
20
This idea would later be formally systematized by Milton Gordon who argued that
people of the same class tend to act alike and have the same values even if they have
different ethnic backgrounds: Milton Gordon. Assimilation in American Life. Oxford,
1964.
21
King. Op. Cit. Pp. 60-63.
22
There were exceptions: the philosopher and Progressive reformer John Dewey saw
the hyphenated as simply adding to social pluralism, which he embraced. Jane Addams, too, was an exception.

279

L. Riga, J. Kennedy, Mitteleuropa as Middle America?


time of the United States own nation-building, between 1776 and 1787.23
This was, in effect, a static and narrow, ethnicized construction of American nationality. The assimilation of new immigrants into this construction
would require the sustained intervention of both state and civil society.24
Intellectuals, academics, and reformers used government and social science
as instruments of assimilation in manuals such as What Can You Do For
Americanization? (1918), directed at industrial leaders in attempts to
Americanize the urban labor force on the factory floor, in the many books
of advice to new immigrants about techniques of assimilation, and more
diffusely in scholarly studies of assimilation.25 Schools, factory floors,
churches, and community centers became venues for Americanization, targeting the moral and social menace of the United States new urban society
with its civic morality. (In fact Wilson later joined those who blamed the
hyphenateds lack of patriotism and non-assimilation for the Senates failure
to ratify the treaty.26 ) Though the Progressives wider political project sought
an active participatory democracy and a more engaged citizenry,27 both in
aim and method, Americanization policies coercively and illiberally sought
immigrants cultural assimilation.28
The sociologists and political scientists of the Inquiry, and Wilson himself, had contributed academic work underpinning many of these social
23

On Wilsons understanding: Ibid. Pp. 18-20.


The earlier waves of immigrants, from northern Europe, Germany, and Bohemia/
Moravia had assimilated naturally without policies of assimilation because their differences, it was argued, were minor compared with the new Jewish, Slavic, and Catholic
immigration. The formers rural work ethic and Protestant values were part of a widely
accepted and culturally-embedded set of assumptions, see for instance the treatment of
Bohemian migrs in Willa Cathers classic novel My ntonia (1926).
25
These were followed in the 1920s with the Americanization Studies series, to which
the Chicago sociologist Robert Park famously contributed: see Robert E. Park. The
Immigrant Press and Its Control. New York, 1922.
26
Lloyd E. Ambrosius. Wilsonianism: Woodrow Wilson and His Legacy in American
Foreign Relations. London, 2002. Ch. 8; on the xenophobia and nativism that characterized much of the treaty debates and resulted in greater immigration restrictions see Kristofer
Allerfeldt. Beyond the Huddled Masses: American Immigration and the Treaty of Versailles. London, 2006.
27
We thank an anonymous reviewer for highlighting this.
28
Howard Hill. The Americanization Movement // American Journal of Sociology. 1919.
Vol. 24. Pp. 609-624; Paul Boyer. Urban Masses and Moral Order in America, 18201920. Cambridge, MA, 1978. Pp. 123-175; Gary Gerstle. Liberty, Coercion, and the
Making of Americans // Journal of American History. 1997. Vol. 84. Pp. 524-558; McGeer. Op. Cit. Ch. 6.
24

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policies. 29 The work of the Chicago sociologists Park, Thomas and
Znaniecki not only contributed to these social debates, but their studies
were either commissioned by the Inquiry,30 or were drawn upon by other
Inquiry academics to assess modalities of assimilation and ethnic and cultural adaptation. Their studies contributed analyses comparing the conditions under which assimilation was fostered or resisted by Poles living under Russian or Prussian rule, and the conditions under which Polish immigrants (among others) adapted or modified their ethnic practices in the United
States.
While Parks work assumed that assimilation, along the lines of the
Americanizers, would be an inevitable outcome, Thomas and Znaniecki
were more pluralist, with an implied theory of nationalism: they maintained
that Poles had been loyal to the Prussian state when it treated them without
discrimination, but that the Prussian state raised the devil [of Polish nationalism] with their Germanization policies.31 Thomas was a Progressive and believed that political solutions were indeed to be found to the
problem of cultural assimilation. However, he located the solutions in a
29

This included Wilson as political scientist. In his History of the American People
(1902) he revealed his uneasiness with the immigrants from Southern and Eastern
Europe: men of the meaner sort were coming out of Hungary and Poland, men out of
the ranks where there was neither skill nor energy nor any initiative of quick intelligence. King. Op. Cit. P. 51. Ambrosius argued that Wilson had an historicist understanding of nationalism, based on his reading of the United States nation-building during
the Civil War; he preferred historical boundaries, and his attitude toward the rights of
minorities was an expression of an US-style assimilationist understanding of nationalism.
Ambrosius. Op. Cit. [2002]. Ch. 9.
30
For example Florian Znaniecki. Considerations Which Would Tend to Draw Poland
Toward or Repel Her From Germany, Russia, Austria, in Connection with Her Aspirations for Independence and Cultural Development. January 29, 1918. Inquiry Document
632; Florian Znaniecki. Restrictions and Restraints Imposed on the Cultural Development of Poland by Germany, Russia, and Austria. January 29, 1918. Inquiry Document
634; Znaniecki. The Organization of Polish Society for Cultural Productivity. January
29, 1918. Inquiry Document 633 // National Archives and Records Administration,
College Park MD [NARA]. Research Group [RG] 256. Records of The Inquiry [RI],
Special Reports and Studies 1917-18 (Entry-3) [SRS(E-3)].
31
W. I. Thomas. The Prussian Polish Situation: An Experiment in Assimilation // American Sociological Association. 1913. Vol. VIII. Pp. 86-87 // NARA. RG 256. RI. SRS(E3). Inquiry Doc 559. Znaniecki, a Polish nationalist who was ineligible for an academic
post in Tsarist Poland because of his nationalist activities, had accepted a position as
Director of The Emigrants Protective Association in Poland. Thomas brought him to
Chicago. See Eli Zaretskys introduction to W. I. Thomas, F. Znaniecki. The Polish
Peasant in Europe and America. Urbana, IL, 1984. Pp. 3, 11-12.

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L. Riga, J. Kennedy, Mitteleuropa as Middle America?


non-assimilative liberalism, both for the United States immigrant problem
and in his recommendations to the Inquiry for East Central Europe.32
On the whole, the Inquiry and the delegates at Versailles did not follow
Thomas and Znanieckis recommendations. The geopolitical need for immediate workable boundaries lent itself to statist and cultural assimilationist
views of nation building for the new states, and so to the modalities of
assimilation rather than to a pluralism which might retain the smell of the
old imperial states. In fact assimilation, not nationalism, was the clearest
empirical and analytical bias in the Inquirys construction of ethnicity
and interpretation of ethnographic data.
However they also held the Progressive beliefs, derived from analyses
of the immigrant experience in the United States, that (a) economic or commercial ability and cultural and racial values were entwined and (b) that the
embrace of (an aggressive) liberalism could remake or transform these
values. These assumptions wove through the Inquirys ethnographic analysis of East Central Europes ethnocultural diversity. This conflation of class
and culture amounted to judgments about relative ethnic capacities. So
for certain cultural groups (Ruthenians, Ukrainians, Jews) assimilation was
possible, while others (Poles, Czechs) had sufficient ethnic capacity that
they could be entrusted with self-government. In their use of racial categorizations, and occasionally eugenicist characterizations,33 the assumptions
underpinning the construction of social hierarchies among the United States
immigrant populations mirrored those adopted at Versailles.
Mapping East Central Europe: influences and interpretations
The delegates from the United States, with the Inquirys research in
hand, developed hierarchical understandings of East Central Europes nationalities by constructing ethnic capacity measures. They then assessed
32

Thomas wrote to Shotwell regarding the Polish-German ethnic frontier: The whole
world should be fluid in this [ethnic] respect, as men are fluid in seeking the realization
of their wishes. We want a diverse, not a uniform civilization, the free circulation of
values and nationalities should be free to choose their alliances as individuals are. I do
not think that the liberty to do this would lead to whimsical behavior any more than it
does in individual or familial business. Letter from W. I. Thomas to J. T. Shotwell.
January 15, 1917 // NARA. RG 256. RI. General Correspondence (Entry-1) [GC(E-1)].
Box 14.
33
Those used in the US (cephalic index, height, etc) closely paralleled those constructed
by Inquiry maps. King. Op. Cit. P. 68, Table 3.2; Maps of Balkan Division, 1917-19 //
NARA. RG 256. RI. Maps 1916-18 (Entry-5).

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these against Mitteleuropas two great geopolitical imperatives: balancing
future German expansion and containing the existing Bolshevik-communist threat. Influential in the interpretation of their data were immigrant
groups in the United States and East European nationalists. The Inquiry
was particularly reliant on immigrants, migrs, and nationalists for accounts of the ethnographic facts on the ground and for their linguistic
abilities. Their influences were not unbiased: when Wilson called together
his academic experts on the George Washington as they sailed to Paris, he
famously asked to be briefed on their final recommendations. When told
that there were more than three million Germans in Bohemia, his response
was one of shock but Masaryk never told me that!34
IMMIGRANTS, MIGRS, AND EAST CENTRAL EUROPEAN NATIONALISTS
Wilson, House, and the Inquiry often solicited the advice and recommendations of immigrants and nationalist exiles. 35 The organized influence of East European immigrants began during the war and continued
through the Inquirys work and during the conference. Czech immigrants
formed a Bohemian National Alliance in Cleveland through which Masaryk
successfully lobbied Wilson, House, and the Inquiry, and from which the
Cleveland Pact emerged, a joint Czech-Slovak call for an independent
Czech-Slovak state; a Yugoslav National Council was set up in Washington; the Polish pianist-turned-politician Ignacy Paderewski struck up a friendship with House, and through him gained Wilsons adherence to an independent Poland, driving the effort to find scientific justification for a
Polish corridor; the American Jews, Brandeis and Morgenthau, were successful emissaries to Wilson, House, and the Inquirys Miller in calls for
minority protection treaties and an independent Jewish homeland; a Montenegrin Committee for National Unification was set up; and the CarpathoRuthenians, a nationality not well known in the United States, met in Homestead, Pennsylvania, created the American National Council of Uhro-Rusins,
and eventually their leader, Zatkovich, organized a plebiscite among Ruthenians in the United States around the idea of joining a Czechoslovak
state headed by Masaryk without ever consulting Ruthenians in Europe.
34

Charles Seymour. Geography, Justice, and Politics at the Paris Peace Conference of
1919. New York, 1951. P. 9.
35
Austria-Hungary, Attitude of migrs from the Trentino Now Working in Mines of
the United States. Submitted by Charles Seymour. May 25, 1918 // NARA. RG 256. RI.
SRS(E-3). Inquiry Doc 505.

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L. Riga, J. Kennedy, Mitteleuropa as Middle America?


The American-Ruthenian efforts were only the most obvious case of the
tail wagging the dog.36
These influences on the Americans were significant not because of domestic electoral politics, but because they helped shape the Inquirys ethnographic fact finding as well as their interpretations and analysis of the
data. Once Wilson and the Inquiry were resigned to the inevitable break-up
of the Habsburg Empire,37 East Central European migrs and elites had
room for maneuver, and through letters, personal meetings, and commissioned studies they managed to find receptive audiences both in Washington and in New York with the Inquiry.
In 1916 the Czechoslovak National Council was headquartered in Paris
but had a branch in the United States. Bene was secretary and Masaryk
chairman. They provided the Inquirys Robert Kerner with the Councils
nationalist migr publication, Bohemian Review, and with a copy of Capeks Slovaks in Hungary.38 In fact Masaryks famous journey at the age of
68 from Moscow to the US via Vladivostock and Vancouver to Chicago
symbolized the two main groups in the United States behind a new state:
political exiles from Austria-Hungary and Czech immigrants in the Bohemian National Alliance.39
The Americans saw Czech leaders as modest and reasonable. The Czech
poet Jean Grmla contributed a lengthy letter to Wilson and the Inquiry, in
which he outlined Czech claims to independence, evoking Wilsonian language on the need to liberate peoples oppressed by autocracy and imperialism.40 Lacking a German specialist, the American Inquiry turned to Masaryk
for an analysis of pan-Germanism and pan-German literature, which he
36

Elmer Davis quoted in Victor Mamatey. The Slovaks and Carpatho-Ruthenians //


Joseph P. OGrady (Ed.). The Immigrants Influence on Wilsons Peace Policies. Lexington, 1967. P. 249.
37
Wilson and Austro-Hungarian specialists Kerner and Seymour sought ways to reinvent the Empire. Lansing and State Department officials argued early on in favor of
dismemberment, but their opinions were not solicited by Wilson. Gelfand. Op. Cit. Pp.
147-152, 200-201.
38
Letter from Bohemian National Alliance of America, 4 March 1918 [Box 3] and
Letter to Czech-Slovak National Council, 11 September 1918 [Box 4] // NARA; RG
256; RI. GC(E-1).
39
The US Census Bureau did not use language as its distinguishing mark, but rather
Bohemian, Moravian, and Slovak. Otakar Odlozilik. The Czechs // OGrady. Op. Cit.
Pp. 205-206.
40
Jean Grmla. Memorandum Tchque, 1915 // NARA. RG 256. RI. SRS(E-3). Inquiry
Doc 107.

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provided in some detail with a discussion of the nationalist school in German philosophy.41 Masaryk was also a key figure in the creation appropriately in Independence Hall, Philadelphia of a new liberal and pluralist
Mid-European Union, which included also Uhro-Rusians, Albanians,
and Zionists. Masaryks liberal declaration in Philadelphia stated that this
Union of nationalities would abandon the old militaristic attitude and ways,
denounce all attempts and practices of forcible denationalization, espouse
liberty and equal rights for all minorities, repudiate pan-Germanism, the
use of unreliable official statistics and census figures for nationalities,
and promised that schools of the liberated nations would inculcate patriotism and fight autocracy.42 In 1918 Masaryk presented the Declaration of
Czechoslovak Independence. Although Wilson was slow to respond, the
impression created was the moving story of two liberal professors seeking
democracy and self-determination and defeating the autocratic forces of
the corrupt Austro-Hungarian Empire.43
Bene also contributed a number of proposals and recommendations to
the Inquiry and to British and American policy elites, noting the need for a
strong frontier on the Danube and the Bohemian Germans vital economic
interests in staying with the new Czechoslovak state.44 In his capacity as
Professor of Sociology in Prague he contributed analyses of the Czech peoples ethnic capacity (our term): they are highly intelligent, exceptionally
well-organized, inspired by an intense national spirit and economically
independent, possessing great natural wealth. [The Czechs] were not a weak
and inexperienced people with whom self-government would be an experiment, but were ready from tomorrow to lead an independent life; he argued that the Slovaks now wanted union with Bohemia, recognizing their
mutual dependence, and because some of the greatest of the Bohemian
leaders were Slovak.45 Bene maintained that the economic position of a
new Czechoslovak state surrounded by unfriendly Teuton and Magyar territory would be especially strong in that it was rich in mines, raw materi41

Thomas Masaryk. Literature of Pan-Germanism. August 21, 1918 // NARA. RG 256.


RI. SRS(E-3). Inquiry Doc 372.
42
Statement by Professor Masaryk at the Conference in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, October 23-26, 1918 // NARA. RG 256. RI. GC(E-1). Box 10. Pp. 1-2.
43
Odlozilik. Op. Cit. Pp. 221-222. Wilson was seen as the best friend of the new Czechoslovakia.
44
Memorandum of Conversation With Eduard Bene. No Date [1918] // NARA. RG
256. RI. SRS(E-3). Inquiry Doc 992. P. 25.
45
Memorandum of Conversation With Dr Edward Bene at the Albemarie Club, London, May 13, 1918 // NARA. RG 256. RI. SRS(E-3). Inquiry Doc 283. P. 3.

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L. Riga, J. Kennedy, Mitteleuropa as Middle America?


als, agriculture, banking, and its commercial relations with Hungary and
Poland would be strong.46
As to the Germans of Bohemia, Bene admitted difficulty: if the new
League offered substantial protection, then a boundary on purely ethnographic grounds would be acceptable, otherwise a natural defenses
boundary would have to be established and one million Germans would
have to be removed from Czechoslovak territory, with 1.4 million Germans
remaining.47 Bene reassured that there should be no worries about Czech
treatment of its Germans:
[T]he Czechs [are] good practical politicians, and fully realize that
such a policy [of maltreatment] would be perilous in the extreme, as it
would alienate the sympathy of those otherwise inclined to protect
them, and at the same time offer the Germans a pretext for overrunning their country to liberate the oppressed Germans. The Czechs
fully [understand] that their own advantage would demand the most
enlightened and tolerant treatment of any Germans left within their
borders. An autocracy could practice tyranny without violating its
ideals, whereas such a practice would violate the fundamental principles of the enlightened democratic state which the Czecho-Slovaks
proposed to establish.48
Bene liberal analysis of the minority question, and his vigorous articulation of the Czechs ethnic capacity was convincing to the Inquiry specialists Seymour and Kerner, and it was exactly what Wilson wished to hear.
On the Balkans, too, memoranda and conversations between Serbian
Ministers, representatives of the South Slav Council in Washington, and
the Inquiry petitioned regarding the importance of the Banat to Serbia (on
the grounds that Rumanians there wished to join Serbia and not Rumania),
of the Macedonian question, and of the Declaration of Corfus unanimity
among Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes.49 The Macedonian Bulgarian National
Association of immigrants in the United States organized, too, resulting in
46

Ibid. Pp. 3-4.


Ibid. Pp. 3-4. His reasoning was that to detach all of Bohemia would remove 350,000
Czechs and so rob a new state of only 10 million of a considerable proportion of its
people; but for Germany, 1.4 million of its people were insignificant compared to its 80
million population.
48
Ibid. P. 7. Bene subsequently produced a formal report for the Inquiry. Eduard Bene.
La cration de lEtat tchscoslovaque. November 11, 1918 // NARA. RG 256. RI. SRS(E3). Inquiry Doc 283. Pp. 1-11.
49
Memorandum of a Conversation with Dr. M. R. Vesnic, Serbian Minister to France,
July 28, 1918. By Maj. Douglas Johnson. August 8, 1917. Inquiry Doc 277; Declaration
47

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the Appeal to the World for a Just Solution of the Macedonian Question,
which offered their own construction of ethnic Macedonians in appeals
in Wilsons language.50
The pianist Ignacy Paderewski became the most visible spokesman for
Polish-Americans. Even more than Masaryk, he cultivated a close and intimate friendship with House, and in turn House kept Wilsons mind firmly
focused on the importance of the Polish cause, both for geo-strategic reasons and in line with his principle of national self-determination. In fact
Poland was the only country singled out as deserving self-determination as
early as the Fourteen Points speech.51 By the time of the Peace Conference,
the Inquiry had overcome initial uncertainties about the Polish nationalists
territorial claims and strongly supported them.52 The influence of Robert
Lord, the Inquirys Polish specialist, and two Polish collaborators, Professors Zowski and Arctowski, on Polands postwar boundary was enormous.53
In fact, Zowski and Arctowski discreetly supplied Paderewski and Dmowski
with information on the Inquirys research: they alerted the Polish National
Council in Chicago that nothing had been researched on the Polish corridor
and Danzig, this in turn led Paderewski to nudge House, and a report was
forthcoming.54
Jewish-Americans, led by highly assimilated American Jews of German descent, were the most unwavering supporters of the Versailles settlement, especially in its treaty provisions for minority rights. The Zionist
Organization of America was a large, mass movement which included Suof Corfu. Published by the South Slav National Council. Washington DC, 1917. Inquiry
Doc 801; The Macedonian Question: A Possible Solution. Copy of a Memorandum
prepared for the British War Office by Captain W. B. Beard, in March, 1917. June 1918.
Inquiry Doc 281; D. W. Johnson. Extract From Memorandum of a Conversation Between
and a Serbian Authority Well Acquainted With Macedonia. Prepared for the British War
Office. [original title] June 1918. Inquiry Doc 282 // NARA. RG 256. RI. SRS(E-3). The
latter two documents arrived at the Inquiry through the British War Office.
50
Macedono-Bulgarian National Organization (Cleveland Ohio). An Appeal to the World
for a Just Solution of the Macedonian Question. February 3, March 19, April 3, 1918 //
NARA. RG 256. RI. SRS(E-3). Inquiry Doc 15.
51
See Christopher G. Salisbury. For Your Freedom and Ours: The Polish Question in
Wilsons Peace Initiatives, 1916-1917 // Australian Journal of Politics and History. 2003.
Vol. 49. Pp. 481-500.
52
Louis L. Gerson. The Poles // OGrady. Op. Cit. P. 283.
53
This did not prevent Pilsudski from dominating the eventual postwar settlement;
Paderewski, whom both he and the Americans thought would lead Poland, retreated in
emigration.
54
Gerson. Op. Cit. Pp. 282-283.

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L. Riga, J. Kennedy, Mitteleuropa as Middle America?


preme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter and others with institutional and personal access to the White House, and therefore to the Inquiry. American Jewish influence, apart from the question of Palestine, was
most notable in Versailles minority treaties.55 The provisions on minority
protections were included at American insistence largely as a result of
Jewish-American domestic petitioning at the highest levels.56 The Americans were persuaded by arguments that continued oppression of Polish Jews
would cause them to become states within states, and in the end serve
Bolshevik interests; and they had right before them if it was needed an
evidence of successful German-Jewish assimilation.
Cognizant of the impossibility of drawing boundaries without creating
minority and irredentist problems, the Americans set up the Committee on
New States which met in Paris for six months to work out how minorities
should be protected. They considered different versions of autonomy as
well as universalist forms of protection, specific treaties for each state
(Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Rumania, Greece) and what manner
of recourse they would have to the League of Nations. The committee deliberations were British in format but almost entirely American in content.57 After a joint British-American Investigating Mission to Poland in
1919 to assess the situation of Polish Jews the most significant minority
question before the Committee a report was co-submitted by the (antiZionist) American Jew Henry Morgenthau. Although the report in its totality resulted in complete vindication of the Polish government, Morgenthaus
recommendations were two-fold: a treaty guarantee to be signed by Polish
authorities testifying to their fidelity to the principles of liberty and justice
and the [civil] rights of minorities, together with the transfer of significant
economic aid to rebalance the underlying socio-economic causes of Polish
anti-Semitism and pogromism.58 Substantial economic aid was not part of
55

The Inquiry, and Wilson personally, also received appeals for League and treaty protections because of the maltreatment of Jews across Eastern Europe from, among others, Benno Straucher. Letter from Benno Straucher to Woodrow Wilson. December 24,
1918 // NARA. RG 256. Records of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace
[RACNP]. Daily, Weekly Intelligence Bulletins (Entry 29). Box 2.
56
Arthur Walworth. Wilson and His Peacemakers: American Diplomacy at the Paris
Peace Conference, 1919. New York, 1986. Pp. 473-474.
57
Carole Fink. The Minorities Question at the Paris Peace Conference: The Polish Minority Treaty, June 28, 1919 // Boemeke, Feldman, Glaser. Op. Cit. P. 267 and passim.
58
The Jews in Poland: Official Reports of The American and British Investigating Missions. Chicago, 1920. P. 9. The Report was co-commissioned by the National Polish
Committee of America.

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the post-World War I package,59 but American insistence on minority treaties with provisions for the liberal accommodation of minorities was.
The final minority protection treaties were, at their core, Wilsonian and
American, with the first eight articles echoing the language of the United
States Constitution in its protection of civil and religious liberties without
distinction to birth, language, or race, and the free exercise of religion.60
But they stopped short of allowing aggrieved minorities from petitioning
the League directly: Wilson did not want to interfere in Polands self-determination, and Lloyd George did not want to create an open door to
continuous grievance.61 And yet despite its lack of effective sanction, the
minority rights treaties were an American idea, derived from the work of
the Inquiry on historical (territorial) grievances and assimilation potentials.62
The Inquirys research suggested the need for civil rights in a remapped
East Central Europe,63 and the final treaties attempted an American-constitutionalist accommodation for those minorities in the new states that could
not be culturally assimilated.
MAPS WERE EVERYWHERE64
The Inquiry produced or collected more than 2,500 pieces of documentation and over 1,200 maps nearly all the material from non-classified
sources. The documentation consisted of specialist area reports, maps, summaries of population distributions, demographic and fertility studies, ethnographic, religious and linguistics statistics, and studies of natural resources
and economic infrastructures. The reports on the various nationality claims
59

Although there were some. Herbert Hoover was instrumental in organizing American
humanitarian aid to Poland, as a monument of gratitude to the United States was unveiled in Hoover Square, Warsaw in October 1922. Herbert Hoover Collection // Hoover
Institution Library and Archives, CA.
60
Fink. Op. Cit. Pp. 269-270.
61
Ambrosius. Op. Cit. [2002] P. 133; Fink. Op. Cit. P. 272, Fn. 89.
62
Haskins, Lord. Op. Cit. P. 15; R. J. Kerner. Resum of the Political Movements of the
Czecho-Slovaks Tending Toward The Federalization Or Dismemberment of AustriaHungary. May 17, 1918 // NARA. RG 256. RI. SRS(E-3). Inquiry Doc 316; R. J. Kerner. Minorities in Austria-Hungary. May 16, 1918 // NARA. RG 256. RACNP. General
Records of the American Commission To Negotiate Peace. Economic Division (Entry24). Box 113. Peace Conference Doc 1181.
63
Walworth. Op. Cit. P. 473.
64
From Charles Seymour. Geography, Justice, and Politics at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. New York, 1951. P. 10. He describes the centrality of maps at Versailles,
and Wilson down on all fours.

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L. Riga, J. Kennedy, Mitteleuropa as Middle America?


were historical assessments, often reaching back more than several centuries, discussions on economic resources, roads, and sea-routes, and analyses of nationalist elites territorial disputes. Most of it arrived in abbreviated
form in Paris, and formed the raw material from which the specific territorial commissions worked. The interpretation of this material reflected
American political and cultural sensibilities.
It is usually held that the dilemma in Paris was national self-determination versus economic unity, or versus realpolitik, or European power politics, and that the settlements were premised at one moment on the nationality
principle, at others on historical grounds, but always in anti-German terms.65
And yet the postwar boundaries, on the whole, did have a certain ethnographic coherence, largely predicated on a composite American notion of
ethnic capacity set against Allied geo-strategic considerations. There
emerged, in other words, a new construction of ethnicity for the East Central European context animated by American assumptions of liberal assimilation to check both German power and Bolshevik expansion.
Specifically, two distinct layers of interpretation of the ethnographic
materials formed the basis of East Central Europes postwar boundaries.
The first layer of interpretation was embedded in the raw material itself: the
biases inherent in Russian, Austrian, Prussian, and Turkish official census
statistics and ethnographic data.66 The second was the political and sociological judgments that the Americans in the Territorial Commissions in Paris
brought to bear on this vast data, including the biases of the migrs working
inside the Inquiry.67 Maps constructed from these statistics carried the
65

For an early statement, see Oscar I. Janowsky. Nationalities and National Minorities.
New York, 1945. Ch. 2; see also Nicholson. Op. Cit. P. 130; Seymour. Op. Cit. [1951] P. 21.
66
Among others, Russian-Polish statistical collections and atlases were used (Polska
etnograficina. Petrograd 1916); also Romers World Atlas, Petermanns Mitteillungen,
the French Encyclopdie Polonaise, Rumanian Army Staff maps, and Russian 1910
statistics regarding landownership in the Empires western provinces. Letter from Zowski
to Jackinowicz. No Date. Box 16; Letter from Inquiry cartographer, Mark Jefferson.
Oct. 2, 1918. Box 16; Letter from Arctowski to Lippmann. July 3, 1918. Box 1 // NARA.
RG 256. RI. GC(E-1).
67
For instance, it was recognized that Professor Zowski was a nationalist with close
contacts to the Polish National Department in the United States. He wrote for a PolishAmerican newspaper in Milwakee, raising the question of his academic impartiality in
his Inquiry work. Letter from Lord to Bowman. September 16, 1918 // NARA. RG 256.
RI. GC(E-1). Box 9. Zowski was a professor in Mechanical Engineering, and he came
with a letter from the President of Michigan where he taught, testifying that Zowski was
a loyal American, patriotic to the core and friendly with many Polish leaders. Letter.
January 3, 1918 // NARA, RG 256, RI. GC(E-1). Box 16.

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biases, and the anti-Semitism, inherent in German geography and cartography, as well as the thinking of the lead American geographer, the Germantrained Isaiah Bowman, who had enormous power and influence.68
They were aware of the inherent problems of the census data and of the
maps that drew on it.69 The 1910 United States census had categorized its
immigrants in terms of constructed races (e.g., Northern Italians, Southern
Italians) and by the administrative units from which they came in Europe
(Moravians and Bohemians not Czechs).70 In fact, the United States
had never used language as a criterion for ethnicity or race in their domestic statistical counting. The Inquiry moved away from this practice since
they were using Prussian, Austrian, and Russian census data and maps, all
of which used some form of linguistic criteria as ethnographic or nationality indicators.71 They also discarded the formal use of race (although
they used it regularly in their reports) on the grounds that it was inapplicable
68

Though this was something they tried explicitly to guard against. Lansing wrote the
Director of the Inquiry that the one thing that we must guard against is pre-conceived
ideas or theories which will affect the unbiased treatment of the various subjects, Letter from Robert Lansing to Sidney Mezes. June 7, 1918 // NARA. RG 256. RI. GC(E-1).
Box 16. On the geographers biases: Seymour. Op. Cit. [1951]. Pp. 5-6, 20-21; Neil
Smith. American Empire: Roosevelts Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization.
Berkeley. 2003. Ch. 6; Kost. Op. Cit.
69
For example, Statistical Data on Bukowina. July 31, 1918. Inquiry Doc 26; Statistical
Studies On South Slav Questions. April 23, 1918. Inquiry Doc 517 // NARA. RG 256.
RI. SRS(E-3). Arctowski wrote Bowman: it will be impossible to obtain perfect homogeneity in the treatment of the subjects for different countries. Even in the case of Prussian, Russian and Austrian data, the differences between the available sources of information are so great in some cases it is absolutely impossible to obtain figures of a similar character. I think that it is altogether too easy to theorize about what should be
obtained without finding out first what really can be obtained. It is impossible to make a
general program applied indifferently to any country. March 20, 1919 // NARA. RG
256. RI. GC(E-1). Box 1.
70
Thirteenth Census of the United States and Dictionary of Races and Peoples. Cited in
King. Op. Cit. Ch. 1 and 2.
71
On the Russian/Tsarist 1897 census see Juliette Cadiot. Searching for Nationality:
Statistics and National Categories at the End of the Russian Empire (1897-1917) // The
Russian Review. 2005. Vol. 64. Pp. 440-455; Roth. 1991; on Austrian data: Emile Brix.
Die Umgangssprachen in Altsterreich zwischen Agitation und Assimilation. Die
Sprachenstatistik in den zisleithanischen Volkzhlungen. Wien, Kln & Graz, 1982;
Mark Cornwall. The Struggle on the Czech-German Language Border, 1880-1940 //
English Historical Review. 1994. Vol. 109. Pp. 914-951; Dominique Arel. Language
Categories in Censuses: backward- or forward-looking? // D. Kertzer, D. Arel (Eds.).
Census and Identity. Cambridge, 2002.

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in Europe (unlike its applicability in Asia and in the African colonies), and
because it would lend credence to German racialist writings.72 Moreover,
languages could be learned and unlearned by new generations especially
when resources of universal education are wielded by the compulsive power of the modern state; so not only was language not, in the end, a test of
political affiliation, but governments could also make [their] own language
statistics. It is easy for the census-taker to impose on the weak or ignorant, [or] to interpret all doubtful cases in one direction.73 For boundary
purposes this implied that nationality or ethnicity could be elastic and malleable.
The Inquirys Polish specialist, Lord, noted the problems with finding
an ethnographic Poland on the basis of Prussian official census language
statistics given its Germanization policies, and the general lack of ethnographic data on the border populations.74 In compensation for what the
Inquiry perceived to be an inherent bias in the census data, they compared
it with language statistics from the Prussian school census (equally official
but less politically distorted, they thought) in order to come to some scientific assessment of the ethnic makeup of the German-Polish borderlands.75
Arctowski, the Polish nationalist professor noted in his report on Polands
population statistics that the Polish figures in the Russian census must be
considered as not very trustworthy, evidenced by comparing them to the
German census figures.76 Similarly, a study by a Hungarian specialist, Handman, noted the potential for undercounting Rumanians in the (Austro-)
Hungarian census due to the coercive policies of Magyarization, something further evidenced by the discrepancies between Rumanians mother
tongue and religious statistics.77
Moreover, the hundreds of Inquiry maps used in Paris those from the
Central Powers and Russia and those constructed by the American Geo72

Haskins, Lord. Op. Cit. Pp. 15-16. There were, however, studies of fertility rates
among some ethnic groups. Letter from Lippman to Seymour. June 7, 1918 // NARA.
RG 256. RI. GC(E-1). Box 13; see Fn. 33 above.
73
Haskins, Lord. Op. Cit. Pp. 17-18; see also Carl Darling Buck. Language and the
Sentiment of Nationality // American Political Science Review. 1916. Vol. 10. Pp. 4469.
74
Ibid. Pp. 157-170.
75
Ibid. Pp. 173-174.
76
Henryk Arctowski. Preliminary Report on Poland. January 31, 1918 // NARA. RG
256. RI. SRS(E-3). Inquiry Doc 23. P. 22.
77
M. S. Handman. Magyar and Roumanian in Hungary: A Preliminary Study. April 29,
1918 // NARA. RG 256. RI. SRS(E-3). Inquiry Doc 204. Pp. 7-13.

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Ab Imperio, 4/2006
graphical Society were likewise treated with skepticism.78 Kerner and
Seymour, the Inquirys Habsburg specialists, criticized British government
Racial Contour maps of Austria-Hungary on the grounds that they harshly undercounted Germans and Slovenes and showed political bias in translating Austrian census data; they were also accused of favoring the Italians
over the Yugoslavs due to the impressions created by their choice of map
colors.79 Bene criticized the ethnographic maps of the Balkans and Austria-Hungary produced for the Inquirys Territorial Commission by Jovan
Cvijic, a Serbian professor of Geography in Belgrade, because they were
not based on appropriate baseline figures.80 Although Cvijics credentials
were impeccably conscientious and scientific,81 there was some contention about the fact that Cvijic thought the Hungarian census-based maps
were essentially correct if supplemented by the Patriarchal census of the
Banat82 all of which were contested by Seton-Watson, among others.83
As a rule, ethnographic ambiguities in delineating new boundaries were
resolved in favor of Polish and Czechoslovak interests and against German
interests. For instance, Inquiry-derived recommendations gave key Ukrainian-Ruthenian territories to Poland (in territories where Ukrainians outnumbered Poles 2-to-1 ultimate status would be subject to a later plebiscite) because Poland had a high culture and lived by industry and com78

This was especially true of the Balkan ethnographic maps produced in Germany.
Petermanns Mitteilungen and Romers maps were the most widely used map-makers,
see Will S. Munroe. Balkan Peninsula; Macedonia: Population. March 23, 1918. Inquiry Document 401; Henryck Arctowski. Statistical Data on Poland, Section 1: Demography. April 20, 1918. Inquiry Document 27 // NARA. RG 256. Special Reports and
Studies 1917-18 (Entry 3). Czech maps were also similarly scrutinized, Will S. Monroe.
Memorandum on Balkan Ethnographic Sources. May 22, 1918 // NARA. RG 256. RI.
SRS(E-3). Inquiry Doc 414.
79
R. J. Kerner, Charles Seymour. General Criticism of the British Government Racial
Contour Map of Austria-Hungary. June 5, 1918 // NARA. RG 256. RI. SRS(E-3). Inquiry Doc 319.
80
D. W. Johnson. Memorandum on Conversation with Edward Bene, in Which He
Expressed Opinions on Cvijics Map of Nationalities and on the Future Frontiers of the
Czecho-Solvak State. August 8, 1918. Inquiry Document 283; Jovan Cvijic. The Geographical Distribution of the Balkan Peoples. No Date. Inquiry Document 105 // NARA.
RG 256. RI. SRS(E-3).
81
D. W. Johnson. Memorandum on a Conference with Professor Jovan Cvijic, May 26,
at Hotel International, Paris. August 8, 1918 // NARA. RG 256. RI. SRS(E-3). Inquiry
Doc 277.
82
Ibid.
83
Seton-Watson argued that Slovaks, pace the Hungarian census, formed a distinct ethnic nation. R. W. Seton-Watson. Racial Problems in Hungary. London, 1908.

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L. Riga, J. Kennedy, Mitteleuropa as Middle America?


merce. Ukrainians were ignorant and inarticulate masses of peasants with
a small class of intellectuals who were accustomed to [looking to] Berlin
and Vienna for aid and direction since they had never had to properly run a
government; the only practical solution was to entrust Poles with the occupation and administration of the country, subject to certain guarantees.84
With regard to Bohemias German minority, it was argued that a strictly
ethnographic frontier on the principle of national self-determination would
have given an almost impossible and fatal configuration to Czecho-Slovakia, since it presents a somewhat fantastic appearance on the map. It
looks like a tadpole.85 More than three million Germans were included in
the new Czechoslovak state in part because their economic interests would
bind them to the new state more than shared language would to Germany:
Bohemias Germans have never, since their immigration, belonged to
Germany. And it may perhaps be doubted whether the presence of this
German fringe is a sufficient reason for dismembering so ancient a state or
a country so clearly marked out by nature to be a unit.86
In another set of logically and empirically unrelated justifications, the
Inquiry (and the final Versailles treaty) argued that according to every
honest linguistic map of the region the Corridor had to go to Poland: unimpeded sea access would make Poland economically viable, and although
Danzig was 90 percent ethnically German, geographically and economically it had been a Polish protectorate between 1400-1700, and that in the
end, ethnolinguistic distributions mattered less than balancing the respective interests at stake: Lord wrote in 1920, who would argue that the right
of a million and a half Germans in East Prussia to have a land connection
with Germany outweighs the right of over twenty million Poles in the
hinterland to secure access to the Baltic?87 Just a few years later, of course,
pan-German nationalists would.
In fact, Shotwell and Bowman, two of the most influential Americans at
Versailles, saw the dangers of a literal application of the Fourteen Points
principles.88 In the drawing of the boundary between Hungary and Yugoslavia, Bowman headed the American delegation in the Commission for
Rumanian and Yugoslav Affairs. His argument against using the Drava River
as the frontier is worth quoting at length:
84

Haskins, Lord. Op. Cit. Pp. 17, 179, 189-195, 217.


Ibid. P. 218.
86
Ibid. Pp. 217-221.
87
Ibid. Pp. 179-184.
88
Shotwell. Op. Cit. Pp. 33-40.
85

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Ab Imperio, 4/2006
[G]rave risks [are] involved in constituting a variable river as a boundary line. It is thus that the frontier between Mexico and Texas follows
the Rio Grande, a river with numerous bends; one of these bends closing up into a circle has created an American enclosure within Mexican territory which is a meeting place for all the bandits in the region.
The US and Mexico were obliged to make a convention to put an end
to this intolerable situation. If one would avoid the inconvenience of
the administrative frontier the administrative frontier is that of the
former riverbed of the Drava. In changing this to coincide with the
present riverbed we will only be substituting present riverbeds for the
former ones and at the next shifting of its course we will have one
more artificial frontier. Briefly, we have a choice between a natural
movable frontier and a fixed frontier. A consideration of economic
nature has been added to those of geographic order which led the
American Delegation to the application of a new principle: the maintenance of an administrative frontier so that economic inconveniences
are equal for both Serbo-Croatian and Hungarians. This would compel the two states to come to an understanding [as did the United States
and Mexico].89

Bowmans argument prevailed: the boundary drawn between Hungary and


Croatia followed the old Habsburg administrative units, to avoid the calamity of the Rio Grande.90
On the whole, both the Inquiry and the American delegates at the Conference were actually quite conservative in their approach to boundary delineations and conventional in the criteria they actually used. Their recommendations were far less radical than Wilsons principle of national selfdetermination warranted, had it been strictly applied.91 The final boundaries drawn around Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia were as much
influenced by trying to fortify a new Mitteleuropa to check the German and
Bolshevik threats as they were by the principles of national self-determina89

Report Sent to the Supreme Council by the Commission on Roumanian and YugoSlav Affairs. December 1, 1919 // NARA. RG 256. RACNP. Minutes, Reports and
Documents of Commissions and Committees (Entry-28) [MRDCC(E-28)]. Box 1. Yugoslav and Roumanian Commission Folder. Annex to Minutes of Meeting Number 34.
Annex II. Pp. 4, 4a, 5.
90
Report Addressed to the Supreme Council by the Commission of Yugo-Slav and Rumanian Affairs. December 8, 1919 // NARA. RG 256. RACNP. MRDCC(E-28). Box 1.
Yugoslav and Roumanian Commission Folder. Annex to Minutes of Meeting Number
35. Annex I.
91
Schwabe. Op. Cit. makes this point.

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L. Riga, J. Kennedy, Mitteleuropa as Middle America?


tion.92 Geopolitical worries were generally buttressed by ethnographic arguments, not the other way around.
Mitteleuropa as Middle America?
One of the most consequential results of the Versailles conferences was
the several thousand miles of new boundaries drawn in the mapping of East
Central Europe. This is where American influences were greatest. Our suggestion is that in important ways, East Central Europe was shaped by distinctly American interpretations of Central European data on ethnicity and
assimilation and by the influence of migrs on American political elites.
The Inquirys recommendations were sometimes disregarded or modified
by Conference negotiations, but they constituted the collective judgments
of the American commission in Paris. Their research and interpretations
decisively influenced the workings of the commissions and the writing of
the peace treaties, not least in their role as territorial advisors and academic
experts. While the British delegates were primarily concerned with wider
colonial balances of power, and the French (particularly Clemenceau) with
debilitating German power, only the Americans had worked out very specific indeed often minute proposals and rationales for each of the many
contested ethnonational borders and boundary disputes.93
American elites understood German nationalism as undemocratically
anchored in a particular social class in parallel with their own domestic
analysis of big capitalists and industrialists; the answer (in both cases) was
the same: go to the people and let them determine their own fate, on the
problematic assumption that by liberating them from the corrupt and autocratic influences of the old elites, they would be more liberal, less nationalistic, more progressive, and more democratic.
92
In fact, initially Wilson and the Inquiry did not support the dismemberment of the
Habsburg Empire on precisely these grounds; Lansing, in contrast, reasoned the reverse: because of the Empires inherent weakness it should be broken up to offset German ambition. Gelfand. Op. Cit. P. 152. After facts on the ground made that inevitable,
their boundary calculations were continually reinforced by Bene, Masaryks, and Paderewskis arguments that stronger, economically viable, and liberal states in Central
Europe were the best geopolitical bulwarks against Germany and Bolshevik Russia.
Kerner. Op. Cit.; Walworth. Op. Cit. Pp. 98-99.
93
The British produced few specific recommendations, with a default position that beyond the creation of a Poland all other matters should be resolved in favour of Britains
colonial interests. Clemenceau was famously most concerned with the Franco-German
border; so concerned, in fact, that legend has it that on his death he wanted to be buried
upright facing Germany.

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Ab Imperio, 4/2006
Here Progressive Americas domestic and international policies are usually seen as linked, though the precise causal relationship is debated.94 The
absence of realism in Wilsons moral, idealist internationalism is often
noted;95 and scholars have tied the roots of both its moral universalism and
its pragmatism to an historic sense of American exceptionalism.96 It is true
that some of the Inquirys key members, including Lippmann, Isaiah Bowman, and James Shotwell were liberal internationalists, and the ideas of
other liberal internationalist publicists were solicited by the Inquiry.97 They
often explicitly related the United States peaceful ethnic diversity to a belief that it could be universalized through the extension of American liberal
principles abroad.98 If instilling liberalism through Americanization policies could remake the foreign-born at home, then the application of its principles could also do so abroad.
But inside the core of this liberal internationalism or what has come to
be generically known as Wilsonianism sat the same coercive illiberalism
evident in their domestic social reforms: the belief that personal, private
(cultural) identities could, and should, be reformed by the inculcation of
94

Elihu Root. A Requisite for the Success of Popular Democracy. Foreign Affairs. 1922.
Vol. 1. Pp. 3-10; William E. Leuchtenburg. Progressivism and Imperialism: The Progressive Movement and American Foreign Policy, 1898-1916 // Mississippi Valley Historical Review. 1952. Vol. 39. Pp. 483-504; Walter Trattner. Progressivism and World
War I: A Reappraisal // Mid-America. 1962. Vol. 44. Pp. 131-145; John Milton Cooper.
Progressivism and American Foreign Policy: A Reconsideration // Mid-America. 1969.
Vol. 51. Pp. 260-277; J. A. Thompson. American Progressive Publicists and the First
World War, 1914-1917 // Journal of American History. 1971. Vol. 58. Pp. 364-383.
Debates did not resolve whether progressivism was a source of isolationism and anti-imperialism (Arthur S. Link. What Happened to the Progressive Movement in the 1920s? //
American Historical Review. 1959. Vol. 64. Pp. 833-851), or whether it was neither
anti-war nor anti-imperialist (Hofstadter. Op. Cit. following Leuchtenburg. Op. Cit.).
95
Lloyd E. Ambrosius. Woodrow Wilson and the American Diplomatic Tradition. Cambridge, 1987; Lloyd E. Ambrosius. Wilsonian Statecraft: Theory and Practice of Liberal
Internationalism during World War. Wilmington, DE, 1991. Ch. 5; Ambrosius. Op. Cit.
[2002]. Ch. 3; Nicholson. Op. Cit. Ch. 8; Schwabe. Op. Cit.; Margaret Macmillan. Paris
1919: Six Months that Changed the World. New York, 2002.
96
Walter Lippmann. The World Conflict And Its Relation to American Democracy //
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 1917. Vol. LXXII.
Pp. 1-10; Thompson. Op. Cit. P. 373; James Chase. The Consequences of the Peace: the
New Internationalism and American Foreign Policy. Oxford, 1992. Ch. 15.
97
For example Norman Angell, Herbert Croly, and Walter Weyl.
98
Lippman. Op. Cit.; Harold Josephson. James T. Shotwell and the Rise of Internationalism in America. Rutherford, NJ, 1975; Ronald Steel. Walter Lippman and the American Century. New Brunswick, NJ, 1999; Smith. Op. Cit.

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L. Riga, J. Kennedy, Mitteleuropa as Middle America?


liberal principles even if it was done coercively by both the state and civil
society. In fact, the Progressive assumption that liberalism would transform cultural differences and mute historical animosities lay behind much
of the Inquirys ethnographic research, boundary recommendations, and
their push for the minority treaties.
It was most evident in their construction of the ethnic capacities of
East Central Europes nationalities and in their assessments of nation-buildings liberal assimilationist potential. In part because they misunderstood
the social foundations of their own democratic liberalism, or the social sources
of their own historical exceptionalism (though this was there to be seen
since the United States Civil War and Reconstruction were in recent memory), they did not see although it was also there to be seen the potential
for the ethnicization of the new nation-building projects. They were virtually blind to the potential viciousness of the populist nationalisms they
endorsed and sought to promote and protect. This too was surprising, not
only given the extensive and consistent contact that Inquiry academics had
through their preparations and during the conference itself, with Polish,
Czech, Hungarian and Serbian nationalists, but also given the care and
meticulousness of the Inquirys historical analyses, which can be read like
chronicles of autocratic cultural oppression and ethnic survival.99 In short,
the Inquiry and the American delegates were convinced of East European
nationalist leaders liberal credentials.100
More importantly, a study of the Inquirys research and the United
States influences at Versailles is suggestive of their acts of omission as
well. The two most significant minorities created or endorsed by Versailles were, arguably, the beached Germans and the Jews. In the more
than 2,500 reports and studies, hundreds of maps, correspondence, field
missions, and other fact finding American ethnographic efforts on which
deliberations were based, only a small handful considered these two mi99

This lack of understanding is nicely (though unintentionally) captured by Bowman,


the American geographer and de-facto head of the Inquiry, who was incredulous when a
Central European delegate recounted, with tears running down his face, how his sixteenth century ancestor had died defending certain historically-accepted boundaries;
Bowman asserted that if his ancestor had been killed by Indians he would have boasted
about it imagine crying over a man he never knew! Smith. Op. Cit. P. 178.
100
This conviction was reinforced by the petitions, letters, and assurances they received.
For example, Speech by Hungarian Premier, Count Tisza. The Times. January 26,
1917 // NARA. RG 256. RI. Digest of Official and Unofficial Statements, 1914-18
(Entry-16); Statement by Austrian Chancellor, Renner. January 11, 1919 // NARA. RG
256. RACNP. Daily, Weekly Intelligence Bulletins (Entry-30).

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Ab Imperio, 4/2006
norities.101 The American assumption of eventual Jewish assimilation, together with a persistent anti-German geopolitical bias a bias reinforced
by the French and British delegations controlled not only the collection
of data, but also the analysis and policy recommendations drawn from it.
They were not indifferent to this in their retrospective accounts, published in the 1920s and beyond. Key Inquiry figures defended the boundary
decisions made at Versailles, particularly in response to Keynes attacks,
either through a recognition that no perfect boundary would have been possible given the complex ethnic stratifications of East Central Europe,102 or
because the greater salience of the rise of economic autarchy,103 or because
of the working assumption of the Americans at Versailles that geo-strategic
concerns were considered less important since the new order was to be a
liberal League of Nations world and not a return to the old balance of power,
militarist world of European alliances.104
However, by then the core of what constituted Americanness was
changing. Americanizers and Progressives ethnicized conception before
WWI feared immigrants failure to assimilate, but by mid-century, pluralists like Thomas were proven right: assimilation did take place, albeit with
certain ethnic identity retention, giving way to a more universalistic construction of Americanness. By contrast, the rise of interwar nationalizing
states in Central Europe, Nazism, and the inability of the League to protect
minorities, all evidenced the failure of Versailles liberal engineering of
historic animosities and the remaking of cultural identities. The American
delegates analyses, drawn from the Progressives analyses of the United
States immigrant experience, held that cultural or values assimilation and
transformation would lead to economic prosperity and political stability.
By the post-World War II settlements under Roosevelt and Truman, American analysis, reflecting the intervening changes in both American society
and in East Central Europe,105 reversed the sociological relationship: economic prosperity and political stability would, without state intrusion into
private identities, lead to liberal cultural assimilation.
101

The French and British did no better.


Bowman. Op. Cit. [1942]. Pp. 648-649.
103
Bowman. Op. Cit. [1946]. P. 180.
104
Haskins, Lord. Op. Cit. Pp. 20-21; Seymour. Op. Cit. [1965] P. viii.
105
This shift would be captured in Bene recommendations regarding German minorities: in 1919 Bene promised liberal treatment of Bohemias Germans, but in 1941 Bene
population policy accepted the principle of the transfer of populations [which] can
be made amicably under decent human conditions and with international support.
Alfred De Zayas. Nemesis at Potsdam. London, 1977. P. 7.
102

299

L. Riga, J. Kennedy, Mitteleuropa as Middle America?


SUMMARY
, The Inquiry (), . , . The Inquiry

.
, - , 18701914 . ,
, . , , The Inquiry , . . ,

( Realpolitik). , The Inquiry
,

.

300

Ab Imperio, 4/2006

, :


XIX XX *

, ,1 , , .
. , , .2 , ,
. . .
(. Staatangehrigkeit)
(. Angehrige eines Staats, Staatangehrige) -
, (. Staatbrgerschaft) (. Staatsbrger, Brger) -
,
, .: Dieter Gosewinkel. Staatsbrgerschaft und Staatsangehrigkeit //
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Dieter Gosewinkel. Citizenship, Subjecthood, Nationality. Concepts of Belonging in
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Citizenship between National Legacies and Postnational Projects. Oxford, 2001. Pp.1735.
*
1

301

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.
4
Rogers Brubaker. Citizenship and Nationhood in France and Germany. London, 1992.
, .. , , .. , ..
,
.
5
Dieter Gosewinkel. Einbrgern und Ausschlieen: Die Nationalisierung der Staatsangehrigkeit vom Deutschen Bund bis zur Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Gttingen, 2001.
3

302

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
,

.6 ,
.7
.8
, ,
, ,
, , . . .
. . , , . .
(
1945 .) , .
R. Weight et al. (Eds.). The Right to Belong: Citizenship and National Identity in Britain,
1930-1960. London, 1998; Kathleen Paul. Whitewashing Britain. Race and Citizenship
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7
Ann Dummett, Andrew Nicol. Subjects, Aliens, Citizens and Others. Nationality and
Immigration Law. London, 1990.
8
Rieko Karatani. Defining British Citizenship. Empire, Commonwealth and Modern
Britain. London, 2003.
6

303

. , , ...

,
. , , . , (citizen) ,
(subject). , , , ,
(common law) .
(citizenship),9 (allegiance),
, , . ,
, . , . ius soli,10 , , ,
.11
,
9
, , , XX
, . (.
AI) , , .
10
. . .
11
John W. Salmond. Citizenship and Allegiance // The Law Quarterly Review. 1902.
N. 69. . 49-63. . H. Henriques. The Law of Aliens and Naturalization.
London, 1906; Edward L. De Hart. The English Law of Nationality and Naturalisation //
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, ,
, .

304

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
. , 1811 ,
1879 ius
sanguinis,12 ,
(
).13 -
.14 , . 1811
II, .
. 1867-1868
.
,
.
XX
,
XIX .
, , , .
,
ius soli
, . .
Emanuel Milner. Die sterreichische Staatsbrgerschaft und der Gesetzesartikel L
1879 ber den Erwerb und Verlust der ungarischen Staatsbrgerschaft. Tbingen, 1880;
Hans-Joachim Seeler. Das Staatsangehrigkeitsrecht sterreichs. Frankfurt a. M., 1966.
Ludwig Szlezak. Das Staatsangehrigkeitsrecht von Ungarn. Frankfurt a. M., 1959.
14
1908
, . . Ferdinand
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Leipzig, 1914. Hans-Joachim Seeler. Das Staatsangehrigkeitsrecht. S. 18.
12
13

305

. , , ...
, ius sanguinis .

, ,
. 1879
.15 . ,
.16
,
.17
. , , ,
, , -,18 . , , , , . ,
L 1879 , 32.
() 1870 , .: Emanuel Milner. Die sterreichische
Staatsbrgerschaft. S. 3. Alexander Bernyi. Der Erwerb und der Verlust der ungarischen
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,
. Dieter Gosewinkel. Citizenship, Subjecthood, Nationality
16
, , ,
.: Pester Lloyd. 1879. 29 ; 4 .
17

,
,
1848-49 .
18
// Pester Lloyd. 1879. 29 ; 5 .
15

306

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
; , .19 ,

, .20 , - [ ], - .21

, .
-, 1886
-,
-.
.22 (
). , ,
-. -,
1909 .23
,
, .24
. , , // Pester Lloyd. 1879. 5 ( ).
,
; - ; .
21
Alexander Bernyi. Der Erwerb. S. 109.
22
IV 1886 . .: Alexander Bernyi. Der Erwerb. S. 66.
23
II 1909 . 1903 .
24
// Pester Lloyd. 1908. 14 .
19
20

307

. , , ...
.25 .
ius sanguinis :
.26
. , .
. . ,
,
.
. , ius soli , .27 ,

. , [] .
(
)
.28
., , . Pester Lloyd. 1908.
13 14 .
26
, 1867

, . , 1811
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Albert Groedel. Die Ersitzung der Staatsangehrigkeit. Greifswald, 1894. S. 44 .
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Leopold Caro. Auswanderung und Auswanderungspolitik in sterreich. Leipzig, 1909.
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(Ibid. S. 5). : (Ibid. S. 225).
25

308

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
.29
- , .30 - , . :
, .31 - ,
,
, .
, - , .32 - . , , , . , , . ,
, .33 ,

29
1904 ,
1911 ,
. . Traude Horvath, Gerda Neyer (Hrsg.). Auswanderungen aus
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Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarschiv Wien ( HHStA). Admin. Reg. F 15. Ktn. 7. I/40.
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31
HHStA. Admin. Reg. F 15. Ktn. 10. I/90. Brief der sterreichisch-ungarischen Kolonialgesellschaft an das k.u.k. Auenministerium vom 16.1.1914 (Prot. Nr. 4161/8a).
32
HHStA. Admin. Reg. F 15. Ktn. 10. I/90. Brief der sterreichisch-ungarischen Kolonialgesellschaft an das k.u.k. Auenministerium vom 28.3.1914 (Prot. Nr. 24768/17).
33
HHStA. Admin. Reg. F 15. Ktn. 31. Gesetze 1/3: Brief des k.u.k. Kriegsministeriums
an das k.u.k. Handelsministerium vom 11.3.1913 (Prot. Nr. 18118/8a).

309

. , , ...
. . 1913
. , , [] , .34 ,
. ,
pro et contra
,
. -,
(-

), (
).
1870

, .. ( ) .

.
ius soli ,
,
. XVIII , ,
,
.
34

HHStA. Admin. Reg. F 15. Ktn. 31. Gesetze 1/3: 7 der Fassung des Gesetzentwurfs
vom 7.10.1913 (Prot. Nr. 75669/8a). - 7.10.1913, ,
(
). . . Prot. Nr. 72264/8a.

310

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
1901 .
, .35 :
, .


.36 1891 ,

, , , , ,
, ,
. .
, , , .37 .

, . Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee to Consider the Doubts and Difficulties
Which Have Arisen in Connection with the Interpretation and Administration of the
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. 10.11.1904 // India Office Records ( IOR). L/
PJ/6/702. File 2977.
37
10.11.1904 // IOR. L/PJ/6/702. File 2977, .
27.7.1905 // IOR.
L/PJ/6/731. File 2469.
35

311

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,
, ,
.38 , .
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.

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, .
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:
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38
1.9.1898 ( : IOR. L/PJ/6/500. File 101).
39
16.03.1905 //
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40
Minutes of Proceedings of the Colonial Conference, 1907. Cd. 3524. Command Papers.
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IOR. L/PJ/6/500. File 101.

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,
.
,
. , ,
; , ,

.42 1914 (British Nationality and Status
of Aliens Act) .
,
, .43

,
. ,
, . . ,
, 7.12.1903. IOR. L/PJ/6/679. File 1155.
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.
, AI
Ancien Rgime.
, XVIII .
42
43

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. : , 1886 ,
? .
1896 , , (),
, .
.
- . ,
,
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, ,
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,
, ,
. . -,
,
Public Record Office, London ( PRO). Foreign Office ( FO). 881/7550:
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44

314

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, 1886 . -, , ,
,
, .
, ,
, ,
, .45 1899 , , 1
1886 .

, .46 ,
. , ,
, . , ,
. , . , -, - ,
, -, (headmen),
.
, .47
PRO. FO. 881/6944: Summary of Published Documents (1892-1897).
, ,
. , , , ,
.
46
PRO. FO. 881/8295. Further Correspondence Respecting Registration of British
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(Beckett) (Archer). 20 1900 23
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315

. , , ...

.48
- ?
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, . , .
, .
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,
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(Crosby) -
(Stringer). 4 1907 // PRO. FO. 821/80.
49
HHStA. Admin. Reg. F 61. Bosnien und Herzegowina. Ktn 20. K.u.k. Gesandtschaft
in Sofia an k.u.k. Auenministerium am 24.1.1884 (Prot. Nr. 2730/7) und k.u.k. Finanzministerium, Abteilung fr Bosnien und Herzegowina an k.u.k. Auenministerium am
18.2.1884 (Prot. Nr. 4295/7); . Prot. Nr. 29430/7 von 1885 und 1228/7 von
1886.

316

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
, .50 1911

, ,
, , .51
, -. ,
,
, ,
.52 , , , , . .
. , .
,

.53 HHStA. Admin. Reg. F 57. Schutzgenossenschaft, Bulgarien I/1. Ktn. 42. Brief des
k.k. Innenministeriums an das k.u.k. Auenministerium vom 19. 9.1911 (Prot. Nr. 60789/
7).
51
Beilage zum Bericht No. 1182/A der k.u.k. Botschaft in Konstantinopel vom 16.
3.1918 // HHStA. Admin. Reg. F 57. Schutzerteilung. Bulgarien 2. Ktn. 42. (Landesangehrigkeit) , 60 .

. ,
,
(. k.u.k. Botschaft in Kairo k.u.k. Auenministerium
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52
HHStA. Admin. Reg. F 8. Jerusalem. Ktn. 140, 141 und 146.
53
Bericht des Konsuls aus Jerusalem vom 25.7.1910 und Antwort des k.u.k.
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HHStA. Admin. Reg. F 8. Nordamerika 1/12. Ktn. 267. Prot. Nr. 74360/10 von 1904.
HHStA. Admin. Reg. F 15. Auswanderung. Ktn. 31. Prot. Nr. 68229/8a von 1910;
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56
Protokoll der Konferenz von 1911 // HHStA. Admin. Reg. F 8. Nordamerika I/13.
Ktn. 268.
55

318

Ab Imperio, 4/2006

, . , ,
. ,
- ,

. . ,
.
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. , , - .

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,
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Hugh Lusk. Social Welfare in New Zealand. The Result of Twenty Years of Progressive
Social Legislation and its Significance for the United States and Other Countries. London,
1913.

57

319

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,
, .
, . , ,
, , ,
.
. . , . , .59
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universality of citizenship60 . , , , , , , , , , .
, , , ,
. ,
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Richard Jebb. Studies in Colonial Nationalism. London, 1905; Idem. The Imperial
Problem of Asiatic Immigration // IOR. L/PJ/6/861. ile 1303.
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J. R. Seeley. The Expansion of England. Leipzig, 1884.
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.
58

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.61
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. ,
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subject63 ,
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( ) ,
. , , ,

.64
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. Albert Shaw. An American View of Home Rule and Federation // The Contemporary
Review. 1892. Vol. 62. September. . 305-318. . . . ,
(isopolity)
. A. V. Dicey. A Common Citizenship for the English Race // The Contemporary
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Ann Dummett. The Acquisition of British Citizenship: From Imperial Traditions to
National Definitions // Rainer Baubck (Ed.). From Aliens to Citizens: Redefining the
Status of Citizenship in Europe. Avebury, 1994. Pp. 75-84.
63
.
64
- ( vs. ). Thomas R. Metcalf. Ideologies
of the Raj // The New Cambridge History of India. Vol. III, 4. Cambridge,1994.
61

321

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, .65 1910 ,
, : -, , , ? -,
, , ,
? , -, ?.66 , ,
, XX .
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1867 .67 19 .68 .69 XIX
Ibid. Pp. 215 . Robert G. Gregory. Quest for Equality. Asian Politics in East
Africa, 1900-1967. Hyderabad, 1993.
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Proceedings of the Council of the Governor General of India, Assembled for the
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, (. .
AI)
,
. ,
.
68
,

.
, .
69
Victor Russ. Der Sprachenstreit in sterreich. Ein Beitrag zur sprachlichen Ordnung
in der Verwaltung. Wien, 1884; Dietmar Baier. Sprache und Recht im alten sterreich.
Art. 19 des Staatsgrundgesetzes vom 21. Dezember 1867, seine Stellung im System der
Grundrechte und seine Ausgestaltung durch die oberstgerichtliche Rechtssprechung.
Mnchen, Wien, 1983; Gerald Stourzh. Die Gleichberechtigung der Nationalitten in
65

322

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XX
,
- , .70
1890 , 1905 1910 .71
: .
.72 ,
, . -
, 1890
. , . , , .73
. ,
,
. ,
der Verfassung und Verwaltung sterreichs 1848-1918. Wien, 1985; Hannelore Burger.
Sprachenrecht und Sprachengerechtigkeit im sterreichischen Unterrichtswesen 18671918. Wien, 1995.
70
Gerald Stourzh. The Multinational Empire Revisited: Reflections on Late Imperial
Austria // Austrian History Yearbook. 1992. Vol. 23. Pp. 1-22.
71
Alfred Freiherr von Skene. Der nationale Ausgleich in Mhren 1905. Wien, 1910;
R. Herrmann von Herrnritt. Die Ausgestaltung des sterreichischen Nationalittenrechts
durch den Ausgleich in Mhren und in der Bukowina // sterreichische Zeitschrift fr
ffentliches Recht. 1914. Bd. 1. S. 583ff.
72
Aurel C. Popovici. Die Vereinigten Staaten von Gro-sterreich. Leipzig, 1905;
A. Fischhof. sterreich und die Brgschaften seines Bestandes. Wien, 1869.
73
Edmund Bernatzik. ber nationale Matriken. Wien, 1910; Gerald Stourzh. Ethnic
Attribution in Late Imperial Austria: Good Intentions, Evil Consequences // Ritchie
Robertson, Edward Timmes (Eds.). The Habsburg Legacy. National Identity in Historical Perspective / Austrian Studies. Vol. 5. Edinburgh 1994. Pp. 67-83.

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-, -
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.74

:
- . , , ,
.75

1908 ,

.
,
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, ,
.

. :
, ,
, . , , , . ,
74
Rudolf Springer [=Karl Renner]. Grundlagen und Entwicklungsziele der sterreichischungarischen Monarchie. Wien, 1906. S. 208; Idem. Der Kampf der sterreichischen
Nationen um den Staat. Erster Theil: Das nationale Problem als Verfassungs- und Verwaltungsfrage. Leipzig, 1902.
75
Viktor Adler. Das allgemeine, gleiche und direkte Wahlrecht und das Wahlunrecht in
sterreich. Wien, 1893. S. 48.

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.76 , ,
.

: , , , ,


.77


. , ,
,

. ,

, , , , , . ,
. ,
.
,
.
Pester Lloyd. 1908. 11 . ,
:
, . . Viktor Kardy. Egyenltlen elmagyarosods, avagy hogyan
vlt Magyarorszg magyar nyelv orszgg. Trtnelmi-szociolgiai vzlat // Szzadvg.
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,
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. , , , -,
, - - .
. ,
, . , , , . ,
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, . , ,
,
. ,
, ,
- . ,
,
.

,
, . ,

;
.
326

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
SUMMARY
Benno Gammerl explores the overlapping and contradictory meanings
of subjecthood and citizenship in this comparative study of how the British
and the Hapsburg Empires dealt with their subjects residing outside of the
imperial domains. Based on archival sources from Hapsburg and British
consulates and central institutions, Gammerls study problematizes the notion of an archaic Central Europe and modern West. According to Gammerls research, in the British Empire, where traditionally belonging to the
polity did not presuppose automatic entitlement to citizenship rights, subjecthood survived until the twentieth century in a new racial form. For nonEuropean subjects of the British Empire the maintenance or acquisition of
British subjecthood was made more difficult than for the European subjects. In the case of the Danube Monarchy, Gammerl sees two additional
distinct patterns. In the Austrian case, the imperial authorities treated their
subjects without regard to their ethnic background, and instead promoted
the interests of the state as such, particularly in the military sphere. In the
Hungarian case, the authorities started out with a similar attitude, but as
Hungary turned into a nationalizing state its policies with respect to subjecthood tended to privilege the Magyars. Gammerl typologizes the three
cases as imperialist, statist, and ethno-nationalist. By exploring these
three cases, the author suggests expanding the field of citizenship studies
by including cases of large and multiethnic imperial polities.

327

Ab Imperio, 4/2006


,

*

Ab Imperio
, , .. ,
,
, , , . Ab Imperio , , ,
*
.
.
(Fulbright Scholarship
Program). This publication became possible thanks to a Fulbright Scholarship Program
grant and a kind permission of the Bakhmeteff Archive.
.

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) . ( 1860 1880- .
, ) (, ,
),
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, (, . ), ,
(. ).2 , , . , . 1989 .
(
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.: . . :
, - , ... // Ab Imperio.
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.: . , . . .: , , // .
. . 34. , 1999. . 231-268.
3
: . . . :
. , 1995; . . .
1

330

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
,4 5 , .
6 . ,
. -
/; ( -); ; (,
); / (,7 ).
( ).
, (, , ) . , 1994; . . . (1888
1894 .) / . , , ., . . , 1997; . . . . , 1996; . . . (1874 1885). 2 . , 1994-1995; . . . . . , 1989; . . (1861
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5
: . . : ( . 30- . .). ,
2004; . . . : - . , 1993; . . . : . , 2000; . . , , : . 2- . , 2001;
. . . 60 80- :
. , 1999;
/ . . . . 3 . , 2004; ( .) / . . . . .
3 . , 1999.
6
, 50- . (
);
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7
, 1917 ., , , ..
.: . . . ( .). -, 2000. . 37.

331

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(, ) , .
, .
., ,
.

, , VIII .
. .8 VIII . , ,
,
. , ,
( ,
,
1917 .). ,
. ( )
( . 9 ), 1812 .
.
. ,
(, , .), , ,
. . . . 356.
. . . , 1791 . . . // . . 1. , 1992. . 220-260.
8
9

332

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
, . 1917 .
. ( , ),

, .
,
.
, , (. . ). - ( . . , . , . . ). ,
, (
) , , ,
( -).
. . . .
, ,
, .

,
( )
, - modus vivendi
. / ,
(, ) ,
, .
,
, , , . ,
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, , , ,
333

. , ...
,

. ,
.
a la , . . , ,
.

- (
,
), . . . ,
, (. ,
, . ) . , ,
, :
. .
() .
, . , , , , () , . , , . ,

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.: . . . . : // . 2004. 235. . 216-240.
11
S. Heumann. Kistiakovsky. The Struggle for National and Constitutional Rights in the
Last Years of Tsarism. Cambridge, MA, 1998.
10

334

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
. 12 , , . , - . .

, ,
. ,
13 (
, ), , , : , ,
.14 ( ) . ,15
. ,
1880- 1890- . ( ,
)
. , . 1891 .
. ( ): , , ,
.16
, ,
, , , . . .
, , 12
. : . . (15 19 1918 .): . , 1995.
13
. . . . 355.
14
. , . . , . . 360.
15
. . . // . 1998. 5. . 28-37; .
.
16
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. . . . 10 . ,
1965. . 9. . 63. . : . . (, , ). , 2003. . 216.

335

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, , ,
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, ,
.
/ , , ,
, , : / [
. ..] ,
,
[ 1917 . ..] .17
? ? ? ?

, (1887-1973),
, , .18
17
. , . . , . . 360. . 17 1917 . (. . . .358). IV
, 25 1918 . ( 22 ). .: I. Lysiak-Rudnytsky. The Fourth Universal and Its Ideological
Antecedents // I. Lysiak-Rudnytsky. Essays in Modern Ukrainian History. Edmonton,
1987. Pp. 389-416.
18
. .
: Ch. Halperin. Russia
and the Steppe: George Vernadsky and Eurasianism // Forschungen zur Osteuropischen
Geschichte. 1985. Bd. 36. Pp. 55-194; . . .
. . (1887-1973) // SRC Occasional Papers. 2002. No. 82.
, .: http://src-h.slav.hokudai.ac.jp/publictn/82/82-contents.html
( 27 2006 .); . . . (. . , . . , . . )
. , 2005. . . : . . . . , 1998;

336

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
. , , , , (Butler Library) -.19 ,
(. . ). ( )
.
. The Kievan
and Kozak Period in Ukrainian History.
, The Kievan... , .
,
(Clarence A. Manning) 1941 . (.
box () 164). . ..., ,

.20 (),
1939 . ( ), 1938 .,
, .
,
. . 1938 .: . . (, , . . . //
: . , 2000. . 330-347.
19
.
., , : . . .
: . . // Ab Imperio. 2002.
1. 373-411; . . . . . :
: / . . // . ., 2004. . 6. . 620-693.
20
. . . // . 1927. .
5. . 165-184; . . . . . // .
1928. . 10. . 51-59. : . . . . . .
, 1995. . . , In Search of Cultural
Wholeness: Slavdom, Turan, and Eurasia. .: S. Glebov. The Challenge of the Modern:
The Eurasianist Ideology and Movement, 1920 1929. / Ph.D. Dissertation; Rutgers
University, 2004. Pp. 172-178.

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.
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, , 1968 1972 .
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1997. 10; . . // . 1999. 2; . . . I. : // .

338

Ab Imperio, 4/2006

.
, . , 5 1924 .: .23 ,
. :
,
.24
, .
, (1898 1986),
,
, . .25 , . ,
. 1927 . ,
.26 . ,27 ,
, .
. . ,
, , .

. , . ,
, .
, , ,
.
. , , 2000. 6.; . . . .... - . . . -, 2000.
23
. . . . 1921 1925. , 1998. . 176.
24
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). , 2003. . 59.
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26
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,
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.
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, ,
, :
,
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( ).
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.
.
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. , . , , , . (the
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A List of the George Vernadsky Collection. Hokkaido University Library. Russia and
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340

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
scion of the Russian imperial historiographic school),30
, , , -, , - .

, ,
. . , , () ( ) - ( )
.31

, , , .
. , , , . . ,
.
, .
, ,32
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. , ,35
S. Plokhy. Unmaking Imperial Russia: Mykhailo Hrushevsky and the Writing of
Ukrainian History. Toronto, 2005. P. 151.
31
: . . . , 1964.
: N. Polonska-Vasylenko. Two Conceptions of the History of Ukraine and
Russia. London, 1968.
32
G. Vernadsky. Bohdan, Hetman of Ukraine. New Haven, 1941.
33
G. Vernadsky. Preface // M. Hrushevsky. A History of Ukraine / Ed. by O. J. Fredericksen. New Haven, 1941. Pp. V-XIV.
34
. , . , . , . . . ,
-,
. . : . . . . , 1998.
35
. . //
. 1915. 3. . 5-17. . -
30

341

. , ...
, ()
. 1930- 1940- .

, , .

. . (. box 164).
. ,
1654 . , .
,
. . .
(1941 .), ,
. , ,
( ),
, , .36
.
(, ) . 12 1941 . (
). :
.
. , , . , , . C.: . , . , . . . , 2003.
36
- . . . , : American Historical Review. 1943. Vol. 48. No. 2.
Pp. 316-317.
, , : , .

342

Ab Imperio, 4/2006

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. 1938 1941 .,
1916 . .37 , -
.
, .
. ,

. - , ? , , , -? ,
, , , , ( , -) . 1926 .
, 1920- ., 1932 1933 .
1938 1939 .?
. , ,
( -), , , .
, , ,
. ,
, , , , ,
. . , (. box 164). , .
37
. . . // . . , 1995. . 212-222.

343

. , ...
1940 . ,
( ),
. ( ).
, , (Yale University Press).38
The Hour .39 The Hour (1939 1943 .) ,40 ,
, (Albert E. Kahn).41
,

.
- The Hour , , 1942 . ( ),
.42 , . , , , , . The Hour . box 50 . . : . Prymak.
General Histories of Ukraine Published in English During the Second World War // Ab
Imperio. 2003. No. 2. Pp. 463-466.
39
Yale University Press and Nazi Propaganda // The Hour. 1941. No. 118. November 1.
Pp. 1-2.
40
1970 . The Hour , .:
The Hour / Issued by the American Council against Nazi Propaganda. Westport, CT,
1970.
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, : . , . . / . .
, 1947.
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FBI Raids Svoboda // The Hour. 1942. No. 123. January 10. P. 4.
38

344

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
Yale University Press
.
. ,
. (. box 164),
, . ,43 . .
. The Hour
, .44 ,
, - (,
).

. , . , . (234 , 80 . ) (, , ) -
. , , , .
.
. . . , ,
(,
) .45 , ,
() ? , , ?
, , .
., . box 164.
Professor Vernadsky of Yale Lauds UNA // The Hour. 1941. No. 122. December 30. P.
2. UNA Ukrainian National Association (
).
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1908 1909 . //
. 1912. . . .1. . 121.
43
44

345

. , ...
. . . , , .

SUMMARY
The article by Ernest Gyidel is conceived as the introduction to the commentated publication of the archival documents by George Vernadsky pertaining to his Ukrainian identity vis--vis Russian culture and the tradition
of Russian imperial statehood.
Gyidel revisits the discussion between R. Vulpius, D. Stalunas, and
M. Dolbilov (Ab Imperio 1/2006) about the historical meaning of the term
rusofile, and suggests possible genealogies of such terms as rusofile,
ukrainofile, maloross, and Ukrainian. It is against this background
that Gyidel introduces the concept of Ukrainians of the Russian culture
as a very late imperial phenomenon, and presents George Vernadsky as
representative of this category. A complicated dialectic of recognition of
Ukrainian people-hood and Ukrainian language yet under the Russian
political and (high) cultural umbrella is explicated by Gyidel with the help
of a few previously unpublished texts from Vernadskys collection in Columbia Universitys (New York) Bakhmeteff Archive. There are two articles (A Short Exposition of the Eurasian Point of View on Russian History
and Prince Trubetskoi and the Ukrainian Question), one lecture (The
Kievan and Kozak Period in Ukrainian History) and two letters (to L. Myshuga and P. Ignatev). As a way to provide context for their discussion,
Gyidel examines Vernadskys published works where different aspects of
Ukrainian history are analyzed, including his contacts with Ukrainian emigration. He suggests that if approached within such a context, Vernadskys
collection can be an invaluable source to study his complex political and
cultural loyalties. The main question that he addresses is not Vernadskys
understanding of Ukrainianness. Instead the question is: what meaning
he and his fellow Russian Ukrainians invested in the category Russian?
What kind of loyalty cultural, political, imperial or their combination
did they attach to this subjective Russianness?

346

Ab Imperio, 4/2006

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356

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
2.
The Kievan and Kozak Period in Ukrainian History
by George Vernadsky
, ...
? ?8
Everything is moving on, everything is passing
away, and there is no end to it
Whither did things go? Where did they come from?
Shevchenko

History may seem an endless chain of events loosely connected one


with another. In a sense the elemental process of history is a riddle to which
every man and every nation has to give his own or its own answer. From the
point of view of the nation the approach to the riddle lays in establishing
historical traditions, in acquiring the feeling of continuity of the historical
process. In Ukrainian history it is the Kozak period which is of paramount
importance for securing the continuity of national consciousness. It was in
the throes of the Revolution that modern Ukraine was born (1648). By that
time the tradition of statehood of the Kievan period had been half broken
by the Mongol invasion and subsequent incorporation of Ukrainian lands
into Poland. They were picked up and reasserted in the 17th century. Even
in 1620 the Kievan clergy, in their Protestation, or Declaration of Rights
of the Rus-Ukrainian church, pointed to the princes Oleg and Vladimir of
Kiev as the forerunners of the Kozak leaders. Likewise the chronicler, Samovidets, who wrote, about 1672, the story of Bohdan Khmelnitskys wars,
started his list of Ukrainian rulers with the name of Prince Vladimir. In
their turn, Ukrainians of the 18th and 19th centuries looked to Bohdan Khmelnitskys times for the historical background of their own aspirations.
Thus, the Kozak period with its dramatic events, served as a link between
the past and the present.
The degree of dependence of Ukraines political history on her geographic background were likewise most drastically revealed during the
8

(1842 .) . .

357

Kozak period. Ukrainian steppes are but the beginning or the end if you
look from a different side of the vast zone of Eurasian steppes stretching
as they are way east to Mongolia. Through ages Ukraine was a battlefield
between East and West, North and South. In spite of this, the people tried
through ages to keep their territory, although at times the eastern nomads
pushed them northward from the steppes.
Aboriginal Slavic tribes lived in the territory of modern Ukraine from
time immemorial. In the 6th century A.D. the strongest of these tribes were
known as Antae. They may be considered as the forbears of the modern
Bulgarians, the Ukrainians, and the southeast Russians. The ruling clans of
the Antae were of Iranian stock, and one of them was known as the RokhsAs (the Light Antae). It is probably from the name of this clan that the
name, Rus derived. In any case the name, Rus originated in the South long
before the coming of the Varangian princes who subsequently assumed it
as their own. The Varangian princes of Kiev established their rule on the
foundations of statehood of the Khazar period, and it is characteristic that
both Vladimir and Yaroslav used the Khazar title of Khagan. The Kievan
state was a federation of the Rus and other East Slavic tribes, and gradually
the name, Rus, spread over the whole country. The Greek Orthodox church
and the Church Slavonic language, as the literary vehicle, were the unifying factors in Kievan civilization. By the 12th century there started the process of formation, out of so many tribal dialects, of national languages, the
Ukrainian and the Great Russian. The White Russian language began consolidating itself about a century later. Both agriculture and craftsmanship
made considerable progress during the Kievan period and in the 11th century
the first Code of Law of the Rus was compiled, many features of which
were later on incorporated into so-called Lithuanian Statute of the 16th century.
It was unfortunate that due to the lack of unity between the princes,
descendants of Yaroslav, they were not able to keep the Turkish nomads9 in
check, and the latter gradually cut the Rus from the sea shores. Thus, the
territorial background of the Kievan state was constantly shrinking and the
population had to move northward. The Mongol invasion of 1240 was only
the final blow in that respect. Even after the breaking of the Mongol Empire into several Hordes, the Khanate of Crimea kept dominating the Ukrainian steppes and harassing both Poland and Moscovy with constant raids
after each of which droves of captives were sent to the Black Sea ports to
9

, nomads.

358

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
be sold as slaves to Levantine or Italian merchants. Since the governments
of neither Poland nor Moscovy were able to give full protection to the population of their respective border lands, the latter had to depend on their
own power of resistance, and it was in such way that the Kozak Hosts of
Zaporozhie and of Don came into being. The term, Kozak, is supposed to
have derived from the Turkish word, kazak which means free warrior.
Incidentally, the spelling Kozak, being as it is a correct transliteration of
the Ukrainian term, has to be preferred to the traditional English spelling,
Cossack.
The attitude of the Polish government to the Kozaks wavered between
the desire to have the benefit of their fighting strength, and the fear of their
becoming a danger for the Poles themselves. The Kozaks were at that time
the only independent group of the Ukrainian nation; the bulk of the people
were serfs of the Polish or Polonized landowners. They were oppressed
both socially and religiously, since the Polish Government tried to curb the
activities of the Greek Orthodox Church. In view of the circumstances it
was but natural that the initiative in the Ukrainian Revolution of 1648 belonged to the Kozaks. The Ukrainian Revolution of that year was an event
of primary importance not only for Ukraine itself but for Europe at large.
Its significance was that of international scope. It was one of the major
events of the 17th century, to be compared with the Thirty Years War and
the English Revolution of 1640-49. Parallels might be drawn between the
policies of Oliver Cromwell and those of Bohdan Khmelnitsky, and there
was even an attempt of establishing a contact between the English and
Ukrainian diplomacy through Sweden and Transylvania.
The causes of the Ukrainian Revolution were manifold. From political
angle, the attempt of the Polish government to curt all the rights and privileges of the Kozak Host proved to be disastrous to Poland; the oppression
of Ukrainian peasants by their landlords brought about social unrest; and
the denial of freedom and equality to the Greek Orthodox Church made the
things even more complicated. Accordingly, the main objectives of the
Revolution were threefold, to wit: 1) religious freedom; 2) social equality;
and 3) political rights.
I have no time to discuss the course of events of war and revolution in
details. Suffice it to say that after his first successes over the Poles, Hetman
Bohdan Khmelnitsky was ready to compromise with the King of Poland,
provided the latter would satisfy the basic demands of the Ukrainians. The
Poles, however, were not ready to grant any far-reaching autonomy to
Ukraine, and the owners of the large estates especially were not willing to
359

give up their privileges. Thus, the struggle continued, and in 1651 Bohdan,
because of the defection of his allies, the Crimean Tatars, was defeated by
the Poles. He then was compelled to turn to the Tsar of Moscow for protection. The Kozaks took an oath of allegiance to the Tsar in Pereyaslav on
January 18, 1654, and two months later the instrument of the union was
signed in Moscow. Complete autonomy of Ukraine was guarantied, and
according to the provisions of the treaty, the Hetman reserved for himself
the right of maintaining diplomatic relations with foreign powers. Preliminary of any negociations10 with Poland and Turkey he had to ask authorization of the Tsar, however. Bohdan took advantage of the provisions of the
union to negotiate, not long before his death, an alliance with Sweden which,
he hoped, would greatly strengthen the position of Ukraine. Bohdan was
taken by death in the midst of a war with Poland and before the autonomy
of Ukraine had sufficient time to strike root (1657). His life work was thus
not completed, but even so his achievements were of tremendous importance. Bohdan may be considered the greatest leader Ukraine had in the
Kozak period, perhaps even in the whole modern period at large. He certainly was one of the outstanding men of his age and would stand comparison with contemporary statesmen of Europe. The Polish historian, L. Kubala, called him aptly the Cromwell of Ukraine.11 Bohdan received good
education in the Jesuit College of Yaroslav; he knew several languages
Latin, Polish, Turkish, and according to some, even French. In his ways
and habits he was a typical Kozak, capable of great exertion during campaigns and taking it easy in peace time. Physically, he was powerfully built,
although not very tall. Women played an important role in his life, especially his second wife, Helen, whom some classically minded historians called
Helen of Troy since Bohdans jealousy of her was one of the contributing
motives in his revolt against the Poles. While Bohdan was at his best in
diplomacy, he was also a strong military leader and an able ruler. He took
great pains in organizing both the Ukrainian army and the Ukrainian administration and succeeded in both fields in an amazingly short period. Due
to the circumstances, administrative branch was closely connected with the
army. The country was divided into seventeen regiments according to the
number of military districts. Thus, the basic feature of Ukrainian administration for the whole Hetmanschina period were laid.
, negotiations.
, , Wojna Mosk
(1910) pp. 7-8. , : L. Kubala. Wojna moskiewska, r.
1654-1655. Warszawa, 1910.
10
11

360

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
In view of the subsequent curtailment and the graduate extinction of
Ukrainian autonomy in the first half of the 18th century, one may be inclined to question the validity of Bohdans life work and the soundness of
his policy. However, he hardly may be made responsible for the mistakes
of his successors who neglected at least two of the main rules of his policy
to wit: keeping aloof from Poland and maintaining of the unity of the Ukrainian people. Ivan Vyhovskys agreement with Poland (1658) which was
upheld by part of the starshyna but opposed by the rank and file Kozak
resulted in a civil war which was furthermore aggravated by foreign intervention. During this period of the so called Ruina (the ruination) Ukraine
broke into three parts each under its own Hetman, and it was but natural
that that portion of Ukraine which remained under the Tsars protection
was at a disadvantage with regard to keeping intact its autonomy. Moreover, the new Ukrainian ruling class the starshyna was interested in building up its social and economic privileges to the expense of the rights of
the Kozak plebs, and their social aspirations in many cases interfered
with national trends in their policies. This was particularly obvious in
their attitude towards the Don Kozak Host the constitution of which was
similar to that of the Zaporozhie Host but retained original democracy
intact.
In 1670 the Don Kozak Ataman, Stepan Razin started an uprising against
the Moscow boyars which resulted in a peasant revolution all over the south
east of the Muscovite Tsardom. Razins movement had many of the features in common with the Ukrainian revolution of 1648, and had Bohdan
Khmelnitsky been still alive in 1670 he probably would have taken advantage of Razins revolt to improve and strengthen the status of Ukraine. The
whole course of history might have been changed by a joint action of Ukraine
and Don. Actually, only one of the three rival Hetmans of Razins time,
Petro Doroshenko, the vassal of the Sultan, showed some interest in Razins
movement. The Left Bank Ukraine remained loyal to the Tsar, and the latters troops finally defeated Razin. Thus, first rate12 opportunity was lost.
The situation repeated itself in 1707, during the Russo-Swedish war, when
the Don Kozaks revolted again under the leadership of the Ataman, Kondrati Bulavin. Bulavin sent his emissaries to the Zaporozhie Sich asking for
assistance. The koshevoi, while personally sympathetic, was afraid to break
with the Tsar, especially since no hint was given him on the part of Hetman
, , rare. . thus,
the second.

12

361

Mazepa. A small group of Zaporozhie Kozak youth left for the Don on
their own risk. It is hard to understand Mazepas attitude towards the matter
since he himself was at that time preparing the ground for his break with
Russia and was already engaged in secret negotiations with Sweden. It was
obviously in his interest to join forces with Bulavin. The reason why he did
not do it was probably his fear of the radical tendencies of Bulavins movement. As a result, both Bulavin and Mazepa failed. Thus, the second opportunity for a union between Ukraine and the Don was lost. There was no
third one, since after 1708 the rights of both Ukraine and the Don were
curtailed.
Let us now leave behind the political aspects of the Kozak period and
conclude by a glance on its cultural aspects. The Revolution of 1648 was
followed by rapid cultural progress. The Kievan Ecclesiastical Academy13
which was founded in 163114 five years before Harvard and seventy years
before Yale played a leading role in promoting Ukrainian culture. Numerous schools were established in Bohdans time all over the country. The
Deacon, Paul of Aleppo, who traveled in Ukraine in 1654, was much impressed by the progress of education. Such was the innate vitality of Ukrainian nation, that, in spite of the devastation of the Ruina period, by the
beginning of the 18th century Ukraines economics and cultural life15 showed
much progress, and in the first half of the 18th century Ukraine was perhaps
leading the16 ahead of other Slavic nations in the field of learning and education.
BAR, George Vernadsky Collection, Box 96. . .

1817 . - (Kyiv Mohyla Academy),


.
14
1632 .
.: . . , . . . - . ,
2003. 184 .
15
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16
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13

362

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
3.

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[]. Sep 28 1937. , . . (1900 1982), ,
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. . : A. G. Mazour. An Outline of Modern Russian
Historiography. Berkeley, 1938. . , :
Modern Russian Historiography. Westport, Conn., 1975.
17

363


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364

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
. . .
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West Wardsboro, Vermont . .
30 1937 .
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, estina svta
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, A History of Russia (New Haven, 1929)
, (, 1934)
, Political and Diplomatic History of Russia (Boston,
1936)
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. :
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BAR, George Vernadsky Collection, Box 96. . .

365

4.
George Vernadsky
440 Edgewood Ave
New Haven, Conn.
Tel. 8-6594
. .
13 , 1940


,
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Let me now shift to English, since my Ukrainian has lately become rather
rusty. I appreciate greatly the late Hrushevskys historical work and should
consider it a privilege to write a preface to the American edition of this
book, but in the same time I cannot fully accept his general approach and in
case you would like me to write the preface I would have to make some
reservations and mention my own attitude to the main problem of Ukrainian history. I wonder whether this would be acceptable to you.
I take this opportunity to ask your advice in the following matter. I have
written a brief biography of Bogdan Khmelnitsky. My manuscript is in
English and contains 184 typewritten pages. I offered it to several American publishers for their consideration, but while they liked it, they were
doubtful about possible sales, and so none of them accepted my manuscript
for publication. It occurred to me that you may know some publisher who
would be interested in Ukrainian subjects and so would consider my manuscript for publication.
,

P.S. , .
BAR, George Vernadsky Collection, Box 50. . .
366

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
5.
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368

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
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369

Ab Imperio, 4/2006

Rebecca CHAMBERLAIN-CREANG

THE TRANSNISTRIAN PEOPLE:


CITIZENSHIP AND IMAGININGS OF THE STATE
IN AN UNRECOGNIZED COUNTRY*

Introduction
It was a sub-zero, snowy winter afternoon in Rybnitsa. For twenty
minutes I was waiting next to the bustling Transnistrian border crossing
for the number-eleven international marshrutka (mini-bus) to neighbouring Rezina. As I paced in circles to keep warm, I ran into Natalia
*

Fieldwork-based research was made possible thanks to a US Department of State (Title


VIII) American Councils Advanced Research Fellowship, a University of London Central
Research Fund Award, and a US British Marshall Scholarship travel grant in 2004-05. I
am grateful for comments on earlier drafts of this paper from workshop participants at
the Social Science Research Councils Dissertation Development Workshop Governance
and mobility in Eurasia: continuity and discontinuity (31 March 2 April 2006 at the
University of Wisconsin, Madison) and participants at the conference Memory, history
and identity in Bessarabia and beyond organized by Irina Livezeanu and Jennifer Cash
(21-22 October 2006 at the University of Pittsburgh). I especially thank the following
for taking time to read this paper and to offer helpful suggestions for its improvement:
Robert Hayden, Peter Holquist, Monica Heintz, Charles King, Kimitaka Matsuzato,
Jonathan Parry, Vladimir Solonari and Dmitry Tartakovsky. I also thank the anonymous
reviewers of Ab Imperio. However, no party should be held responsible for the information
and views put forth in this article, as all interpretations, translations and possible mistakes
are my own.

371

R. Chamberlain-Creang, The Transnistrian People...


Pavlovna,1 a secretary at a Rybnitsa factory where I had conducted research. She was coming from the nearby market, balancing heavy shopping bags in hand. We exchanged pleasantries. Noticing that I was at the
number-eleven bus stop, Natalias demeanour suddenly changed. She
abruptly inquired: Are you going to Rezina? I innocently replied, yes, I
have friends (druzia) there. Moving closer to me, she lowered her voice,
privately warning with all seriousness and conviction, they are a different
people (drugoi narod) over there, referring to persons just 0.3 kilometers
across the river in right-bank Moldova.
On another occasion in Rybnitsa, I turned on the radio in the middle of
a question-and-answer contest for young people on the state-run Radio
Pridnestrove station. A female broadcaster was interviewing a primary
school aged boy over the telephone, quizzing him on civic-minded questions
like, what is a state (gosudarstvo)? and what are a people (narod)? One
exchange went as follows:
BROADCASTER: What is a country (Chto eto strana)?
YOUNG CONTESTANT: It is where a people (narod) live.
BROADCASTER: Good, that is correct but a strana does not have to
be big (bolshoi); it can be small (malenkii) too, right?
The broadcaster asked this last question rhetorically, making the point
that a sparsely populated, narrow sliver of land, like Transnistria, can also
be considered a strana.2
Nowhere are ideas of the state, nation and citizenship more important
and contested than in a country that does not exist. The Transnistrian
Moldovan Republic (TMR)3 is not found on world maps, but exists as a
1
Pseudonyms are used in the entirety of this essay to protect individual confidentiality
and location.
2
The Transnistrian Moldovan Republic (TMR) is 4,163 square kilometers (1,626
square miles) with a population of 550,000 people, according to the TMRs 2004 census. The topography of the region includes flat plains, rolling hills and steep river cliffs.
For more information see Olviia Press, the TMRs official news agency: http://
www.olvia.idknet.com/ol62-09-06.htm. Last time consulted 30 November, 2006. Also
see Nikolai Babilunga et al. Fenomen Pridnestrovia. Tiraspol, 2000 and the Atlas of the
Dniester Moldavian Republic (2nd edition). Tiraspol, 2000.
3
See Stefan Troebst. We are Transnistrians!: Post-Soviet Identity Management in the
Dniester Valley // Ab Imperio. 2003. No. 1. Pp. 437-466 for an explanation on the problematics of translating from Russian to English the word Pridnestrove. Throughout this
paper, I translate Pridnestrove as Transnistria, recognizing its limitations, but choosing
the word for ease of reading and not for any political reason.

372

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
de facto independent state,4 eager for international recognition. Since its
declaration of independence in 1990, and its war with Moldova in 19911992, the TMR has been busy at the work of national-identity and statehood building. Authorities insist we have all the attributes of a normal
state5 and possess a distinct Transnistrian identity and citizen spirit. The
pridnestrovskii narod (Transnistrian people) are characterized as industrious, proud and loyal to the gosudarstvo (state), traits opposite of those
projected onto the Moldovans across the Nistru River.6 A number of
scholars in Moldova and Euro-America corroborate the existence of a discrete Transnistrian people group.7 Even the Organization for Security and
Co-operation in Europe, one of the five mediators in the Transnistrian stalemate, believes there is a distinct feeling of Transdniestrian identity
going beyond ethnic lines, justifying a special status for the area.8 However, the TMRs history is marked by events that suggest not all people feel
enduringly Transnistrian and consent to the TMRs authority.9 During
4

This is largely owing to Transnistrias rich industrial resources, thriving black market
and powerful Russian military presence, combined with conscious nation and statehood
building.
5
In Anne Nivat. We have all the Attributes of a Normal State: Interview with Vice
President of the Dniester Moldovan Republic, Aleksandr Karaman // Transition. 1996.
Vol. 2. No. 17. P. 29.
6
My informants in Transnistria, both ethnic Moldovans and Slavs, frequently stereotyped
right-bank Moldovans as lazy, corrupt, greedy, and jealous in comparison with
Transnistrias hardworking people. Surprisingly, right-bank ethnic Moldovans
occasionally used similar stereotypes to describe their own people.
7
Stefan Troebst. We are Transnistrians!: Post-Soviet Identity Management in the
Dniester Valley; Pl Kolst and Andrei Malgin. The Transnistrian Republic: a Case of
Politicized Regionalism // Nationalities Papers. 1998. Vol. 26. No. 1. Pp. 103-127;
OLoughlin et al. National Construction, Territorial Separtism, and Post-Soviet Geopolitics in the Transdniester Moldovan Republic // Post-Soviet Geography and Economics.
1998. Vol. 39. No. 6. Pp. 332-358; Alla Skvortsova. Transnistrian People An Identity
of Its Own // Moldova Academic Review. 2002. Vol. 1. No. 1. See also David Laitin.
Identity in Formation: the Russian-speaking Populations in the Near Abroad. Ithaca,
1998, who hypothesizes that Russians in the near abroad, like in the TMR, will evolve
into a new national grouping, different from Russians in Russia. As my paper discusses,
I recognize that new national identities are forming among Russians in the near abroad,
but I question the durability of such identities, especially amid ongoing socio-economic
change and growing emigration and migration.
8
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Conflict Prevention Centre.
Transdniestrian conflict: origins and issues. Accessed online: http://www.osce.org/
documents/mm/1994/06/455_en.pdf. Last time consulted 30 November, 2006. P. 6.
9
For example, consider the Moldovan school-closure crisis in Michael Shafir. Moldovan Lyceum Teachers, Students Barricade Themselves to Prevent School Closure [] //

373

R. Chamberlain-Creang, The Transnistrian People...


my lengthy period of field research in northern Transnistria, I encountered
an array of identities and opinions, sometimes opposing and sometimes
championing the idea of a loyal Transnistrian citizenry. This essay explores
the legitimacy of a so-called Transnistrian people.10 It does so by focusing
not on nation building and the pridnestrovskii narod per se,11 but on peoples other salient identifications (e.g. rural/urban, labor, ethnic identity) as
they intersect with stateness and citizen belonging. The research aims to
give voice to a multiplicity of local perspectives. It is a study into how
different people experience the state and construct a sense of belonging
in relation to it. Through a combination of informal and semi-structured
interviews, and participant-observation in state spectacles, schools and factories, I look at the way social actors in Transnistria talk about and act on
practices and ideas of the state (gosudarstvo and statul) and citizenship
(grazhdanstvo and cetenie).12 This essay attempts to link literature on
citizenship more closely with anthropological thinking on the state.
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty. 2004. 26 July. Also consider steelworkers emigration
to Russia in Ispytanie // Dobryi Den. 2006. No. 30. 20 July. P. 2.
10
To clarify from the outset, I do not take the pridnestrovskii narod to be an ethnic group
in waiting (pace Stefan Troebst. We are Transnistrians!), but rather a contested category
of nationness or belonging (see John Borneman. Belonging in the Two Berlins: Kin,
State, Nation. Cambridge, 1992. P. 339). I consider national identity to be a category of
groupness (following Rogers Brubaker. Ethnicity without Groups. Cambridge, MA,
2004.) In local Russian and Romanian languages, narod and popor refer to a people
group, and natsionalnost and naionalitate to ethnicity (although usually translated as
nationality in English). In this paper I pass by the topic of national identity, and try
to avoid using the expression Transnistrian people, which I consider questionable,
preferring to focus on the state-person link, which is at the core of nationality.
11
See Stefan Troebst. We are Transnistrians!: Post-Soviet Identity Management in the
Dniester Valley.
12
Note on language: Here I use the Russian and Romanian language variants. The three
official languages of the TMR are Moldovan (written in the Cyrillic alphabet),
Russian and Ukrainian. However, Russian is the predominant language spoken in urban
centers and in industrial and bureaucratic sectors. Most Ukrainians in the TMR prefer to
speak Russian. They and ethnic Russians usually have little speaking knowledge of
Moldovan. The Moldovan dialect dominates in villages. Most ethnic Moldovans in the
TMR call their limba matern (mother tongue) and naionalitate Moldovan and not
Romanian. Following their lead, I do the same throughout this paper. During interviews
and periods of participant observation, I used the language my informants wished to use
with me. For ethnic Moldovans this was frequently Moldovan mixed with Russian words,
while at other times purely Russian. In the ethnography I try to capture the diversity of
languages being spoken.

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Ab Imperio, 4/2006
Citizenship belonging and the state
Citizenship at its heart is about the relationship between persons and the
state.13 Scholars agree that this relationship is not just juridical, about static
rights and responsibilities, but a dynamic process about loyalty and belonging.14 It is a relationship constituted through peoples changing experiences and ideologies of the state,15 in relation to everyday material entitlements (e.g., civic, political, social, cultural) and learned obligations.16
Citizenship studies devote considerable attention to the tension between
citizenship as belonging and exclusion,17 deriving from the paradox that
13
For clarification, I define citizenship both as a legal category and as a changing social
imaginary. In the latter sense, citizenship can be understood as peoples feelings of loyalty
to, or identification with the state, as indexed by social actors changing participation in
and narratives about institutions and ideologies of the state (following John Borneman.
Belonging in the Two Berlins). This paper is concerned with exploring this aspect of
citizenship.
14
See Rachel Sieder. Rethinking Citizenship: Reforming the Law in Postwar Guatemala // Thomas B. Hansen and Finn Stepputat (Eds.). States of Imagination: Ethnographic Explorations of the Postcolonial State. Durham, NC, 2001. Pp. 203-220. Also
Nils Butenschon, Uri Davis & Manuel Hassassian (Eds.). Citizenship and the State in
the Middle East: Approaches and Applications. Syracuse, 2000; and Will Kymlicka and
Wayne Norman. Return of the Citizen: Recent Work on Citizenship Theory // Ethics.
1994. Vol. 104. Pp. 352-381.
15
See David Nugent. Building the State, Making the Nation: the Bases and Limits of
State Centralization // American Anthropologist. 1994. Vol. 96. No. 2. Pp. 333-369.
16
Consult Amy Caiazza. Mothers and Soldiers: Gender, Citizenship, and Civil Society
in Contemporary Russia. New York, 2002. Katherine Verdery captures these qualities of
citizenship in defining it as follows: Citizenship is a membership category, a mechanism
for allocating persons to states and thus as something that creates belonging (Katherine
Verdery. Transnationalism, Nationalism, Citizenship, and Property: Eastern Europe since
1989 // American Ethnologist. 1998. Vol. 25. No. 2. Pp. 293.) She goes on to explain
how the category of citizenship distinguishes belongers from excluded, often on the
basis of ethnicity in post-socialist countries, as well as ties belongers to the state as the
guarantor of their rights, integrating them as subjects (Ibid. P. 293). This research,
however, focuses on citizenship less as a state-produced membership category and more
as a social imaginary among ordinary people.
17
The paper is aware that citizenship, as a juridical, legal status, does not always equal
attachment. In unrecognised Transnistria people often hold up to three passports and
three citizenships (e.g. Transnistrian, Moldovan and Ukrainian), feeling more loyalty to
some than others. Most people I know in Transnistria hold a TMR and Moldovan passport, obtaining the latter for financial and utilitarian reasons to travel abroad (CIS countries no longer recognize the TMR passport as before). A Russian passport is considered
the most desirable in the TMR; however, it is deemed expensive, whereas a Moldovan
passport is discounted for TMR residents (unlike for right-bank residents). This aside,

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R. Chamberlain-Creang, The Transnistrian People...


some citizen entitlements equalize (e.g., voting rights), while most others
discriminate and differentiate persons (e.g., pensions, minority language
rights). Scholars show how these differentiated entitlements can translate
into differentiated belongings to the state, and hence differentiated citizenries.18 While a good starting point, I find these studies give less notice to
the thing individuals feel, or do not feel, a sense of belonging to the
state. Attention is given to allegiance to the national-political community,19 while the state as an object and idea of belonging fades from view.
There are several explanations for the state not figuring prominently
into citizenship studies. Firstly, scholars point to a globalizing world of
increased mobility where not all state residents are citizens, and not all
persons are members of nation-states (e.g., refugees, migrants).20 Secondly, anthropologists stress that non-political identifications (e.g., kinship, tribal
and religious affiliations) often play as important of a role as the state in
constituting and mediating citizenship.21 Thirdly, similar scholars emphasize the blurred boundary between state and society,22 and the intertwining
my concern in this paper is to assess peoples identification with the Transnistrian state.
On exclusion see Talal Asad. Multi-cultural and British Ideology // Politics and Society.
1990. Vol. 18. Pp. 445-480; also Aihwa Ong. Cultural Citizenship as Subject-Making:
Immigrants Negotiate Racial and Cultural Boundaries in the United States // Current
Anthropology. 1996. Vol. 37. No. 5. Pp. 737-762; and Immanuel Wallerstein. Citizens
All? Citizens Some! The Making of the Citizen // Comparative Studies in Society and
History. 2003. Vol. 25. No. 2. Pp. 291-306.
18
Robert Hayden. Constitutional Nationalism in the Formerly Yugoslav Republics //
Slavic Review. 1992. Vol. 51. Pp. 654-673; Idem. Blueprints for a House Divided: The
Constitutional Logic of the Yugoslav Conflicts. Ann Arbor, 1999. See also Katherine
Verdery. Transnationalism, Nationalism, Citizenship, and Property: Eastern Europe since
1989.
19
Cf. Veronique Bn. Introduction: Education and Citizenship in a Comparative
Perspective // Veronique Bn (Ed.). Education and the Manufacturing of Citizenship
in Europe, South Asia, and China. New York, 2005. Pp. 1-34.
20
See Nira Yuval-Davis and Pnina Werbner (Eds.). Women, Citizenship and Difference.
London, 1999.
21
Aihwa Ong. Cultural Citizenship as Subject-Making: Immigrants Negotiate Racial
and Cultural Boundaries in the United States // Current Anthropology. 1996. Vol. 37.
No. 5. Pp. 737-762. Also Suad Joseph. Gendering Citizenship in the Middle East // Suad
Joseph and Susan Slyomovic (Eds.). Gender and Citizenship in the Middle East.
Philadelphia, 2000. In other words, persons become citizens not as individuals, but as
part of collectivities.
22
This may be owing to a poststructuralist trend that forsakes the term state, preferring
to speak of practices of government, so as not to reify the state as an entity detached
from society (cf. Timothy Mitchell. Society, Economy and the State Effect // George

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Ab Imperio, 4/2006
of civic-state and ethnic-national identities.23 While all valid points, I
believe none invalidate the relevance of the state to citizenship, especially in contexts where the state once carried heavy ideological weight, as in
the former Soviet Union,24 and in contemporary places where the sovereign state is almost a fetish and nationality is about state loyalty, as in
the unrecognized Transnistrian Moldovan Republic.25
Even when the state does figure strongly in writings on citizenship,26
the state is often depicted as a Hobbesian, top-down architect of citizenship, when in reality the state and citizenship are also constituted from the
ground up.27 In other cases, the state assumes an unproblematic, loosely
defined place, when in fact the state is a complex and loaded concept.28 It
is either described as a unitary thing separate from society,29 or it coexists uncomfortably alongside Foucauldian non-state notions like governSteinmetz (Ed.). State/Culture: State-Formation after the Cultural Turn. Ithaca, 1999).
While I agree that we should be careful not to thing-ify the state, I do not think the
term state needs to be abandoned, only carefully historicized in cultural context. For
similar scholars see Akhil Gupta. Blurred Boundaries: the Discourse of Corruption, the
Culture of Politics and the Imagined State // American Ethnologist. 1995. Vol. 22. No. 2.
Pp. 375-402.
23
Cf: The relationship of nationality and citizenship is a blurred one (Veronique Bn.
Introduction: Education and Citizenship in a Comparative Perspective. P. 13). Bn
explains how the civic and ethnic, national collapse into one another and are often
mutually constitutive of each other (Pp. 13-16).
24
William Rosenberg. Social Mediation and State Construction(s) in Revolutionary
Russia // Social History. 1994. Vol. 19. No. 2. Pp. 168-188.
25
Loyalty to the state is one of the chief hallmarks of Transnistrian national identity, if
such an identity can be said to exist. The government-sponsored newspaper Novosti
depicts this in its description of pridnestrovskii narod: an industrious, kind, fair and
proud people, building their own state and defending it [my emphasis] (PMR 15 let!
C prazdnikom! // Novosti. 2005. 3 September. P. 1.)
26
See the well-known study by T. H. Marshall. Citizenship and Social Class. Cambridge,
1992.
27
Nugent demonstrates how ordinary people actively bring the state and citizen belonging
into being (David Nugent. Building the State, Making the Nation: the Bases and Limits
of State Centralization). I thank Deborah James for this point.
28
Philip Abrams. Notes on the Difficulty of Studying the State // Journal of Historical
Sociology. 1988. Vol. 1. No. 1. Pp. 58-89.
29
Cf. on post-Soviet context Vesna Popovski. National Minorities and Citizenship Rights
in Lithuania, 1988-93. London, 2000. Also Elizabeth Teague. Citizenship, Borders, and
National Identity // Alexander Motyl, Blair Ruble and Lilia Shevtsova (Eds.). Russias
Engagement with the West: Transformation and Integration in the Twenty-first Century.
New York, 2005.

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R. Chamberlain-Creang, The Transnistrian People...


mentality.30 A careful rendering of the state, of its multiple layers and ideologies can aid the study of citizenship. It can show how peoples imagination of the state as a tangible authority, capable of governing powerfully
and benevolently, is central to how people reckon their own citizenship.
For if citizenship has to do partly with rights and responsibilities, as anthropologists like Bn acknowledge, the state must be real, powerful and benevolent in peoples minds in order for them to be compelled to fulfill certain duties, and in order for people to believe they will receive certain entitlements from the state.31 This is relevant to the TMR, which is not considered a real state by international powers. In order for Transnistria to be
real to those who inhabit its space, and in order to secure subjects loyalty,
it must convince people of its ideological and material stateness.
Languages of stateness
The state is an ambiguous concept. It is illusory and distant, as well as a
set of localized institutions. It is mythically sacred and profane, while concretely benevolent and violent. The paradoxical nature of the state being
both a material force and [an] ideological construct,32 to use Timothy
Mitchells words is what makes the state so challenging to conceptualize
and difficult to study. In their volume, States of Imagination, anthropologists Thomas Blom Hansen and Finn Stepputat lay out what I believe is one
of the clearest blueprints for ethnographically studying the state. They identify widespread, historically specific ideas of governance and authority,
which they call languages of stateness. They propose that anthropologists examine how these ideas of governance and authority are manifested,
understood and imbued with ideological qualities in varying cultural con30

See Aihwa Ong. Cultural Citizenship as Subject-Making: Immigrants Negotiate Racial


and Cultural Boundaries in the United States. Foucault himself took very little interest
in the state (cf. J. S. Ransom. Foucaults Discipline: the Politics of Subjectivity. Durham,
NC, 1997. Pp. 101-153).
31
It can be argued that this statement does not apply to authoritarian or wartime regimestates, when persons may be forced to fulfill citizen obligations against her or his will.
However, my informants in Transnistria do not imagine the TMR to be awfully dominant
and coercive, despite how the TMR is represented by outside scholars (e.g., Iulian Chifu.
Spaiul post-sovietic: n cutarea identitii. Bucharest, 2005; and Igor Munteanu et al.
Moldova pe calea democraiei i stabilitii. Chiinu, 2005) and by European-American
media (read Nostalgique de lURSS, la Transnistrie moldave veut rejoindre la Russie //
Le Monde. 2006. 18 September. P. 1).
32
Timothy Mitchell. Society, Economy and the State Effect. P. 76.

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Ab Imperio, 4/2006
texts.33 These languages are meant to help the ethnographer see how the
state appears in everyday, localized forms, and how the state tries to make
itself real and tangible, while remaining mythical and sacrosanct.34
To paraphrase Hansen and Stepputats model of stateness,35 the three
languages of governance a modern state invokes are: (1) territorial sovereignty by monopolization of violence, through visible military and police
force, (2) knowledge of the population of the territory (e.g., census), and
(3) resources that ensure the reproduction and well-being of the population.36
These practical languages reproduce the idea that the state exists in a set of
localized institutions. The three languages of authority a state invokes are:
(1) law and legal discourse; (2) embodiment of the state in buildings, road
signs, monuments, uniforms, rituals, etcetera; and (3) nationalisation of
property and institutions (e.g., schools, factories) and the dissemination of
a shared history and community. These symbolic languages reproduce the
idea that the state is at the center of society, a distant but powerful regulator
of social life. Hansen and Stepputat end by stressing: The essential thing
is, however, that a state exists only when these languages of governance
and authority combine and co-exist.37
33

While Hansen and Stepputat focus on postcolonial states (Thomas B. Hansen and
Finn Stepputat (Eds.). States of Imagination: Ethnographic Explorations of the Postcolonial State), I believe their languages of stateness can be analyzed in the post-Soviet
context, so long as careful attention is given to the historical background and contemporary state-society relations, specific to the latter.
34
Ibid. Pp. 5-8. In other words, they enable us to subject the interlocked materialism and
abstractness of the state to empirical scrutiny. For more on how the abstractness and
materiality of the state are inter-related, see Timothy Mitchell. Society, Economy and
the State Effect. P. 77
35
Thomas B. Hansen and Finn Stepputat (Eds.). States of Imagination: Ethnographic
Explorations of the Postcolonial State. Pp. 7-8.
36
For example, pensions, welfare benefits and tax revenue/collection fall under this
category. This aspect of stateness is most examined in the paper.
37
Ibid. P. 8. In other words, a states legitimacy is not just predicated on meeting
traditional Weberian conditions, but also on fulfilling important symbolic, ideological
functions. A legitimate modern state is usually considered: An impersonal constitutional order, identified with and controlling a given territory. A public power, separate
from ruler and ruled, with supreme political jurisdiction within defined boundaries, backed
by a monopoly of coercive power, enjoying a minimum of support from citizens (David
Held. The Development of the Modern State // Stuart Hall and Bram Gieben (Eds.).
Formations of Modernity. Oxford, 1992. Pp. 71-126.) While not discounting this definition, this paper aims to move beyond a simply Hobbesian and Weberian conceptualization of the state, as ethnography illustrates that people have other important ideas about
the state (see David Nugent. Building the State, Making the Nation).

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Transnistrian leaders invoke languages of governance and authority in
the construction of their state. The Pridnestrovskaya Moldavskaya Respublika has its own flag, army, police, passport, currency, money mint, national
bank, statistics bureau, constitution, welfare system and national anthem
the chief hallmarks of statehood. Mundane government activities like road
building, customs control and welfare distribution reinforce Transnistrias
sense of stateness. What is of interest to me in this paper is how different
social actors interact with state practices and state imagery. My focus is not
simply a top-down analysis of Transnistrian state building,38 but a bottomup view of peoples engagement with Transnistrian stateness and negotiation of citizenship belonging. My departing point is that ordinary people
play a role in constituting the state and citizenship. Taking hints from Akhil
Gupta, David Nugent and Aihwa Ong, I pay attention to the relationship
between actors social positioning and cultural assumptions of the state and
citizenship.
Imagining the state, imagining citizenship in the post-socialist
context
In formerly socialist countries, social entitlements were key to how people imagined the state. Katherine Verdery describes how in Romania the
communist party-state was officially represented as fatherly and paternalist, making wise, important decisions in the best interest of the whole
family, the Romanian nation.39 People were taught to express material
38

On Transnistrian nation building, see Stefan Troebst. We are Transnistrians!: PostSoviet Identity Management in the Dniester Valley; and Alla Skvortsova. Transnistrian
People An Identity of Its Own. Also Vladimir Solonari. Creating a People: A Case
Study in Post-Soviet History-Writing // Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian
History. 2003. Vol. 4. No. 2. Pp. 411-438.
39
Katherine Verdery. Transnationalism, Nationalism, Citizenship, and Property. Pp. 23233. I recognize that there are differences between the Romanian and Soviet socialist
experience. Whereas in Romania the nation (read: Romanian) became intimately bound
up with the party-state (cf. K. Verdery. National Ideology under Socialism: Identity and
Cultural Politics in Ceausescus Romania. Berkeley, 1991), the relationship between
state and nation was arguably more ambiguous and contested in the larger, more ethnically diverse Soviet Union, as reflected in Soviet arguments over how best to define
the nation (as something multi or supra-national [read Soviet] or as something uneasily or unavoidably Russian: see Yitzhak Brudny. Reinventing Russia: Russian Nationalism and the Soviet State, 1953-1991. Cambridge, MA, 1998) and in longstanding
debates over the nationality question (natsionalnyi vopros) (see, for example, Francine Hirsch. Empire of Nations: Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet
Union. Ithaca, 2005.) Ambiguity over the nation led some Soviet political theorists to

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needs that the the Benevolent Father Party-State could satisfy.40 So long
as the communist state generally fulfilled these needs in handing out social
entitlements, it secured popular, mass support (Verdery calls this socialist
paternalism).41
History has shown that socialist paternalism only won a partial positive backing. Still, it left an indelible mark on individuals.42 In post-socialist
Russia, David Anderson shows how people associate social entitlements
with words like grazhdanin (citizen) and kultura (culture, civilization),43
evincing an important link between social rights and citizenship. The people
of ex-socialist countries learned to imagine citizenship through social entitlements, probably because citizenship under communism only really conferred social rights (e.g., the right to work, education and health care versus
contentious political and civil rights).44 However, social entitlements were
not given out equally to all people.
Both Anderson and Caiazza point out that in the Soviet Union a person
received a different set of social entitlements and had a different obligation
emphasize the state as an ideal, in lieu of the nation (see Rosenberg. Social Mediation
and State Construction(s) in Revolutionary Russia). However, the state ideal may have
been undermined in the everyday practice of entitlement giving. Although Soviet authorities taught loyalty to the state over separate nations, the way in which people
received entitlements, and the sorts of entitlements received, often depended on each
persons natsionalnost (national or ethnic identity). This substantiates the opinion that
natsionalnost, instead of withering under socialism, was in fact institutionalized, gradually becoming increasingly intertwined with civic ideas like citizenship (see Yuri Slezkine. The USSR as a Communal Apartment, or How a Socialist State Promoted Ethnic
Particularism // Slavic Review. 1994. Vol. 53. No. 2. Pp. 414-452).
40
I believe this is an example of the socially constructed nature of citizenship, whereby
persons are taught certain obligations to the state (e.g., the responsibility to turn over to
the party-state all personal means of production, from property to pigs) in exchange for
entitlements they learn to expect.
41
Katherine Verdery. Transnationalism, Nationalism, Citizenship, and Property. Pp. 24-26.
42
Interestingly, during my field research I found that peoples nostalgia for socialism
frequently centered on nostalgia for a paternalistic state, remembering only its morality
(e.g., social entitlements linked with the state), and not its profanity (e.g., deportations
and political imprisonment associated with a particular regime).
43
Anderson gives the example of a social entitlement, subsidized passenger airline transport (grazhdanskaia aviatsiia), which in Russian has the adjective of citizen (grazhdanin) in its wording. Cf. David Anderson. Bringing Civil Society to an Uncivilised Place:
Citizenship Regimes in Russias Artic Frontier // Chris Hann and Elizabeth Dunn (Eds.).
Civil Society: Challenging Western Models. London, 1996. Pp. 103-104.
44
This is because the nature of the communist system did not allow for the existence of
political and civil rights. Cf. Vesna Popovski. National Minorities and Citizenship Rights
in Lithuania, 1988-93. P. 6.

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R. Chamberlain-Creang, The Transnistrian People...


to the party-state, depending on the persons ethnicity, gender and work
role (e.g., metalworker versus fisherman)45 a practice that continues today. Amy Caiazza explains that this inequality of citizen rights is embedded
in Soviet and Russian ideologies of gender, and the state and citizenship
(and labor, I would add), which justify and rationalize citizen disparity. Its
upshot is that it effectively creates multiple citizenries such as mothers,
soldiers and ethnic groups (like Andersons Evenki) each having a
different type of relationship with and sense of belonging to the state.46 The
lesson to be learned from Anderson and Caiazza is that although the partystate and its proletarian citizenship proclaimed to be civic, non-ethnic and
equal, they were in fact expressed and experienced ethnically and hierarchically.47
Transnistrian imaginings of the state
I lived in the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic for thirteen months (between November 2004 and March 2006), as part of multi-sited, ethnographic
fieldwork for the doctoral dissertation, Identity and Industrial Change on a
Contested Borderland, Moldova-Transnistria.48 The research in this essay
45

For an example of how this played out in everyday life in Siberia, see David Anderson.
Bringing Civil Society to an Uncivilised Place: Citizenship Regimes in Russias Artic
Frontier. Pp. 109-110. Amy Caiazza. Mothers and Soldiers: Gender, Citizenship, and
Civil Society in Contemporary Russia.
46
This suggests that multiple identities of a non-civic nature (e.g., ethnic, kin, gender)
do play a role in mediating the relationship between state and subjects (see Suad Joseph.
Gendering Citizenship in the Middle East; and Deborah James. Gaining Ground? Rights
and Property in South African Land Reform. London, 2006), and in conditioning
degrees of citizen belonging (cf. Aihwa Ong. Cultural Citizenship as Subject-Making:
Immigrants Negotiate Racial and Cultural Boundaries in the United States. P. 737).
47
This point may not be new for citizenship studies in the post-socialist context, which
focus mostly on the ways in which citizenship is becoming increasingly ethnicized, as
newly independent states use national/ethnic identity to define belonging and exclusion
(on Yugoslav successor states see Robert Hayden. Blueprints for a House Divided; Idem.
Constitutional Nationalism in the Formerly Yugoslav Republics // Slavic Review. 1992.
Vol. 51. Pp. 654-673; on Romania: Katherine Verdery. Transnationalism, Nationalism,
Citizenship, and Property), and use citizenship for nation-state building purposes (on
Lithuania: Vesna Popovski. National Minorities and Citizenship Rights in Lithuania,
1988-93.).
48
I also lived five months in right-bank Moldova. Social-cultural anthropologists rely
on such lengthy periods of fieldwork, participating in the lives of informants and engaging
local institutions, in order to uncover the social practices, contradictions and voids that
constitute culture.

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Ab Imperio, 4/2006
represents only a small portion of the wider study. Most of my fieldwork in
Transnistria took place in Rybnitsa/Rbnia, the TMRs most industrialized
city, with regular visits to villages in the Rybnitsa raion (district). Many
local people refer to Rybnitsa (population 32,000) as a ruskii gorod or oraul
rus (Russian city). Almost one-third of the population, though, is ethnic
Moldovan. The majority of villages in the raion are ethnic Moldovan while
others are Ukrainian.49 This makes Rybnitsa and the raion representative
of other industrialized, ethnically mixed regions, such as Tiraspol and
Bendery. I chose Rybnitsa (approximately 150 kilometers from Tiraspol), a
less known city, to test how TMR stateness is felt and citizenship belonging
is created away from the TMRs charismatic capital, Tiraspol.50
URBAN ENCOUNTERS OF THE STATE FROM THE SPECTACULAR TO MUNDANE
Happy birthday, my republic (S dnm rozhdeniia, moia respublika)
reads a fire red, Soviet-like banner strung across the roadway into Rybnitsa.
It is 2 September 2005. Towns all over Transnistria celebrate fifteen years
of TMR statehood. An overcast, cool morning in Rybnitsa, people turned
out in throngs to watch the independence-day parade in Victory Square. I
myself arrived one hour early only to be relegated to a mediocre viewing
position. Eager crowds waited patiently, listening to ballads of Our Transnistria blaring over loudspeakers. The parade started promptly at ten with
a lengthy military demonstration. Afterwards the mayor, standing on a raised
plinth with state dignitaries, made a speech boasting of Rybnitsas economic
success and sacrifice to the TMR. Youth dances followed. Then suddenly
the celebratory mood changed with the sound of machine guns and bomb
blasts. The noise was part of a well-choreographed interpretative dance
depicting Transnistrias 1992 war with Moldova. A moment of silence was
commemorated while a solemn procession of thirty-some people carried
large framed photos of loved ones lost in the conflict. I glimpsed one spectator
49

According to the preliminary results of Transnistrias 2004 census, published on 7


September 2005 by its official news agency, Olviia Press, Moldovans account for 31.9
percent of the population; Russians, 30.3 percent; and Ukrainians, 28.9 percent (http://
www.olvia.idknet.com/o137-09-05.htm. Last time consulted 1 October 2005).
50
I am aware that a good place to examine the construction of TMR nation-ness and
citizen loyalty is the Museum of Benderys tragedy, depicting the 1992 bloodshed in
the area. For a good review of the museum, see Michael Bobick. Sovereignty and the
Paradox of Statehood: Notes from Moldova and Transnistria / Unpublished conference
paper, 2006. However, I am more interested in everyday perceptions of TMR nation and
statehood building at the Transnistrian margins, rather than at its center in Tiraspol and
Bendery.

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R. Chamberlain-Creang, The Transnistrian People...


in front of me wiping tears from her eyes. Next marched somber, yet proud
freedom fighters from the 1992 war, spatially allied with medal-clad veterans of the Second World War. The arrangement of veterans suggested a
moral link between the TMRs war against Moldovan nationalism and
the Soviet Unions moral victory over fascism in the Second World War.
The parade and the very image of the state regained its triumphant
tone. Festive folk dances followed, including a multi-ethnic ensemble themed
druzhba narodov (the friendship of peoples), celebrating Transnistrias inter-ethnic harmony. The second half of the parade was devoted to presentations from local schools, sporting clubs and pioneer-like youth organizations. The parade ended emphasizing the TMRs economic strength. A procession of patriotically decorated floats representing local factories, businesses and collective farms made their way down Victory Street, led by the
towns famed MMZ Steel Plant (from which 50 percent of the TMRs GDP
comes). Proud workers of each enterprise carried banners and balloons and
gleefully waved Transnistrian flags. Spectators like myself walked away
from the parade feeling they had encountered a convincing display of Transnistrian stateness.
Public parades are a classic way persons experience the state. Their effect is to reproduce the idea that the state is the hegemonic centre of society.51 Participants and spectators respond to a state idea (e.g., the protector state in war-time) and state attributes (e.g., military troops) by crying,
waving flags and clapping hands in its honor. In the Rybnitsa parade, these
sorts of gestures suggest that rybnichany (Rybnitsa folk) believe in the TMR
state and see themselves as dutiful citizens. But do they? In order to answer
this question, we need to move from the spectacular to the mundane. Here
in peoples everyday experience of the state we can get at enduring ideas of
TMR stateness and ways of belonging to an unrecognized state.
The line between factory and state is a blurred one in Transnistria. Most
major private enterprises are owned or operated by a state or municipal
politician. In all three of the heavy industrial plants and one food processing factory I toured in Rybnitsa, the states symbolic or practical presence
could be felt: at the MMZ Steel Plant (Moldavskii metallurgicheskii zavod)
it was the TMR army guarding the prized factory, in the Rybnitsa Cement
Works (Rybnitskii tsementnyi kombinat) it was a hanging portrait of President Smirnov, in the Rybnitsa Milk Plant (Rybnitskii molochnyi kombinat)
it was crates of a state-loyal, speciality cheese pridnestrovskii syr (Tran51

Achille Mbembe. Provisional Notes on the Postcolony // Africa. 1992. Vol. 62. Pp. 337.

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Ab Imperio, 4/2006
snistrian cheese), and in the Rybnitsa Pump Plant (Rybnitskii nasosnyi
zavod) it was a patriotic Transnistrian war memorial.52 Such images implant the Transnistrian state in workers lives and re-generate a state-citizen link, which happens to be strongest among the predominantly Russian
and Ukrainian, well-paid aristocracy of labor.53
METAL, MYSTIQUE AND STATEHOOD
The MMZ Steel Plant (or Metallurg, as locals call it), located on the
tallest point in Rybnitsa, is the most famous factory in Transnistria. Its
employees receive the highest salaries in the region.54 The successful, stateof-the-art plant exports steel products to North America and other Western
destinations.55 It is the TMRs kommercheskaya taina (commercial secret
or mystery). Its high profits are represented by media and the rybnichany I
know as moral, communal and sacrificial, as the plant dutifully pays
taxes and monies to the TMR state budget (21 million dollars in 2005),
proudly ensuring the states timely payment of pensions to pensioners [and] other social protections, according to the MMZ economic director.56 The plant is also known for providing social assistance to veterans
of the Second World War and to families of deceased [1992 war] defenders
of Transnistria. The whole of Rybnitsa is in some way linked to the plant,
whether via kin networks, business clientele, or commercial job contracts.57
52

This paper does not go into detail about the role of TMR war memories. On how the
state uses a factorys built environment to mould national behaviour, read Catherine
Alexander. The Factory: Fabricating the State // Journal of Material Culture. 2000. Vol.
5. No. 2. Pp. 177-195.
53
I use this term to describe MMZ steelworkers, given that work at the Metallurg is
considered the most prestigious and well paid in the area: Rabota na Moldavskom
Metallurgicheskom zavode v Rybnitse prochno schitaetsya camoi prestizhnoi (Kommercheskaya taina // Dobryi Den. 2005. 20 January. P. 7).
54
MMZ employs over two thousand workers (exact figure unknown), nine hundred of
whom work in the main steel-melting shop, while the rest work in the steel forge shop.
55
Andrei Brezianu. Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Moldova. Lanham, MD,
2000. Pp. 165-66. MMZ is supposedly the worlds leading producer of black steel
(chernyi prokat).
56
See interview with MMZs economic director in Kak Rybnitsa porabotala s biudzhetom rasschitalis // Dobryi Den. 2005. No. 7. 9 February. P. 1.
57
For example, my informant, Maxim, worked for years as a foreman for a thriving
private construction firm in Rybnitsa. Most of his jobs involved the Metallurg, like
remodeling the factorys sanatorium sauna or building the directors weekend home.
His firm was forced out of business, however, when border-customs tightened and the
MMZ experienced economic hardship in March 2006. Other Rybnitsa factories are also

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The Metallurg as such lies at the TMRs social and economic heart, buttressing its ideology of a socialist-like paternalistic state.58
MMZ employees, depicted in media as model citizens, donate their
time and skills, installing factory-financed holiday lights in Victory Square
and aiding the construction of Rybnitsas first cathedral (MikhailoArhangelskii Sobor). Beyond extramural activities, workers enact and narrate values of the TMR state through shop-floor production.59 A number of
rank-and-file workers I interviewed, mostly from the steel forge shop, commonly stressed pride in their job savoir-faire, reciting work qualifications
and illustrating hard-working commitment to kachestvo (quality). All
employees mentioned their work-collectives sociality (e.g., summer barbeques, bar outings) usually being multi-ethnic and Russian speaking. Such
narrations echo core Transnistrian values like multi-ethnicity, statehood
allegiance, an eastern Orthodox and Russian orientation, and hardworking
sacrifice that loyal TMR citizens are expected to embody.60 It can be said
that every time a worker in the steel forge shop meticulously finishes off a
quality wire rod or steel billet, meeting the plants high ISO standards,61 he
in a way validates the quality and worth of the TMR. As the head of the
MMZs electrical steel melting shop floor asserts: Our plant creates authority (avtoritet) for all of the republic.62 In other words, while the international community may not recognize the TMR, the international market does
recognize the MMZ, with its worldwide reputation for quality products. Thus,
linked to the MMZ, like the economically troubled Rybnista Cement Plant, which earns
capital and provides jobs for its laid-off employees by regularly drying limestone in its
kilns for MMZ production purposes.
58
For clarification I do not believe the TMR is a communist country, as it does not meet
the criteria for being communist/socialist laid out by Verdery (Katherine Verdery.
What Was Socialism and What Comes Next? Berkeley, 1996.). However, I do consider
the TMR to have chosen a non-liberal way by developing a socially oriented market
economy with high state regulation of economic processes. Cf. Anatol Gudm. Evolution
of the Transnistrian Economy: Critical Appraisal (CISR report). Chiinu, 2001. See
http://www.cisr-md.org/reports/cont-transn.html. Last consulted 30 November, 2006.
59
Details on the social organization of factory shop floors and its impact on nationness
as well as research into the relationship between a cult of labor and a cult of state
is elaborated upon further in my doctoral dissertation.
60
See Stefan Troebst. We are Transnistrians!: Post-Soviet Identity Management in the
Dniester Valley; and PMR 15 let! C prazdnikom! // Novosti. 2005. 3 September. P. 1.
61
MMZs quality system has been approved by Lloyds Register Quality Assurance
against the International Standard: ISO EN BS DIN 9002: 94.
62
See interview in Million, kotoryi voshel v istoriiu // Dobryi Den. 2005. No. 4. 20
January. P. 3.

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Ab Imperio, 4/2006
the MMZ is able to gain a world hearing, advocating through its production and sales that quality goods come from a quality country, deserving
international recognition.
MMZ employees are key to manufacturing both goods and state legitimacy. These heroes of labour turned heroes of the state blockaded bridges
and railways in Rybnitsa in 1992,63 defending nasha rodina (our homeland) from what was perceived as Moldovan nationalist aggression. Such
russophones had everything to lose in an indigenous-run Moldova, and
everything to gain in a russophonic self-styled state. For them, an independent state symbolized the preservation of Russian language rights and continuity with a Soviet-style way of life. It is not surprising that in my encounters with industrial workers of Russian and Ukrainian origin, I find
they and their kin most frequently refer to nashe gosudarstvo (our state)
and nash narod (our [Transnistrian] people).64
However, this seemingly durable, loyal relationship between the state
and aristocracy of labor is in fact fickle and fragile. For there is an upshot to
MMZ employees imagining their labor as statecraft duty, and their factory as upholding a paternalist state. Firstly, I believe there is great pressure on the factory and regime (i.e., Smirnov) to fulfill an ideology of paternalism, on which bottom-up state legitimacy rests. Secondly, employees
fulfilling their obligation to labor for the state expect something tangible in
return from the state. A touchable state is expected to redistribute MMZ
taxes as welfare to wider society, as well as to maintain real authority over
its borders and customs control and influence over neighboring states pogranichniki (frontier guards), ensuring the swift export and sale of steel.
When the state fails to do this (note that the regime is not blamed), the
state-factory-person relationship is breached. I believe this is what happened from March through June 2006, when the MMZ laid-off workers
and decreased salaries amid serious production stoppages and halted sales
(due to not being registered with right-bank Moldovan customs authorities
63

Tvoi geroi, Pridnestrove! Nam bylo chto zashchishchat // Novosti. 2005. 3 September. P. 4. For the blockade, see Nicolae Proca. Promotorul diplomaiei populare // Cuvntul. 2005. No. 28. 15 July. P. 3.
64
I found that ethnic Ukrainians in the TMR are highly russified and normally side with a
pro-Russian, ruling Slav elite (see Charles King. The Moldovans. Stanford, CA, 1999).
To illustrate, during the contested Ukrainian Presidential run-off between Viktor Yanukovych and Viktor Yushchenko in December 2004, the Ukrainian cultural centre in Rybnitsa was plastered with posters in support of the pro-Russian candidate Yanukovych.
Most TMR media denigrated Yuschchenko and the Orange Revolution.

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for import and export).65 With the TMR powerless to stop Moldova and
Ukraines economic blockade (as people in Transnistria called it), 120 of
the plants most skilled employees (with money and mobility, mostly of
Russian and Ukrainian origin) permanently emigrated from the TMR, taking
up jobs in steel plants in the Ukraine and Russia (including the famed Magnitogorsk plant).66 Many other less-skilled employees migrated temporarily to Moscow and St. Petersburg for seasonal work.67 It is nonetheless surprising that these once faithful attendees at TMR commemorative ceremonies and concerts, arguably some of the most loyal TMR citizens, were the
first to leave the TMR when the going got tough.
STATENESS IN PERSONAL NARRATIVE
My closest informants during my fieldwork were two stable working
russified ethnic Moldovans, both of whom are post-1989 newcomers to
Transnistria. Neither was involved in the war. Both are married to Russian/
Ukrainian wives. Sasha is a certified electrician for the respected Transnistrian State Electrical Company, while Sergei is a petty entrepreneur. In the
lengthy life history I took of Sasha I found it interesting that he emphasized
most his job satisfaction and pride in Transnistrian living standards. It is
life here (este via aici), is how Sasha describes Transnistria. We have
regular running water, electricity, gas, factories and jobs, whereas Rezina
[Rybnitsas twin city across the Nistru] does not. People live better in
Transnistria than in Moldova. In car rides with he and his wife, Sasha liked
to illustrate by pointing to the wide, smoothly paved roadways of Transnistria, and in Moldova to its dilapidated, pot-holed highways, tossing us car
passengers to and fro. Sergei would do the same. At the gas station, he would
proudly speak of gas being cheaper and social assistance higher in Transnistria than Moldova. This is why Sergei votes in favor of Transnistrian independence in referendums, he explains: The state is good to me, and so I am
good to the state. Both Sergei and Sasha identify highly with Transnistria.68
65

For a TMR perspective on the Ukrainian enforced customs-regime see Smertelno


krepki bratskie obiatiia Ukrainy // Dobryi Den. 2005. No. 11. 8 March. P. 1.
66
Ispytanie // Dobryi Den. 2006. No. 30. 20 July. P. 2.
67
This was the case for a number of my informants. The impact of emigration/migration
on TMR nationness is explored in my doctoral dissertation.
68
Thomas B. Hansen and Finn Stepputat (Eds.). States of Imagination: Ethnographic
Explorations of the Postcolonial State. However, in the time I have known Sasha and
Sergei, I never heard either of them mention belonging to the Transnistrian people. I
have only heard ethnic Russians and children of ethnically-mixed, Russian-speaking
families associate with this category.

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Ab Imperio, 4/2006
Sasha, whose family roots are on the right-bank, swears: Im not interested
at all [de loc] in Moldova.
Sasha and Sergeis conviction that their quality of life is better plays an
important role in how they constitute a sense of difference in statehood and
citizenship between two congruent lands.69 For them, the Transnistrian
state is a real, tangible entity embodied in visible roads and welfare checks,
as well as a powerful, regulating authority to which they attribute a
better quality of life. Recalling Hansen and Stepputat, a state has little
chance for survival without perceived authority and tangibility.70 The Republic of Moldova is imagined as everything Transnistria is not: unorganized, underdeveloped and lacking stateness. Rybnitsa folk, in the ordinary practice of driving on and talking about good Transnistrian roads
(or bad Moldovan roads), are in a way constituting a sense of citizenship a social bond with the TMR and simultaneously reinforcing the
material reality of the Transnistrian state. However, not all urban folk
feel the same.
Even within families there exist differences of opinion about Transnistria. Sashas mother, Valeria, describes Transnistrian statehood with a mix
of cynicism and excitement. On some days the state is superficial, while
other days almost personal.71 Around the time of Transnistrias fifteenth
anniversary, referring to all of the festive decorations and road repairs, Valeria
remarked coldly, this is only at the surface (numai de suprafa). She
went on to describe the poor conditions of the Russian public kindergarten
where she works as a cook. Not only does she get paid irregularly (a salary
of forty dollars per month), but also, as of late, she has had to provide her
own washing soap and kitchen gear. According to Valeria, the problem is
was not the school, but statul (the state).72 I toured Valerias school and had
69

Whether or not Transnistrian living standards are really better than Moldovas is not
my concern. I am interested in how peoples ideas create a worldview that is reality to
them.
70
Cf. Thomas B. Hansen and Finn Stepputat (Eds.). States of Imagination: Ethnographic
Explorations of the Postcolonial State. P. 8.
71
Herzfeld may explain this contradiction in opinion with the notion of cultural intimacy. However, I am not convinced that this notion applies to a newly independent state
like the TMR, which does not have the same long history of state and nation building as
countries like Greece and the United States, from where Herzfeld develops his notion.
See Michael Herzfeld. Cultural Intimacy: Social Poetics in the Nation-State. New York,
London, 1997.
72
Valeria often shifted between Moldovan and Russian words for state. This mix of
languages was normal in our conversations.

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R. Chamberlain-Creang, The Transnistrian People...


conversations with teachers and staff. It was just as Valeria depicted: few
toys, sparse paper, little medicine and no hot water conditions that existed
in Soviet days. I was told the culprit is gosudarstvo (the state). Among the
schools largely russophone staff, for whom the TMR normally wins their
language affections, the state was failing as provider.
Several months later, in the wake of the widely publicized December
2005 TMR parliamentary elections,73 the state transformed from intangible
to personal, at least for a time. While eating borscht after-hours with Valeria in a corner of the kindergarten kitchen, she excitedly recounted how the
okrugs (voting district) new parliamentary deputy a young, wealthy Rybnitsa businessman (an owner of two factories) visited the kindergarten
during his election campaign. Valeria proudly told me that he bought the
school a much-needed photocopier. In return, teachers and staff (the colectivul in Valerias words) decided unanimously to vote for him on election
day. Listening to Valerias story, it became apparent to me that staff did not
see the politicians ploy to win votes through gift-giving as manipulative,
but rather as an opportunity for staff to personalize the abstract state by
voting into parliament a person who could potentially act as a helpful,
powerful patron for them and their kindergarten.74 This was their way of
moralizing and domesticating gosudarstvo for their purposes.75
Schools are usually privileged sites for manufacturing dutiful, loyal citizens but in another school a wide chasm exists between staff, students
73

The election of deputies to the TMR Supreme Soviet (Verkhovnyi Sovet Pridnestrovskoi
Moldavskoi Respubliki). In the run-up to the elections, TMR radio stations, both private
and state-run, regularly broadcasted advertisements encouraging people to vote to build
your state.
74
See Sian Lazar. Education for Credit. Development as Citizenship Project in Bolivia //
Critique of Anthropology. 2004. Vol. 24. No. 3. Pp. 301-319, who describes a similar
situation in Bolivia.
75
During my period of fieldwork I experienced two TMR elections. Interestingly, I
noticed a trend whereby ordinary people (mostly urban but sometimes also rural folk)
become exceptionally excited about the TMR, absorbing its propaganda and pre-election
fanfare. The more important the election (e.g., parliamentary over municipal), the more
public advertisement and more excited people were. Speaking to an acquaintance about
the eminent TMR Presidential elections on 10 December 2006, he spoke knowledgably
about the Presidential candidates and the importance of the elections for nasha strana /
ara noastr (our country, meaning TMR), suggesting that the elections are a way of
enacting and legitimating TMR stateness. However, just this past summer, when Transnistria was experiencing economic difficulties, this same person, apparently a patriot
now, considered abandoning the TMR and moving to right-bank Moldova for more
stable work conditions.

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Ab Imperio, 4/2006
and state.76 Since 1989 a Romanian-language school for Moldovans has
operated in Rybnitsa. The 480-student lyceum operates in the Latin script
(considered contentious in the TMR), and is subordinate to Moldovas Ministry of Education (not Transnistrias). Refusing to submit to Tiraspols authority, in August 2004 the lyceum was briefly shut down by force, and
teachers and parents arrested by TMR militia. In the face of opposition, the
director tells me she sustains the school out of simmnt (a feeling) of
belonging to the Romanian people and culture. Parents tell me they send
their children to the school to be oriented toward a better future, as perceived to be in Chiinu, Romania or westwards. Of all the people I met in
Rybnitsa, the Moldovans of the Eurika Lyceum identify least with being
Transnistrian and are the most critical of TMR authority.
RURAL ENCOUNTERS OF THE STATE
It was a sunny, brisk day in Krasnoe and Slobodka,77 two adjoining
ethnic Moldovan villages alongside the left bank of the Nistru River. It was
Orthodox Christmas. I stayed the long weekend with acquaintances. Christmas day was spent in traditional Moldovan fashion going from door to
door of the homes of kin and friends singing colinde (carols) and enjoying
a customary mas (meal). That day I visited five homes, traveling by horsedrawn cart from one end of Krasnoe to the other end of Slobodka. The
home visits were a good opportunity to get to know the lives of villagers.
Sometimes over a dozen people would be gathered around a table. Normal
topics of conversation among steni (villagers) ranged from shopping at
markets to planting walnut trees. I was told village-folk do not talk politics,
unless in the safety of their homes or in the company of trusted compatriots. So I made a point in not instigating sensitive topics. To my surprise,
though, my informants spoke with gust about political matters, as if no one
had ever before listened to them.
In every home, people brought up recurring themes related to work and
state. Lena tells me life is tough in the village. Most able-bodied men and
women in Krasnoe and Slobodka work on the state-run kolkhoz (collective
farm). Villagers labor from sunrise to sunset in the summer. In the winter
there is no work and little income. [Life] is about survival, Igor exclaims,
with three people next to him nodding in agreement. Lena angrily recounts
76

For more on schools as privileged sites for nation-building, see Veronique Bn.
Introduction: Education and Citizenship in a Comparative Perspective.
77
Russian pseudonyms are chosen for Moldovan villages as many TMR villages have
such names.

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R. Chamberlain-Creang, The Transnistrian People...


how she picked twenty-four tons of tomatoes last summer on the kolkhoz,
but was not paid a penny: The state [my emphasis] records the number of
hours each person works and promises to pay but it never does. When
I asked if villagers can do anything about not getting paid, Igor hastily
retorted: the state has no head; its not organized. Theres no rule in the
land. Lena believes there will be conflict again in Transnistria, but not
between Moldova and Transnistria. This time the conflict will be internal:
People are sick of the sheriffs [referring to the wealthy Smirnov family
behind the ubiquitous Sheriff enterprise] in this country.78 Villagers are
aware that the rich get richer while the work of steni goes unpaid.
The primary place where adult villagers experience the state is in the
kolkhoz. Peoples view of the state is shaped by encounters with kolkhoz
officials who record work hours and guarantee salaries. These officials are
considered the very embodiment of the state (recall Lenas earlier reference
to the state). In villagers imagination, the state (via the nationalized institution of the kolkhoz) has the moral responsibility to secure a minimum
standard of living for its people, as the Soviet state once did. Not getting
their due from the state, steni have a poor impression of it. They call the
state lawless and not organized. They angrily compare the TMR to its
superior Soviet predecessor and to West European countries and urban
Russia,79 where they have worked as migrants. Unlike many rybnichany,
the villagers with whom I talked do not think they live better than people in
Moldova. Lena and other steni send their grown children to jobs and to
colleges in Chiinu, not Tiraspol, for a better future.80 Life is difficult
(viaa e grea) is the dominant village trope, not it is life here (este via
aici) as urbanites claim. Steni keep mum about their discontent, whether
out of fear or despair. Meanwhile, their negative views of the state impact
their commitment to it. The most disgruntled of villagers in Krasnoe and
Slobodka are the few people I met in Transnistria who say they would not
mind if Transnistria and Moldova joined.
In another ethnic Moldovan village, I encountered villagers altogether
uninterested in the state. At the end of a dirt-two-track road running into
78

Villagers angrily tell me the wealthy Smirnov family is buying up village farmland. I
have no way of substantiating this.
79
Mainly Moscow and St. Petersburg.
80
Many Moldovan youth from Transnistria choose Chiinu over Tiraspol for university
because they do not know fluent Russian. However, there are Russian-speaking
Moldovans who still choose Chiinu, because they believe the Moldovan capital offers
them more opportunities.

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Ab Imperio, 4/2006
the Ukrainian border, sits the Moldovan village of Komarova. There is no
sign of the Transnistrian state anywhere no kolkhoz, no mayoralty, no
school, no post office, no cultural house. It is a place where villagers and
livestock daily traverse unmarked state boundaries. Ideas of state borders
and republican fidelity are intrusive and unwanted. Pointing to Komarovas little two-track road, I asked Dima, my informants father, if state agents
ever visit his remote village, or plan to invest in it. His response was: Nobodys been here to visit us since Hitler. He paused, adding, and I dont
want to see them (Nici nu vreau s-i vd). Its peaceful here without
them. Dima had unpleasant encounters with TMR state officials. He recently abandoned the neighboring-village kolkhoz after not being paid for
three years. Dima is an example of TMR languages of stateness failing to
penetrate and win-over those at its margins.
SOCIAL STRATIFICATION AND BELONGING TO THE STATE
It is clear from my conversations with villagers and urbanites that the
Transnistrian state has become implicated in their everyday lives. My interlocutors frequently talk about gosudarstvo and statul (the state) in public
and private, and freely offer opinions of it.81 Their range of sentiments
toward statul bears witness to different state imaginings and intensities of
belonging: there are diehard patriots, enthusiasts, partial cynics, apathetics,
outright nonbelievers and even deserters. The works of Akhil Gupta and
Aihwa Ong remind us that how people reckon the state and citizenship,
respectively, depends on their social-economic position within the nationstate. As Gupta explains: Constructions of the state clearly vary according
to the manner in which different actors are positioned.82
In Soviet Moldova, society was generally stratified according to ethnicity, profession and residency with Russians at the geographical, political
81

I found ordinary people and mass media (e.g., radio broadcasts, newspapers) in the
TMR refer constantly to the state (gosudarstvo / statul), frequently to our people
(nash narod / poporul nostru) and the homeland (rodina / patria) (substantiating in
part in Vladimir Solonari. Creating a People: A Case Study in Post-Soviet HistoryWriting // Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History. 2003. Vol. 4. No. 2.
Pp. 411-448, which discusses national identity being linked to territory), and occasionally
to the republic (respublika / republica), but seldom to the government (pravitelstvo /
guvernul). Such discourse fixes the state (versus government) at the imagined centre of
society. My doctoral research discusses the construction and transformation of
homeland in Transnistria and right-bank Moldova.
82
Akhil Gupta. Blurred Boundaries: the Discourse of Corruption, the Culture of Politics
and the Imagined State. P. 392.

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R. Chamberlain-Creang, The Transnistrian People...


and economic center and Moldovans at the margins.83 This social stratification continues in post-Soviet Transnistria, where a persons social standing is weighed against his ethnic, rural or urban, and labor identity. In the
Rybnitsa raion, Moldovans are associated with the rural, agricultural periphery and Russians with the urban, industrial center.84 In the city, Moldovans tend to occupy inferior, low-skilled work positions as cooks, cleaners
and construction workers, while Russians and Slavs dominate well-paid,
skilled jobs as electricians, engineers and bureaucrats. This ethnic division
of labor translates into differing urban residency patterns. Although most
peoples are inter-dispersed in Rybnitsa, a high proportion of ethnic Moldovans live on the outskirts of the city, in the affordable Vershigory neighborhood,85 whereas Slav steelworkers and other aristocracy of labor tend to
live in the upscale Valchenko neighbourhood near the river-border. Interethnic marriage is high; in fact, it is the norm in Rybnitsa. Many women in
the highest status group (those of Russian ethnicity) have married hypogamously (that is, with lower status Ukrainian or Moldovan men). The
83
See Igor Munteanu. Social Multipolarity and Political Violence. In Pl Kolst. (Ed.).
National Integration and Violent Conflict in Post-Soviet Societies: the Cases of Estonia
and Moldova. Lanham, MD. P. 211. Also Vladimir Solonari and Vladimir Bruter. Russians
in Moldova // Vladimir Shlapentokh et al. (Eds.). The New Russian Diaspora. Russian
Minorities in the Former Soviet Republics. Armonk, NY, 1994. Pp. 72-90.
84
The urban and rural divide was traditionally wide though not unlinked in the
Soviet Union. This is because of the way the Soviets controlled population settlement
via internal passports (propusk a civic document central to Soviet life [David Anderson. Bringing Civil Society to an Uncivilised Place: Citizenship Regimes in Russias
Artic Frontier. P. 108]). As explained to me by a right-bank Moldovan informant, a
middle-aged woman and presently high-ranking civil servant: I grew up in a village. I
was Moldovan. I had no connections. If communism had not ended, I never would have
been allowed to live and work in Chiinu. It would have been difficult to obtain a
propusk for Chiinu. This womans natal village is less than one hour from Chiinu,
but the imagined divide made the capital seem a lifetime away.
85
This can be explained by Soviet urbanization plans. The densely built Vershigory
neighborhood was constructed by the Soviets in the 1980s to house an expected influx
of people from across the Soviet Union to work in Rybnitsas newly built steel plant
(established 1985). Locals tell me that the Soviets saved three apartment blocks in Vershigory to house apprentices local villagers (mostly ethnic Moldovans) brought to
Rybnitsa to learn a trade to serve the citys booming industry. Today these three apartment blocks have the reputation of being the worst in Vershigory, mainly because natural gas is not installed as in other blocks. This makes them cheap to buy and attractive to
young couples, many of whom have kin-based, ethnic ties to the blocks to purchase
them. The majority of my ethnic Moldovan informants lived in these three blocks. The
Moldovan language is frequently heard outside in the courtyard, which is in stark contrast to the Rybnitsa center where it is rarely heard.

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Ab Imperio, 4/2006
proportion of lower status Moldovan women who have married hypergamously with mid-status Ukrainian men is sizeable, but marriages with highstatus Russian men are rare. Given that ethnicity is generally passed on to
offspring via the father86 and that the male is often either of lower, or only
slightly higher status than the female inter-marriage does not seem to
allow for considerable upward mobility among offspring. As such, intermarriage in the TMR does not permit future generations of ethnic Moldovans and Slavs easily to transcend well-established ethnic boundaries and
hierarchies.87
Reviewing patterns of social stratification in Transnistria, it may be no
coincidence that the most zealous Transnistrian patriots and enthusiasts are Slavs, and a small number of privileged, russified Moldovans, like
my informant Sasha, who are incorporated into the state industrial-bureaucratic apparatus. Partial cynics tend to be lowly paid Moldovans and Slavs,
like the staff at Valerias kindergarten; while apathetics and outright nonbelievers are usually marginalized, rural Moldovans, as in Komarova, or
ethnic nonconformists, like at Eurika Lyceum. Deserters tend to be privileged Slav specialists seeking greener pastures.
The degree to which a person identifies with Transnistria, it seems is
contingent upon his or her ethnicity, line of work, and urban or rural locale.88
86
During my fieldwork, I found that peoples self-appropriation of ethnicity usually
matched their parents civic documentation of their ethnicity. However, there can be
exceptions to this practice. For example, see David Laitin. Identity in Formation: the
Russian-speaking Populations in the Near Abroad. P. 109.
87
These conclusions are based on the analysis of eighty-two birth certifications from a
range of Rybnitsa inhabitants, many of whom I knew. They are also based on local folk
ideologies of who makes a desirable bride and groom. According to an ethnic Moldovan
informant: A Russian wife is the best, then a Ukrainian woman, then Moldovan.
He adds: Romanian women are less beautiful and less desirable than Moldovan women.
I heard female informants echo the same ethnic ranking of desirable spouses (in order
from best to least): Russian, Ukrainian, Moldovan. I use this folk understanding to rank
whether an inter-ethnic marriage union is hypogamous or hypergamous, the former
denoting the union of a female with a male of lower status, and the latter denoting the
union of a female with a male of higher status.
88
This statement should not be interpreted to mean that ethnicity is of primary importance to people in the TMR. I do not believe local people categorize and rank themselves only according to ethnicity, but also according to cultural styles (see James
Ferguson. Expectations of Modernity: Myths and Meanings o Urban Life on the Zambian Copperbelt. Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1999), which encompass overlapping, multiple identifications (e.g., ethnic, labor, rural or urban). Furthermore, peoples ethnicity is
often more of a semi-conscious, rather than conscious reality to them, even though their
ethnicity plays a role in ordering their social lives (e.g., where they live and work).

395

R. Chamberlain-Creang, The Transnistrian People...


This can be explained by the fact that persons of different identity and
social standing encounter different languages of stateness. Their dissimilar encounters fashion diverse state imaginings, which in turn condition
various degrees of belonging. Transnistrian villagers, for instance, do not
have central running water and nicely paved roads to visibly see the states
presence in the same way urbanites do. Rural kolkhoz farmers receive notably different social entitlements from the state (e.g., lower pensions) from
the urban aristocracy of labor.89 It just so happens that villagers are some of
the most unsympathetic and unattached people to the state.90 In the case of
Sasha and his mother Valeria, they both work in Rybnitsa for the state, but
receive significantly different salaries from it. Sasha has a well-paid, stateenterprise job. He associates little with his ethnic and village roots: I am
Moldovan, but I have little to do with the Moldovans. Valeria, on the
other hand, works a low-status public job and relies on visits to rightbank Moldova village kin for foodstuffs. Valeria is critical of the Transnistrian state, while her son is enthusiastic about it. Their difference of opinion
seems dependent on their positions in the labor market and senses of ethnic
identity. The lesson to be learned from such examples is that any study of
the Transnistrian state must look at its heterogeneity and hierarchy of actors and multiple expressions of state belonging.
Conclusion
The paper has explored how the heterogeneous population of the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic identifies with an unrecognized state. Its underlying aim has been to interrogate whether a collective Transnistrian citizenry
exists. Empirical data show that the TMR has attractive languages of stateness. However, this means little for TMR legitimacy if only select people
within its borders encounter this stateness.91 As my interviews with urban
89

I do think peoples loyalty to the Transnistrian state is won partly through social
entitlements, as happened under state socialism region-wide (on socialist-era paternalistic
redistribution see Katherine Verdery. What Was Socialism? What Comes Next? Princeton,
1996. Pp. 24-26).
90
Additionally, I would argue that TMR national history-writing, as discussed by Vladimir
Solonari, has not touched rural Moldovan-language schools and village dwellers in the
same way it has Russian-speaking schools and city residents. Vladimir Solonari. Creating
a People: A Case Study in Post-Soviet History-Writing.
91
Writing on Lithuania, Popovski echoes this in relation to citizenship, saying that
citizen entitlements have little legitimacy if all persons are not able to benefit from them
comprehensively (Vesna Popovski. National Minorities and Citizenship Rights in
Lithuania, 1988-93. P. 6).

396

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
and rural folk reveal, different people of differing identifications and statuses experience TMR stateness differently. A high-salaried, urban Russian
steelworker and an unpaid Moldovan kolkhoz farmer encounter the states
governance and authority in unequal ways. Their dissimilar experiences, I
believe, account for their different imaginings of the state as provider or
lawless. Their different state imaginings also explain their varied degrees
of loyalty and attachment to the state. I believe these findings have two
important implications: one, for the study of citizenship; and two, for understanding Transnistrian identity.
First, the findings suggest social actors perceptions of the state matter
in the construction of their citizenship. Or put differently, citizenship is
fundamentally connected to a persons imagination of the state. Thus, citizenship can be fruitfully studied by making empirical stateness the starting
point.92 It is for this reason, I would argue, we need to bring the state, in
all of its lived complexity, back into citizenship studies.93
As for Transnistrian identity, different reckonings of the state and citizenship have a bearing on the TMRs aim of making a unitary nationalpolitical community. There are scholars and inter-governmental organizations that believe a Transnistrian demos exists.94 They are right for a segment of the population, mainly the aristocracy of labor like Natalia Pavlovna, the secretary from the factory in Rybnitsa but not for all people.95
To speak of a homogenous Transnistrian identity ignores hierarchical
schemes of cultural difference inherent in society. It discounts internal labor, ethnic, and rural and urban stratifications that impinge on nationalpolitical belonging. It overlooks the way in which state ideologies (or master
state narratives, as Borneman 1997 prefers) only loosely hold together a
diverse populace and struggle to make coherent peoples differential experiences of citizen belonging. In light of increasing international pressure,
growing emigration and migration, and a changing, hard-pressed economy
92

Cf. Thomas B. Hansen and Finn Stepputat (Eds.). States of Imagination. Pp. 7-8.
What I am arguing for here is more bottom-up, empirical based studies examining
how ordinary people view the state, which is different from many other citizenship
studies dealing with the state in the post-Soviet context (e.g. Vesna Popovski. National
Minorities and Citizenship Rights in Lithuania, 1988-93; Elizabeth Teague. Citizenship,
Borders, and National Identity).
94
For example, OSCE 1994 and Stefan Troebst. We are Transnistrians!: Post-Soviet
Identity Management in the Dniester Valley.
95
However, we have to remember that identities and loyalties are fluid and always
changing, and even the most hardened of hearts toward the state can be changed under
the right conditions.
93

397

R. Chamberlain-Creang, The Transnistrian People...


in Transnistria, I do not think the category Transnistrian can pretend to
give yet, in Corrigan and Sayers words, a unitary and unifying expression to what are in reality multifaceted and differential experiences of groups
in society.96 In my opinion, the production of a unified, supra-ethnic,
lasting, loyal Transnistrian people is not likely for some time.

SUMMARY
, -, ,
,
. ,
96

Philip Corrigan and Derek Sayer. The Great Arch: English State Formation as Cultural
Revolution. Oxford and New York, 1985. Pp. 4-5. Some scholars may point to the 17
September 2006 TMR referendum results to argue for a growing homogeneity amongst
peoples in Transnistria. (97.1 percent of voters backed continued independence from
right-bank Moldova and free association with Russia, meaning protectorate status or
possible unification. 78.6 percent of inhabitants allegedly turned out to vote.) While the
results demonstrate a common mistrust for the Republic of Moldovan authorities and a
strong sense of USSR/big-state nostalgia, many right-bank Moldovans hold these same
opinions. Therefore, I do not think the referendum results necessarily substantiate the
existence of a separate Transnistrian people, but rather illustrate peoples increasing
anxiety over their ambiguous identities (e.g., Russian? Transnistrian?), and anxiety over
their future lives in an unrecognized state. Peoples feelings of insecurity surfaced most
visibly in 2006 during growing economic and political pressure from neighboring Ukraine,
Moldova and the European Union. Only starshii brat (big brother) Russia is considered
strong enough to counter Euro-American pressure on the TMR, which probably explains
why Russia ended up on the TMR referendum, and why voters supported an association
with Russia. For clarification, I do not preclude the possibility of a Transnistrian national
group developing; however, it requires that a TMR master state-national narrative better
incorporate those at its margins who currently do not identify with TMR nationness. As
Alexander Motyl and Gupta and Ferguson point out, a successful identity project must
resonate with the lifeworld of its subjects arguably both urban and rural. See Alexander
Motyl. Inventing Invention: The Limits of National Identity Formation // Ronald Grigor
Suny and Michael Kennedy (Eds.). Intellectuals and the Articulation of the Nation. Ann
Arbor, 2001; Akhil Gupta and James Ferguson (Eds.). Culture, Power, Place: Explorations
in Critical Anthropology. Durham, NC, 1997. For a discussion on the problematics of
right-bank Moldovan national identity, see Jennifer Cash. Memories of States Past:
Identity Salience and the Challenges of Citizenship // Monica Heintz (Ed.). The Republic
of Moldova: Weak State, Uncertain Citizenship. Bucharest, forthcoming.

398

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
. ( )
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399

Ab Imperio, 4/2006

R-FORUM
IMPERIAL CITIES


Felix Driver and David Gilbert
(Eds.), Imperial Cities: Landscape,
Display and Identity (Manchester
and New York: Manchester University Press, 2003). 272 pp. (=Studies
in Imperialism). Index. ISBN: 0719-0 6497-X (paperback edition);
Julie A. Buckler, Mapping St.
Petersburg: Imperial Text and Cityshape (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2005). 320
pp. Bibliography, Index. ISBN: 0691-11349-1.
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., : E. Badian. Roman Imperialism in the Late Republic. Ithaca, 1968;
H. R. Schmidt. Reichsstdte, Reich und Reformation. Stuttgart, 1986.

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Contesting Space in Colonial Singapore: Power Relations and the Urban Built Environment. Singapore, 2003; G. Prakash. Writing Post-Orientalist Histories of the Third World:
Perspectives from Indian Historiography // Comparative Studies in Society and History.
1990. Vol. 32. Pp. 383-408; B. Schwarz. Black Metropolis, White England // M. Nava
and A. OShea (Eds.). Modern Times: Reflections on a Century of English Modernity.
London and New York, 1996. Pp. 176-207.
3
.: H. K. Bhabha. The Location of Culture. London and New York, 1994; R. Young.
Colonial Desire: Hybridity in Theory, Culture, and Race. London, 1995.
4
E. Said. Culture and Imperialism. London, 1994.

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Louise McREYNOLDS
Richard Stites, Serfdom, Society,
and the Arts in Imperial Russia: The
Pleasure and the Power (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005).
xii+586 pp. ISBN: 0-300-10889-3
(hardback edition).
Already so well known for his
work in Soviet popular culture, Richard Stites brings his massive erudition, sensitive ear for the good story, and the light touch of his narrative skills to this study of Russian
culture in the first half of the nineteenth century. Framing his study
between the westernization that
415

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Louise McREYNOLDS
Richard Stites, Serfdom, Society,
and the Arts in Imperial Russia: The
Pleasure and the Power (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005).
xii+586 pp. ISBN: 0-300-10889-3
(hardback edition).
Already so well known for his
work in Soviet popular culture, Richard Stites brings his massive erudition, sensitive ear for the good story, and the light touch of his narrative skills to this study of Russian
culture in the first half of the nineteenth century. Framing his study
between the westernization that
415

/Reviews
came with the eighteenth century
and the emancipation of the serfs in
1861, Stites uses the pivotal importance of these events to explore their
combined influences on the formative years of the Russian arts that
would themselves be exported into
in the second half of the century. He
might have subtitled his book the
pleasure and the pain, given his attention to the distresses, physical as
well as mental and emotional, that
those who aspired to produce culture suffered at the hands the repressive government and abusive serf
owners. Yet these years included the
Golden Age of Russian culture,
and the story Stites tells is not a rehash of accomplishments despite
oppression. The originality of
Stitess thesis is that he considers
westernization, the autocracy, and
serfdom as a complex of forces that
shaped culture, without a qualification of despite that has been invoked against all of these influences
at one time or another. Because of
this, his work will be of interest to
cultural historians in general. Russianists, though, will take special delight in the plethora of vivid vignettes.
Stites positions his stories around
the argument that the history of Russian culture in first half of the century, with the exception of the canonical authors from the golden age,
has been dismissed as uninspiring or
static primarily because of how it
416

compares with that which followed.


In this, cultural history parallels political history, characterized most
conveniently as a conservative lull
before the revolutionary elan of the
Great Reforms. Preferring to elucidate the unrolling of the story,
telling of the lives lived, the arts
created and experienced without a
judgmental eye on its denouement
(P. 426), Stites recreates Russian
society through its cultural production and reception. Specifically, he
focuses on the visual and performative arts as opposed to the literature;
his choice is sound because not only
these have received comparatively
less attention, but also the paltry degree of literacy limited the reach of
literature in ways that painting or
performing did not. Moreover, he
ranges his character from royal patrons to serf violinists, weaving them
all together to portray the complex
interactions of social groups that are
usually treated as discrete from each
other. If the master/serf is the dominant trope of oppression in pre-reform Russia, Stites reminds readers
that all social categories found
themselves enmeshed in nonegalitarian relationships. The West casts
a shadow, but not one that obscures
Russians cultural attempts to define
themselves categorically in relationship to each other as well as to it.
The book is divided into five,
self-explanatory parts: Cultural and
Social Terrains; Music of the

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
Spheres; Empire of Performance;
Pictures at an Exhibition; and Finale and Overture. The first and last
are significantly shorter than those
in between, as appropriate for an
introduction and conclusion. Although the most significant geographical focus is on life in the two
capitals, Moscow and St. Petersburg,
Stites pays special attention to the
provinces, which like the era itself
remain culturally neglected. This is
also noteworthy because of the importance of amateurs, given that society was not yet wealthy enough to
support an extensive commercial
performative culture, especially on
the provincial estates. His source
base is encyclopedic if not exhaustive; he has worked in numerous archives and mastered the secondary
literature, and all within a framework that keeps Russian accomplishments within the comparative
context of analogous developments
in western countries.
What made Russia especially
unique, however, was the persistence
of serfdom. The Russian serf here
receives the opportunity to play center stage. As fictional characters
written for the stage, serfs were unidimensional foils whose function
was to show off their masters, who,
for sometimes better and at other
times worse, remained the subject of
the play. Serfs themselves come to
life here, on the stages built for them
by owner-magnates such as the

Sheremetev family, whose interest


in the theater crossed generations.
Mikhail Shchepkin is already well
known as a brilliant serf actor who
gained freedom through the stage,
and went on to influence acting
styles and become a public persona;
in these pages he mingles with others, less influential but all a part of
the atmosphere of pre-reform Russia. Among the many stories recounted here is how director of the
imperial theater, A. L. Naryshkin,
from an old boyar family, sold his
serf troupe to the state stage, and also
rented out his chorus. But Russias
undemocratic power relationships
needed to be reconciled for more
than just its most oppressed class.
Pianist Anton Rubenstein chafed as
the musical furnace attendant (P.
124) under the patronage of Grand
Duchess Elena Pavlovna. Censorship affected much, and topics were
subject to the personal idiosyncracies of the tsars. Nicholas I (1825
1855) did not like to see a nobleman on stage in comic form (P.
213), for example, and Jews could
not be presented as people with
decent moral principles (P. 198).
What appeared both on and back
stage reflected Russias search for a
sense of itself appropriate to the new
century. The sentimentalism of the
eighteenth century was giving way
to tragedy, and nationalism was developing into a political ideology
which found articulate expression in
417

/Reviews
the performing arts. If critics might
cavil at my use of the adjective articulate, one advantage of Stitess
approach is to focus on the popular
rather than what became the classical. Russian victories against Napoleon provided considerable inspiration to look back to the past for more
subjects appropriate for the stage.
Nestor Kukolniks The Hand of the
Almighty Has Saved the Fatherland
(1834) did for drama what Mikhail
Glinkas Ivan Susanin (A Life for
the Tsar) (1836) did for opera. On
canvas in the 1830s, in another departure from the academic styles that
had predated them, Grigory Chernetsov and Vasily Raev, a serf, painted panoramas featuring thousands of
soldiers, Russia in all its military
glory.
The most interesting parts of this
book, though, are about power, but
rather about pleasure. More modest
lithographs of street scenes depict
the interactions of various social
groups. As Stites reminds us, serfs
could in fact enroll in the universities if they had the qualifications;
and although so few of them did, the
point here is that in the arts, one can
witness Russians crossing social
lines with greater alacrity than is
generally found in the histories. Geographical mobility between the two
capitals and the provinces, in both
directions, was also considerable.
The Volga River provided a circuit
for actors, not just trading barges.
418

Actress Anna Vysheslavtseva began


her career as a serf in the Nizhni
Novgorod troupe of the Shakhovskoi
family, and the even more famous
serf actress Lyubov Nikulina-Kositskaya spent years developing her
craft working in a variety of roles in
Volga towns. The reader can almost
see the mulatto performer Julie from
Broadways Showboat sailing
down the Volga instead of the Mississippi where slaves, like serfs,
could enjoy the semi-freedom of inhabiting another personality when
performing. Although Stites laments
the technological impossibility of a
sound track, the reader can almost
hear street sounds, backstage squabbling, and whispers of gossip. Iron
Tsar Nicholas I could be reduced
to laughter by child piano prodigy
Anton Rubensteins imitations of
Franz Liszts body language (P.
123). The noise becomes even more
raucous in the vaudevilles and melodramas.
The section on visual arts also
depends significantly upon imagination, because although the book includes thirty-six pages of illustrations, they are all small black-andwhite plates. One photograph complements the particularly interesting
discussion of the development of
photography. As Stites points out,
there were more serfs among the visual artists than any other kind of
performers; and architecture as well
depended upon serfs as draftsmen,

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
not just builders. The two capitals
dominated the provinces in terms of
public art, that is, museums, although the Hermitage was not
opened to common viewers until
1840. The provincial cities also rarely found themselves on canvases, in
sharp distinction from Moscow and
especially the extremely photogenic
St. Petersburg. But the residents, the
local nobility and merchants, sat eagerly for portrait painters, leaving
behind a visual history. Stites argues
that G. A. Krylovs Portrait of a
Rzhevsk Merchant (1830s) captured this groups increasingly ambivalent self-image (P. 360), mercantile in beard and haircut, but
with his elbow resting beside two
expensively bound books. The
search for a cultural identity in the
years leading up to the debacle in
the Crimea, when Russians finally
felt themselves equal to other Europeans because of their defeat of Napoleon, was profound.
Like many of Stitess previous
monographs, Serfdom, Society, and
the Arts in Imperial Russia promises to become a standard reference.
Its stature as a reference book also
has the unhappy attribute of being
the volumes biggest problem. The
degree of detail is wonderful for the
specialist, and even the highly interested casual reader, but it increases
the number of pages and the price,
restricting the book from classroom
use. Nonetheless, the volume offers

an incomparable source of material


for lectures and term papers on the
pleasure and the power, and also on
the pain.


Lutz Hfner, Gesellschaft als
lokale Veranstaltung. Die Wolgastdte Kazan und Saratov (1870
1914) (Kln: Bhlau Verlag, 2004).
594 S. (=Beitrge zur Geschichte
Osteuropas; Bd. 35). ISBN: 3-41211403-0;
Guido Hausmann (Hg.), Gesellschaft als lokale Veranstaltung. Selbstverwaltung, Assoziierung und Geselligkeit in den Stdten des ausgehenden Zarenreiches (Gttingen:
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2002).
485 S. (=Brgertum. Beitrge zur
europischen Gesellschaftsgeschichte; Bd. 22). ISBN: 3-52535687-0.

. ,
419

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
not just builders. The two capitals
dominated the provinces in terms of
public art, that is, museums, although the Hermitage was not
opened to common viewers until
1840. The provincial cities also rarely found themselves on canvases, in
sharp distinction from Moscow and
especially the extremely photogenic
St. Petersburg. But the residents, the
local nobility and merchants, sat eagerly for portrait painters, leaving
behind a visual history. Stites argues
that G. A. Krylovs Portrait of a
Rzhevsk Merchant (1830s) captured this groups increasingly ambivalent self-image (P. 360), mercantile in beard and haircut, but
with his elbow resting beside two
expensively bound books. The
search for a cultural identity in the
years leading up to the debacle in
the Crimea, when Russians finally
felt themselves equal to other Europeans because of their defeat of Napoleon, was profound.
Like many of Stitess previous
monographs, Serfdom, Society, and
the Arts in Imperial Russia promises to become a standard reference.
Its stature as a reference book also
has the unhappy attribute of being
the volumes biggest problem. The
degree of detail is wonderful for the
specialist, and even the highly interested casual reader, but it increases
the number of pages and the price,
restricting the book from classroom
use. Nonetheless, the volume offers

an incomparable source of material


for lectures and term papers on the
pleasure and the power, and also on
the pain.


Lutz Hfner, Gesellschaft als
lokale Veranstaltung. Die Wolgastdte Kazan und Saratov (1870
1914) (Kln: Bhlau Verlag, 2004).
594 S. (=Beitrge zur Geschichte
Osteuropas; Bd. 35). ISBN: 3-41211403-0;
Guido Hausmann (Hg.), Gesellschaft als lokale Veranstaltung. Selbstverwaltung, Assoziierung und Geselligkeit in den Stdten des ausgehenden Zarenreiches (Gttingen:
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2002).
485 S. (=Brgertum. Beitrge zur
europischen Gesellschaftsgeschichte; Bd. 22). ISBN: 3-52535687-0.

. ,
419

/Reviews
,

,
.

,



. ,
, , ,
.




, , .1

.
(ffentlichkeit),

,

.2



:

1
., , : M. Hildermeier. Brgertum und Stadt in Ruland 17601870: Rechtliche Lage und soziale
Struktur. Kln, 1986; E. Clowes, S. Kassow, and J. West (Eds.). Between Tsar and
People: Educated Society and the Quest for Public Identity in Late Imperial Russia.
Princeton, 1991; H. D. Balzer (Ed.). Russias Missing Middle Class: The Professions in
Russian History. London, 1996.
.: S. McCaffrey, M. Melancon (Eds.). Russia
in the European Context, 17891914:A Member of the Family. London, 2005. C.
.
2
,
.: J. Bradley. Subjects into Citizens:
Societies, Civil Society, and Autocracy in Tsarist Russia // American Historical Review.
2002. Vol. 107. Pp. 1094-1123; M. Hildermeier, J. Kocka, C. Conrad (Hrsg.). Europische
Zivilgesellschaft in Ost und West: Begriff, Geschichte, Chancen. Frankfurt/Main, 2000.
. : . Civil Society, Brgertum : // Ab Imperio. 3. 2002. Pp. 161-208.

420

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
.

,


XVIII .3
,

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(Hfner.
S. 7). .

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,
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,

.

D. Geyer. Gesellschaft als staatliche Veranstaltung. Sozialgeschichtliche Aspekte


des russischen Behrdenstaats im 18. Jahrhundert // Idem (Hg.). Wirtschaft und
Gesellschaft im vorrevolutionren Ruland. Kln, 1975. S. 20-52.

421

/Reviews



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Ab Imperio, 4/2006

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Charles HALPERIN
. . .
(-
XIV
XV .). : , 2006. 160 . , , , , , . ISBN:
5-9273-1017-6.
The Mongol conquest of and rule
over the Rus principalities and city428

states remains a lively topic of historical research. Since 1991 both


Russian and Tatar historians have
made significant new contributions
to our knowledge of the role of the
Tatars in Russian history. This
monograph by Iurii Vasilevich
Seleznev of Voronezh State University is devoted to the under-studied
period of Russian-Tatar relations
from 13821434, or approximately
from after the sack of the city of
Moscow by khan Tokhtamysh until
the death of prince Iurii Dmitrievich
of Galich two years after Horde
Khan Ulug-Muhammed had ruled in
favor of his nephew, grand prince
Vasilii II, in their dynastic dispute.
Most of the book is a narrative
of political and military relations
between Rus and the Horde, personified by an Appendix containing
a chronological register of RussianTatar conflicts (military encounters) from 13871430. However, this
narrative is framed by thematic subchapters which exceed the monographs stated chronological limits
and raise wider issues.
The book begins with the usual
obligatory surveys of historiography,
which is quite selective of relevant
Western publications, and sources.
In general Seleznev does not regurgitate the often heated disputes
among scholars on the dating of
texts, such as the epic Zadonshchina, confining himself to citing secondary works, identifying alterna-

/Reviews

, . ,

,

.
, ,
,
.

Charles HALPERIN
. . .
(-
XIV
XV .). : , 2006. 160 . , , , , , . ISBN:
5-9273-1017-6.
The Mongol conquest of and rule
over the Rus principalities and city428

states remains a lively topic of historical research. Since 1991 both


Russian and Tatar historians have
made significant new contributions
to our knowledge of the role of the
Tatars in Russian history. This
monograph by Iurii Vasilevich
Seleznev of Voronezh State University is devoted to the under-studied
period of Russian-Tatar relations
from 13821434, or approximately
from after the sack of the city of
Moscow by khan Tokhtamysh until
the death of prince Iurii Dmitrievich
of Galich two years after Horde
Khan Ulug-Muhammed had ruled in
favor of his nephew, grand prince
Vasilii II, in their dynastic dispute.
Most of the book is a narrative
of political and military relations
between Rus and the Horde, personified by an Appendix containing
a chronological register of RussianTatar conflicts (military encounters) from 13871430. However, this
narrative is framed by thematic subchapters which exceed the monographs stated chronological limits
and raise wider issues.
The book begins with the usual
obligatory surveys of historiography,
which is quite selective of relevant
Western publications, and sources.
In general Seleznev does not regurgitate the often heated disputes
among scholars on the dating of
texts, such as the epic Zadonshchina, confining himself to citing secondary works, identifying alterna-

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
tives, and expressing his preference.
He productively draws upon his numerous previous articles, but in his
Bibliography modestly lists only six
of the more than forty to his credit.
(Not even all these six are readily
accessible in the United States.) In
general he pays the most attention
to recent secondary works in Russian. When appropriate he draws
upon recent scholarship in archeology, numismatics, and geography,
and even the Idigu (Edigei) Turkic
epic.
Seleznev begins by repeating his
observations on the place of the Russian principalities in the system of
Horde administration and on the integration of Rus princes into the
social and political hierarchy of the
Horde. The general principles articulated here infuse the narrative
which follows. One of the strengths
of the monograph is precisely
Seleznevs expertise on the Horde
and sensitivity to its point of view.
In the narrative core of the volume Seleznev pays scrupulous attention to the interaction of the Rus
with their Horde overlords, tracing
the ebb and flow of political relations through chronicles and princely treaties and testaments. He focuses on all the north-eastern Russian
principalities, not just Moscow,
which facilitates his perspective on
events. He emphasizes that there was
no precedent for Tokhtamysh to have
kept the heirs to the thrones of Mos-

cow, Tver, Riazan and Nizhnii


Novgorod-Suzdal as captives in the
Horde during the 1380s, which
Seleznev interprets as a sign not of
Tokhtamyshs strength but of his
vulnerability. Seleznev highlights
the interplay between inter-Rus and
Rus-Tatar relations; the provisions
of treaties in which Tver, Nizhnii
Novgorod or Riazan princes promised not to deal separately with the
Horde from Moscow impinged on
Horde political privileges.
Seleznev presents both Rus policy toward the Horde and Horde policy toward Rus as often complex if
not outrightly contradictory. He concludes that Vasilii Is Tatar policy,
given Edigeis successful attack on
Moscow in 1408, must be judged a
failure. On a larger scale, Seleznev
convincingly argues that the Muscovite civil war of the middle of the
fifteenth century undermined
progress in Rus aspirations toward
national independence by reviving
Horde influence. However, this setback should not be exaggerated. Juridically, Horde sovereignty was enhanced when Rus princes again
traveled to the Horde for recognition
of their thrones, but in practice the
Rus princes did whatever they
wanted. Payment of tribute, the defining trait of Horde sovereignty,
continued until the 1470s.
Less successful is Seleznevs presentation of the possible presence of
Vasilii I in Tokhtamyshs forces
429

/Reviews
fighting Timur in the battle on the
Kunchurga (Kondurcha) river,
which could have been clearer.
Seleznev appreciates the social
and political structure of the Horde,
for example, that Edigei was not a
khan and could never have aspired
to become one, since he was not a
Chingissid. However, Seleznevs
understanding of the place of Rus
princes in the Horde hierarchy, itself an original contribution to the
modus vivendi between Rus and
Tatars, leads him to the somewhat
formalistic observation that Vasilii I,
as a Grand Prince, was hierarchically equal to Edigei, a senior or great
emir (Seleznev does not call Edigei
a bekliaribek, an office or status often attributed to him by historians
although there is no direct source evidence) as if this explains Vasilii Is
disrespectful policy toward Edigeis
puppet khans. Surely power politics
determined policy, although both
sides were very sensitive to questions of status in ceremonial.
In explaining why Timur (Tamerlane) did not attack Moscow in 1395
after taking Elets, Seleznev makes
good use of his analysis of the organization of the Horde to argue that
Elets was part of the Hordes core,
Rus was not formally part of the
Juchid ulus, so attacking Moscow
would not have been part of Timurs
strategy. Seleznev examines the
anomalous position of Chervlennyi
Iar, part of the Horde administrative430

ly but ecclesiastically under the jurisdiction of the Rus metropolitan.


After completing his narrative
Seleznev attempts to estimate the
size of the population of the grand
principalities of Moscow and
Vladimir on the basis of the Horde
tribute, and, following existing
scholarship, evaluates the significance of Rus coinage for RussianTatar relations. In discussing the
ideological theme of national independence, Seleznev creatively argues that the shift in a passage of the
vita of Stefan of Perm to dating
events listing the regnal years of the
Byzantine Emperor and Patriarch of
Constantinople ahead of, instead of
after, that of the Horde khan, as in
earlier chronicle entries, suggests a
change in the relative hierarchical
status of the khan in Rus eyes.
The conclusion is largely summary.
This is a well-researched, professional monograph, addressed primarily to specialists, containing many
original and interesting observations. The narrow chronological focus, despite the thematic flexibility,
precludes addressing broader issues
of the overall Tatar influence on
Russian society, economy or culture
or institutional borrowing, except in
his historiographic introduction. One
of the less obvious virtues of the
book is its restraint in vocabulary.
Although in his Introduction
Seleznev (P. 6) does refer to strug-

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
gle of Rus for independence and liberation from the Tatar Yoke, this is
the only invocation of the anachronistic and value-laden term Tatar
Yoke in the study. Similarly,
Seleznev refers throughout to the
Horde, eschewing the anachronistic term the Golden Horde by replacing it with the term most often
found in the medieval chronicles.
Of courses many sources are subject to differing interpretations. The
passage in the epic Zadonshchina
that the fleeing Tatars will no longer
collect tribute (vykhod) from the
Rus refers, I think, not to termination of the tribute in principle but to
the imminent death of Mamais Tatars. I have become skeptical that it
is permissible to cite the reconstructed Trinity Chronicle as if it
were a text, i.e. an actual source.
Seleznevs conclusion that the
Rus princes conducted censuses in
the fourteenth, fifteenth and early
sixteenth centuries is of wider import. It strikes me as a dubious inference from paragraphs in the
princely wills and treaties which refer to a written allocation of Tatar
tribute. There is no other evidence
that the Muscovite princes had the
administrative expertise to conduct
censuses or that the Rus ever referred to anything other than the
original thirteenth-century Mongol
Empire census. The referenced written source may have been no more
than a tax allocation table. While

Seleznevs attempt to infer the population of the Moscow and Vladimir


principalities from the amount of
their tribute is imaginative, it is also
very speculative, and assumes not
only the validity of modern statistics on family size, even though he
allows for ranges here, but also crucially that the Tatars maintained the
tribute at the level of a tithe of total
income, based upon the precedent of
the conquest tithes exacted by Chinggis and Batu. I seriously doubt that
the apportionment of the tribute was
nearly that fastidious by the fourteenth century. By the same token,
his assessment of the size of Tatar
armies rests upon the assumption
that every Chingissid, following his
table of status equivalents, commanded a tma or tumen of 10,000
troops, and every emir 1,000. For the
Mongol successor state in Iran, the
Ilkhanate, this assumption is demonstrably false, a tumen could have significantly fewer troops. For the
Horde, there is simply no evidence
to decide the matter.
Seleznevs fine study will be of
interest not only to students of RusHorde relations but to all historians
dealing with Russian or Horde history during the Tatar period. It is a
valuable addition to scholarship.

431

/Reviews

:
, ,

Frithjof Benjamin Schenk, Aleksandr Nevskij: Heiliger, Frst, Nationalheld; eine Erinnerungsfigur im
russischen kulturellen Gedchtnis
(12632000) (Kln: Bhlau Verlag,
2004). 548, [32] S. Ill. (=Beitraege
zur Geschichte Osteuropas; Bd. 36)
Quellen- und Literaturverz. ISBN:
3-412-06904-3.
.
, ( )
.

,
(S. 14-26)
Les lieux
mmoire.1

,
1

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.

Erinnerungsort ( ),
. . : , (S. 17).
,
,
Gedchtnisort,
,
, ,
. , - , ,
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//
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,
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Les lieux mmoire. Paris, 19841992. T. 1-3.

432

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
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Die Grosse Illustrierte Welt Geschichte. Guetersloh, 1968. Bd. 2. S. 1111.

434

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II
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VERSUS .

Timothy Snyder, The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland,


Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569
1999 (New Haven and London: Yale
University Press, 2003). xv+367 pp.
ISBN: 0-300-08480-3.
, ,
: ,
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Ab Imperio ,
, , . . : Ab Imperio. 2004. 4. . 694-699.

437

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
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,

- .

VERSUS .

Timothy Snyder, The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland,


Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569
1999 (New Haven and London: Yale
University Press, 2003). xv+367 pp.
ISBN: 0-300-08480-3.
, ,
: ,
, , , 1569
1999 ,

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- ( 1569
).

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(c., , : http://snyder.litvin.org/simau.html, 26 2006 .).
, .. , .: http://
www.yale.edu/history/faculty/materials/snyder-reconstruction.html,
26 2006 .

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29 2006 .) : . .
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( 29 2006 . ); . . , ,
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. J.-P. Himka. War Criminality: A Blank Spot in the Collective Memory of the
Ukrainian Diaspora // Spaces of Identity. 2005. Vol. 9. Pp. 9-24. . : http://www.univie.ac.at/spacesofidentity/_Vol_5_1/_HTML/Himka.html ( 29 2006 .)
4
. Berkhoff, M. Carynnyk. The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and Its Attitude
towards Germans and Jews: Jaroslav Stetskos 1941 Zhyttiepys // Harvard Ukrainian
Studies. 1999. Vol. XXIII. No. 3-4. Pp. 149-184.
3

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studies),5
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genocide studies
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19141916 .;
(., : S. Totten, W. Parsons, I. Charny (Eds.). Century of Genocide.
New York, 2004).
6
B. Anderson. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of
Nationalism. London, 1983.
7
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8
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(N. Naimark. Fires of Hatred:
Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-century Europe. Cambridge, MA, 2002. Pp. 3-14).
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Nicholas V. Riasanovsky, Russian Identities: A Historical Survey
(Oxford and New York: Oxford
University Press, 2005). 278 pp. Index. ISBN: 0-19-516550-1.
- (.
1923 .) ,
,
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(1884 1968),
,
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. ,

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N. Riasanovsky, M. Steinberg. A History of Russia. Berkeley, 2005. Vol. 1-2.


N. Riasanovsky. The Image of Peter the Great in Russian History and Thought. New
York, 1985; idem. The Teaching of Charles Fourier. Berkley, 1960; idem. Nicholas I
and Official Nationality in Russia, 18251855. Berkley, 1967; idem. A Parting of Ways:
Government and the Educated Public in Russia, 18011855. Oxford, 1976.
4
C., : N. Riasanovsky. Russia and the West in the Teaching of the Slavophiles.
Cambridge, MA, 1952.
2
3

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6
E. Gellner. Nations and Nationalism. Ithaca, 1983; B. Anderson. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London, 1983.
7
H. Gans. Symbolic Ethnicity and Symbolic Religiosity: Towards a Comparison of
Ethnic and Religious Acculturation // Ethnic and Racial Studies.1994. Vol. 17. No. 4.
Pp. 577-592.

456

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463

/Reviews
.
,
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.

Natalie BAYER
Susan P. McCaffray, Michael
Melancon (Eds.), Russia in The European Context, 17891914: A
Member of the Family (New York
and Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005). 256 pp. Index. ISBN: 14039-6855-1.
The private papers of MarieDaniel Bourree, Chevalier de Corberon, secretary to the French minister at St. Petersburg during 1775
1777, charg daffaires in 1777
1780, and author of the diaries Journal Intime,1 contain a document entitled La Russie.2 The undated and
1

unsigned eighteenth-century document represents a contemporary figurative description of eighteenthcentury Russia as a Giant, imposing in the distance by enormity of
its mass, but in proximity rather
shapeless by report of its dimensions. Throughout the eighteenth
century, the Colosse dform was in
the process of a gradual rise to power. But no matter how powerful the
country became through the hewing of the civilizing process, for
the majority of the outside observers
the Giant remained a rude, barbarous, and outlandish creation.
Many spears were broken in attempts to prove either that Russia
was indeed a country of European
rank (whatever this means), or that
in every respect it could not stand
equal to major European players.
The question of how to perceive
Russia is still high on the agenda of
many Western and Russian intellectuals. They have been wrestling with
the attempts to fit Russia into the
universal pattern of progressive history, which has been transforming
from a primitive to an advanced
society since the eighteenth centu-

Marie Daniel Bourre de Corberon. Un diplomat franais la cour de Catherine II,


17751780: Journal intime du Chevalier de Corberon. Paris, 1901; Journal (Paris-St.
Ptersbourg Paris: 17751781) / dition lectronique, texte produit et ralis par PierreYves Beaurepaire et Dominique Taurisson, dit par ric-Olivier Lochard selon la mthodologie Arcane. See http://melior.univ-montp3.fr/eol/egoDoc/Corberon/PageAccueil.htm.
Last time consulted February 1, 2006.
2
Bibliotheque Municipale, Avignon. Collection no. 3060 (Recuiel de Corberon). f. 122.
Published in: A. Lentin. Corberon, La Russie un Colosse Dform // Study Group
on Eighteenth-Century Russia Newsletter. 1991. No. 19. Pp. 39-41.

464

/Reviews
.
,
,
,
.

Natalie BAYER
Susan P. McCaffray, Michael
Melancon (Eds.), Russia in The European Context, 17891914: A
Member of the Family (New York
and Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005). 256 pp. Index. ISBN: 14039-6855-1.
The private papers of MarieDaniel Bourree, Chevalier de Corberon, secretary to the French minister at St. Petersburg during 1775
1777, charg daffaires in 1777
1780, and author of the diaries Journal Intime,1 contain a document entitled La Russie.2 The undated and
1

unsigned eighteenth-century document represents a contemporary figurative description of eighteenthcentury Russia as a Giant, imposing in the distance by enormity of
its mass, but in proximity rather
shapeless by report of its dimensions. Throughout the eighteenth
century, the Colosse dform was in
the process of a gradual rise to power. But no matter how powerful the
country became through the hewing of the civilizing process, for
the majority of the outside observers
the Giant remained a rude, barbarous, and outlandish creation.
Many spears were broken in attempts to prove either that Russia
was indeed a country of European
rank (whatever this means), or that
in every respect it could not stand
equal to major European players.
The question of how to perceive
Russia is still high on the agenda of
many Western and Russian intellectuals. They have been wrestling with
the attempts to fit Russia into the
universal pattern of progressive history, which has been transforming
from a primitive to an advanced
society since the eighteenth centu-

Marie Daniel Bourre de Corberon. Un diplomat franais la cour de Catherine II,


17751780: Journal intime du Chevalier de Corberon. Paris, 1901; Journal (Paris-St.
Ptersbourg Paris: 17751781) / dition lectronique, texte produit et ralis par PierreYves Beaurepaire et Dominique Taurisson, dit par ric-Olivier Lochard selon la mthodologie Arcane. See http://melior.univ-montp3.fr/eol/egoDoc/Corberon/PageAccueil.htm.
Last time consulted February 1, 2006.
2
Bibliotheque Municipale, Avignon. Collection no. 3060 (Recuiel de Corberon). f. 122.
Published in: A. Lentin. Corberon, La Russie un Colosse Dform // Study Group
on Eighteenth-Century Russia Newsletter. 1991. No. 19. Pp. 39-41.

464

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
ry, the time of Russias Europeanization (Westernization or modernization) from above. At first the
Russian elite, following Catherine
the Great,3 decisively proclaimed
that Russia was indeed European.
Later, when Slavophilism flourished, they were not so sure they
wanted to belong to Europe.
Europeans, for their part, have
been struggling with this problem for
self-serving reasons. The majority of
early travelers accounts insisted that
Russia was not European, while
many eighteenth-century philosophes wholeheartedly embraced the
Europeanizing projects of Peter the
Great and Catherine the Great. The
Napoleonic wars and the era of revolutions returned the image of
backward Russia to the forefront.
It seemed that because socially, economically, and politically Russia
developed along lines different from
those of Western Europe, the country was and still is often viewed as
an outsider trying to enter the European mainstream.4 In this process of
defining the polarity between Russia and Europe, Europe was understood not as a place but a civiliza-

tion: an advanced level of material,


intellectual, and moral development,
and the culmination of mankinds
ascent from the savage state.5 In
contrast, Russia was designated a
place (and time) that was backward,
underdeveloped, uneducated, and
unenlightened. Russia was hierarchical, authoritarian, and monarchical,
with no (or a significantly delayed)
transition to secular, liberal, and
democratic order.
Today, when considered through
the lens of the current political, social, and economic situation in Russia and of the formation of European Union, the dispute about Russian
backwardness (developmental
slowness or inferiority) produces
especially confused and troubling
results. In this situation, the editors
and the authors of the book Russia
in the European Context make a valuable contribution to the discussion by
providing an alternative framework
for the interpretation of the Russias
long nineteenth century.6 Their position is summed up in the subtitle. The
contributors to the volume try to
prove that Russia was definitely a
member of a European family, at

3
Paul Dukes (Ed.). Catherine the Greats Instruction (Nakaz) to the Legislative
Commission, 1767. Newtonville, MA, 1977.
4
The process to which Martin Malia fittingly refers as entering European cultural
escalator (Martin Malia. Russia under Western Eyes: From the Bronze Horseman to
the Lenin Mausoleum. Cambridge, MA, 1999. P. 32).
5
Malia. P. 18. Dennis Hay. Europe: The Emergence of an Idea. Edinburgh, 1968; Jacques
Le Goff. La vieille Europe et la ntre. Paris, 1994.
6
See, f.i.: Manfred Hildermeier. Rossiiskii dolgii XIX vek: Osobyi put evropeiskoi
modernizatsii? // Ab Imperio. 2002. No. 1. Pp. 85-101.

465

/Reviews
least during 17891914. This position is not a revelation in any sense,
but their thought-provoking approach is a timely return to the theme.
In their introduction, the editors
Susan McCaffray and Michael
Melancon extensively criticize the
Western axiom concerning Russia,
according to which the economic
backwardness, slowness of development, primitiveness of social institutions and overall cultural stiffness
were considered the fundamental
and most stable features of Russian
history. It is true that throughout the
long nineteenth century Russias
economy grew, but not fast enough;
its government policies both promoted industrial development and
blocked it; and some Russians embraced the possibilities of private
property, free markets, and individualism, while others rejected them.
But, according to McCaffray and
Melancon, this does not mean that
nineteenth-century Russia was the
model of perversity (P. 3). Instead,
they claim that if we consider Russia as a member of the European
family, we can achieve a more nuanced understanding of Russias individuality. Shifting attention back
and forth from an analysis that generalizes to an analysis that identifies
particulars can shed light on intellectual trends and assess specific
national features.

McCaffray, Melancon and their


authors analyze some features of
nineteenth century Russian economy and society in order to establish
that Russian development fits the
general European pattern for that
period. But was there a general
European pattern? In the long nineteenth century, much like today, Europe was not uniformly developed.
Traditionally, a countrys progress
is defined by comparing it with the
historical trajectories of the firstcomers to the Industrial Revolution,
such as Great Britain or Belgium. In
these countries a successful industrialization followed high-productivity agricultural systems, highly
developed market institutions, and
political institutions that limited the
power of agricultural elites. In this
sense, Russia was different. Its inward-looking industrialization path
was heavily dependent upon government policies. However, Russia was
not alone on this path. Germany and
Italy, for instance, also started the
nineteenth century with significant
impediments to labor mobility, including land tenure institutions and
comparatively less productive agriculture. Like in Russia, in Germany
the entrepreneurial innovators had to
compete with landed elites to gain
economic power.7
The intention of the editors for
analyzing the historical characteris-

7
For the recent debates, see: Gunilla-Friederike Budde, Jrgen Kocka. Kontsept
nemetskogo osobogo puti: Istoriia, potentsial, granitsy primenimosti // Ab Imperio.

466

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
tics of Russia in a European framework requires a more extensive discussion of what European could
mean in the context of the project.
But instead of asking whether the
concepts of Europe or the West
are, in fact, clumsy artifacts or historical facts, the editors simply
broaden the scope of the constructs
to include Russia in it.
Another problematic issue in the
introductory article is McCaffray
and Melancons treatment of the
term Eastern Europe. The editors
mention it, but see its development
and validity only in the context of
the twentieth century. They specifically pinpoint the period after the
Second World War as the point of
geographical and mental demarcation between the good and the
bad Europe (Pp. 1-10). However, following Larry Wolffs line of
reasoning in his Inventing Eastern
Europe,8 it is possible to argue that
the concept of Eastern Europe was
invented in the imagination of Enlightenment intellectuals as a part of
the construction of the modern West.
Without explicitly defining the dif-

ferences and identifying historical


nuances between the terms like the
West and Eastern Europe, the
conceptualization of Europe as a
family seems problematic.
Given the task, it is not surprising that the articles collected in the
volume revolve around two main
themes: economics and society. The
majority of the chapters present a
comparative view of the Russian
Empire during the course of the long
nineteenth century. In the first part
of the book, appropriately titled Envisioning an Economy, the essays
are supposed to oppose the perceived
general backwardness of the Russian
economy, particularly evident in the
dominance of agriculture and a reluctance to develop industrial production, which, in the eyes of outsiders, contrasts sharply with the rise
of a modern economy in European
countries. As the articles demonstrate, by the beginning of the twentieth century, late imperial Russia
boasted a coherent factory labor
code,9 corporate banks, articulate
apologists for industrial development
both inside 10 and outside govern-

2002. No. 1. Pp. 65-84; Boris Ananich, Peter Gatrell. Natsionalnye i vnenatsionalnye
izmereniia ekonomicheskogo razvitiia Rossii, XIX XX vv. // Idem. 2002. No. 4. Pp.
67-91.
8
Larry Wolff. Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the
Enlightenment. Stanford, 1994.
9
Boris Gorshkov. Towards a Comprehensive Law: Tsarist Factory Labor Legislation in
European Context, 18301914 // Susan P. McCaffray, Michael Melancon (Eds.). Russia
in The European Context, 17891914. P. 65.
10
Frank Wcislo. Rereading Old Texts: Sergei Witte and the Industrialization of Russia // Ibid. Pp. 71-83.

467

/Reviews
ment,11 and at least a few visionary
entrepreneurs.12
The volumes second part, Envisioning a Society, contains analyses of the formation of a Russian
national identity that did not separate Russia from the West;13 Esther
Kingston-Manns article that unambiguously places the beginning of
Russian social science, and particularly statistics, in a European context;14 a consideration of various associations in provincial Russia;15 a
research into the peculiarities of the
punishment system;16 a case-study
on the insurance law in 1912;17 and
finally Michael Melancons study
into the interconnections between
the government and society in
19101914 through the eyes of the
press.18
11

Although the editors announce in


their introduction their intent to get
rid of the great interpretive tool of
backwardness,19 many contributors to the volume continue to comfortably use it. For instance, when
Lee Farrow considers the development of vested titles in Russia in the
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries,
she consistently follows the classical
perspective of Russian backwardness. Farrow agrees that Russian and
European inheritance and property
laws shared many similar features,
but instead chooses to concentrate on
the differences. As a result, her conclusion states that because of state restrictions and strong clan interests in
the ownership of land, Russia had a
very weak system of private property.20 Farrow is not the only author

Susan McCaffray. Capital, Industriousness and Private Banks in the Economic Imagination of a Nineteenth-Century Statesman // Ibid. Pp. 33-48.
12
Boris V. Ananich. Religious and Nationalist Aspects of Entrepreneurialism in Russia // Ibid. Pp. 85-93.
13
Susanna Rabow-Edling. The Role of Europe in Russian Nationalism: Reinterpreting
the Relationship between Russia and the West in Slavophile Thought // Ibid. Pp. 97-112.
14
Esther Kingston-Mann. Statistics, Social Science and Social Justice: The Zemstvo
Statisticians of Pre-Revolutionary Russia // Ibid. Pp. 113-139.
15
Lutz Haefner. The Temple of Idleness? Associations and the Public Sphere in Provincial Russia // Ibid. Pp. 141-160. While the notion of public sphere plays an important
role in the chapter, Haefner does not use of refer to the seminal work on the topic: Jrgen
Habermas. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. Cambridge, MA, 1989.
16
Jonathan Daly. Russian Punishments in the European Mirror // Susan P. McCaffray,
Michael Melancon (Eds.). Russia in The European Context, 17891914. Pp. 161-188.
17
Alice Pate, St. Petersburg Workers and Implementation of the Social Insurance Law
of 1912 // Ibid. Pp. 189-201.
18
Michael Melancon. Russias Outlooks on the Present and Future, 19101914: What
the Press Tells Us // Ibid. Pp. 203-226.
19
Susan McCaffray, Michael Melancon. Introduction: A Member of the Family: Russias Place in Europe, 17891914 // Ibid. Pp. 9.
20
Lee Farrow. The Ties that Bind: The Role of the Russian Clan in Inheritance and
Property Law // Ibid. P. 28.

468

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
who does not follow the course proposed by the editors. Jonathan Daly
emphasizes that Russia lagged
behind some, but not all, Western
European counterparts,21 and refers
to Russias economic and social
backwardness when trying to explain comparative leniency in late
imperial Russia. 22 In light of the
project, this rhetoric simply cannot
be considered as an occasional slip
into the conventional and convenient methodological framework.
Even if the contributors of the programmatic volume cannot help but
rely on the concept of backwardness as a tool, can it be the sign
that the tool itself is more useful
than the editors allow themselves to
admit?
Nevertheless, as the editors of the
volume agree, the debate on Russias
place in Europe is an infinite one (P.
3). There are no definite answers,
correct positions, or incontestable
approaches in the confrontation between the Enlightenment rhetoric of
unity and the modern episteme of
difference. What the participants in
the discussion can hope for, however, is to present a consistent argument. And the editors and the contributors to the Russia in the European Context have attempted to accomplish this with their praise-worthy effort.
Daly. Russian Punishments in the
European Mirror. P. 161.
22
Ibid. Pp. 161, 176.
21

Marina PEUNOVA
. . 19972002 . : , 2004 (=:
). 816 c. . ISBN: 5-86793-300-8.
In the words of the illustrious Sovietologist Alec Nove, Soviet sociologists were, despite the ideological
constraints imposed upon them by the
principles of Marxism-Leninism,
constructive dissidents who went
against the grain and anticipated social change.1 This progressive tradition pre-empted perestroika,2 and
continued through a multitude of
homegrown sociological works that
have complemented Western studies
on post-Soviet transformation.3
1

Alec Nove is cited in: E. Weinberg. Sociology in the Soviet Union and Beyond:
Social Enquiry and Social Change. Burlington, 2004. P. 137.
2
For an overview of Soviet sociology during perestroika and sociologists contribution to the reform process see: D. Shalin.
Sociology for the Glasnost Era: Institutional and Substantive Changes in Recent
Soviet Sociology // Social Forces. 1990.
Vol. 68. Pp. 1-21.
3
For interdisciplinary discussion of postSoviet transformation see: T. I. Zaslavskaia. Sovremennoe rossiiskoe obschestvo:
Sotsialnyi mekhanizm transformatsii.
Moscow, 2004; A. G. Zdravomyslov. Sotsiologiia rossiiskogo krizisa. Moscow,
1999; Yu. A. Levada. Ot mnenii k ponimaniiu: Sotsiologicheskie ocherki, 1993
2000. Moscow, 2000.

469

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
who does not follow the course proposed by the editors. Jonathan Daly
emphasizes that Russia lagged
behind some, but not all, Western
European counterparts,21 and refers
to Russias economic and social
backwardness when trying to explain comparative leniency in late
imperial Russia. 22 In light of the
project, this rhetoric simply cannot
be considered as an occasional slip
into the conventional and convenient methodological framework.
Even if the contributors of the programmatic volume cannot help but
rely on the concept of backwardness as a tool, can it be the sign
that the tool itself is more useful
than the editors allow themselves to
admit?
Nevertheless, as the editors of the
volume agree, the debate on Russias
place in Europe is an infinite one (P.
3). There are no definite answers,
correct positions, or incontestable
approaches in the confrontation between the Enlightenment rhetoric of
unity and the modern episteme of
difference. What the participants in
the discussion can hope for, however, is to present a consistent argument. And the editors and the contributors to the Russia in the European Context have attempted to accomplish this with their praise-worthy effort.
Daly. Russian Punishments in the
European Mirror. P. 161.
22
Ibid. Pp. 161, 176.
21

Marina PEUNOVA
. . 19972002 . : , 2004 (=:
). 816 c. . ISBN: 5-86793-300-8.
In the words of the illustrious Sovietologist Alec Nove, Soviet sociologists were, despite the ideological
constraints imposed upon them by the
principles of Marxism-Leninism,
constructive dissidents who went
against the grain and anticipated social change.1 This progressive tradition pre-empted perestroika,2 and
continued through a multitude of
homegrown sociological works that
have complemented Western studies
on post-Soviet transformation.3
1

Alec Nove is cited in: E. Weinberg. Sociology in the Soviet Union and Beyond:
Social Enquiry and Social Change. Burlington, 2004. P. 137.
2
For an overview of Soviet sociology during perestroika and sociologists contribution to the reform process see: D. Shalin.
Sociology for the Glasnost Era: Institutional and Substantive Changes in Recent
Soviet Sociology // Social Forces. 1990.
Vol. 68. Pp. 1-21.
3
For interdisciplinary discussion of postSoviet transformation see: T. I. Zaslavskaia. Sovremennoe rossiiskoe obschestvo:
Sotsialnyi mekhanizm transformatsii.
Moscow, 2004; A. G. Zdravomyslov. Sotsiologiia rossiiskogo krizisa. Moscow,
1999; Yu. A. Levada. Ot mnenii k ponimaniiu: Sotsiologicheskie ocherki, 1993
2000. Moscow, 2000.

469

/Reviews
Ranging from descriptive analyses based on opinion polls to theoretically grounded works,4 these inquiries provide a rich source of
knowledge on post-Soviet society.
To their polyphony of voices, and in
continuation of the tradition of intellectual dissent, Lev Gudkovs
Negative Identity is a welcome contribution. In this collection of articles written in 19972002, Gudkov,
a former student of Yurii Levada
himself a constructive dissident
during the Soviet era presents a
full-frontal exposure of post-Soviet
malaise. Using results of opinion
polls conducted with collaborators
at the All-Russian Centre for the
Study of Social Opinion as part of
the project entitled The Soviet Ordinary Person, as well as his exhaustive knowledge of Western sociological theory, Gudkov subjects
post-perestroika society to an uncompromising scrutiny.5 Although
these works were written within the
span of five very different and eventful years in Russian contemporary
history, they present a uniform, if
somewhat redundant, set of arguments that cover such interconnected topics as Russian national
identity, the rise of nationalism and
4

xenophobia, the Chechen imbroglio,


neotraditionalism, the impact of globalization, as well as the overall
degradation of life including but not
limited to the crisis of the education
and legal systems.
In his attempt to decipher postSoviet society, Gudkov identifies the
main precepts of Russian national
identity throughout the collection.
According to the author, the postSoviet collective mass subconscious
is characterized by a concoction of
nostalgia for the past, disillusionment with the present, resentment,
apathy, and a combination of envy
and admiration towards the West
feelings that can be best described
as self-deprecating exceptionalism.
This gloomy condition is further
aggravated by the eternal Russian
ennui and reverie, Manilov-like sentimentality and lisping about high
but dead culture, an all-surpassing
spirituality, along with a drunken
tear about ruined and spoiled by
others! life (P. 282). In the Structure and Character of National Identity in Russia (1999) Gudkov attributes these elements of Russian
collective psyche to an overall atmosphere of fear of, and yet, at the same
time, longing for a collective ordeal.

For the former, see, f.i.: VTSIOM predstavliaet. Kak my dumali v 2004 godu: Rossiia
na perepute. Moscow, 2005. For the latter: T. I. Zaslavskaia. O nekotorykh metodologicheskikh voprosakh issledovaniia sovremennogo rosskiiskogo obschestva // Kuda idet
Rossiia?.. Krizis institutsionalnykh sistem: Vek, desiatiletie, god. Moscow, 1999.
5
The Center was founded in 1988. It was renamed the Analytical Center of Yurii
Levada in 2004, the year in which this volume was published.

470

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
It is during wars and other extreme
situations that the Russian nation
shows its true identity (Pp. 122-146).
Furthermore, he paints a grim portrait of people who, in their fear,
have relied heavily on the protective
power of the state throughout history, and are unwilling and unable to
resist circumstances or foster change.
Unsatisfied with overused clichs
rooted in Russian Slavophile
thought, and critical of the recurrent
search for the recipes of the Russian
national idea and ideology (P. 131),
Gudkov turns to the Soviet past in
search of explanations. He argues
that it is the years of living under
Soviet rule that have indebted postSoviet society with a collective
memory of deprivation, injustice and
humiliation.6 It is this collective
memory that continues to plague todays Russians and to define their

national identity and self-positioning


in the world.
In looking for explanations, Gudkov refutes transition and modernization paradigms,7 and turns instead to
psychology and theories of psychoanalysis. In To the Problem of
Negative Identification (2000), he
introduces the concept of negative
identity. With some carelessness regarding sources (a fallacy of which
he accuses others), the author shies
away from mentioning the 1950s
and 1960s clinical and psycho-historical writings by the father of the
concept, Erik Erikson,8 and murkily
reinterprets negative identity as
self-definition from the opposite
that is expressed in the form of a
negation of whatever qualities or
values of that of its carrier in the
form of alien, repulsive, frightening,
threatening, personifying everything

6
For an original account of the role of history in the formation of Russian national
identity see: B. Iu. Kagarlitskii. Periferiinaia imperiia: Rossiia i mikrosistema. Moscow,
2003.
7
For an overview of a transitology approach see: J. Linz, A. Stepan. Problems of
Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and PostCommunist Europe. Baltimore, 1996; G. ODonnell, Ph. Schmitter, L. Whitehead (Eds.).
Transitions from Authoritarian Rule. Baltimore, 1986. Vols. 1-4; a significant work by a
Russian political scientist is: A. Iu. Melvil. Demokraticheskie tranzity: Teoretiko-metodologicheskie i prikladnye aspekty. Moscow, 1999. For criticism of transitology approach see: S. Cohen. Failed Crusade: America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist
Russia. New York, 2000. For the modernization approach, see, for instance: N. F. Naumova. Retsidiviruiuschaia modernizatsiia v Rossii: Beda, vina ili resurs chelovechestva. Moscow, 1999. Naumova examines post-Soviet transformation by using a concept
of belated modernization and using examples from third world countries.
8
An American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst, Erik Erikson explored
the antisocial, marginal, and rebellious behavior of patients who acted in defiance of the
commonly accepted and expected norms imposed by family and society. See: E. Erikson.
Identity Crisis in Perspective // Idem. Life History and the Historical Moment. New
York, 1975. Pp. 20-21.

471

/Reviews
that is unacceptable to the members
of the group or a community, in a
word, in the quality of an antipode
(P. 271; emphasis mine). He further
extrapolates the notion of negative
identity onto an entire post-Soviet
society by pointing out that the society in focus is glued together by a
common response to this negative
(prohibited and feared) entity; in
short, by its relation to what represents a taboo for the society (P. 272).
The author concludes that such a
society is based not on positive but
on negative civic solidarity; in other words, on unity in dependence,
fear, resistance to any initiatives and
stimuli that would lead to a higher
productivity and intensiveness of
achievements, to openness, goodheartedness, to an increased quality
and value of actions. This is a solidarity that leads to a collective identity of baseness (P. 283).
As clearly stated in the preface
to this volume, social asthenia, apathy, and indifference, a lack of if
idealistic hope for a better future,
and of aspirations of self-perfection
(P. 10) rules in Russia. As well as
the present, Russian history is a subject of pessimistic, negative thinking. As follows from the Victory in
the War: To the Sociology of a Certain National Symbol (1997), Russian citizens prefer sacralization of
victory to rationalization of history and identify as the most important events of the 20th century wars
472

and other catastrophes: the 1945 victory in the Great Patriotic War is
considered by the majority of Russians as the defining moment of their
national history, followed by the
October Revolution, the Chernobyl
tragedy, the dissolution of the USSR,
and Stalinist repressions (Pp. 21-29).
Russians therefore view their past as
a chronic of fatal, natural disasters,
and of their surmounting (P. 22).
According to Gudkov, this catastrophic mindset is the corner stone
of Russian mentality.
For Gudkov, the deficit in positive attitude multiplied by the hollowness of the intellectual space of
recent years are products of the Soviet totalitarian past, as the disintegration of a repressive society brings
about no sense of release from the
constraint of poverty, no feeling of
being finally freed from eternal captivity. Neither is it accompanied by
any particular enthusiasm, idealism
or new-found universal love. Quite
the opposite, post-totalitarianism
presents a deadly cocktail of collective depression and aggression: in
Russia communism gave way not to
a new Silver Age, but to a futile era
of imitation, postmodernism, universal piss-taking, xenophobia and
Kremlin-led sobornost.
To support these claims and to
complement the data received from
opinion polls, Gudkov resorts to the
debatable concept of totalitarianism.
In Totalitarianism as a Theoreti-

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
cal Framework: Attempts at Revision of a Controversial Concept
(2001), the author affirms that totalitarianism is an appropriate notion
to be applied to the Soviet era. The
author attributes the current Russian
condition to residual totalitarian societal structures that influence the
formation of mass consciousness (P.
419). The main argument running as
a red thread through this volume is
that contemporary Russian society
is best understood as a post-totalitarian one, and that it is the lingering culture of homo sovieticus that
impedes positive change. The narrative reaches its culmination when
the author concludes that his is a
society that is empty from within
(Pp. 287-293), and then proceeds to
ask whether an entire society can
qualify as an immoral one.
As a totalitarian empire, the Soviet Union existed in the regime of
chronic mobilization that made its
citizens feel as if they were living in
a constant state of emergency in an
occupied fortress (P. 132). In the
The Ideologeme of an Enemy
(2001), Gudkov argues that the vestiges of totalitarianism such as hypocritical doublethink and moral relativism are complemented by a
combination of the official cult of
heroism, self-sacrifice and hostagetaking (P. 553), which still constitute part of the mind-set of the average Russian. Gudkov depicts the
post-Soviet man as being overcome

by panic and therefore comfortable


with the overpowering role of the
state that is perceived as a protector
(Fear as a Framework of Understanding of the Current State of Affairs (1999)). The memory of years
of repression has made out of this
man a self-sacrificing ascetic with a
victims complex. As Gudkov argues
in Complex of a Victim. Peculiarities of Russian Mass Self-perception
as an Ethnonational Community
(1999), a contemporary Russian citizen is struggling with inferiority but
is unable (yet) to fully break with
the past and to take a fresh start.
In the Attitudes in Russia towards the United States and the
Problem of anti-Americanism
(2002), Gudkov contends that as a
result of totalitarian legacy and of
ensuing negative identity, Russians
view themselves through their relation vis--vis the Other, which is a
demonized symbolic enemy (P.
210). This Other wears different
masks the West, Chechens, oligarchs, NATO, mafia and serves
as a unifying ground and a raison
dtre for the entire society that lives
according to the principle I hate
therefore I exist (P. 543). As Gudkov further notes in Anti-Semitism
and Xenophobia in post-Soviet Russia, opinion polls show a rise in
chauvinism towards the end of the
1990s as people started projecting
their own fears, flaws, tabooed desires, [and] motives onto what they
473

/Reviews
perceive to be their enemies (P.
200).
Linked to, and symptomatic of,
negative identity are both xenophobia of the masses and ideational
nationalism of the educated elites.
Both are largely inspired by compensatory defense mechanisms (P. 205).
The author ponders the disappearing
gap between the intelligentsia and
the average person, as the intelligentsia can no longer stand as a consciousness of the nation nor carry
enlightenment and humanism to the
masses (P. 206). Members of the
intelligentsia have freed themselves
from a sense of responsibility that
was one of their definitional characteristics in the past. What is more,
the level of intolerance rises in those
with higher education, and is higher
in Moscow than in the rest of the
country (P. 209). Finally, it is among
the youngest and the oldest generations that one finds the most alarming levels of xenophobia. While the
opinions of fathers and sons might
differ, grandfathers and sons share
their beliefs (P. 188). Gudkov concludes that xenophobia is the price
of centralization and strengthening
state control.
Xenophobic and nationalistic
beliefs often coincide with a neotraditionalist worldview, as ethnic phobias are part of neotraditionalist and
quasi-traditionalist mechanisms of
social regulation (Pp. 177-182). Social particularism and the rejection
474

of such a precondition to modernization as the universal value system


are part of the restorative tendencies
and resurgence of traditionalism. In
Russian Neotraditionalism and Resistance to Changes (2002), the
author links collective depression
and nostalgia for the past to waiting
for a Russian national Renaissance,
longing for empire, anti-Westernism,
isolationism, revitalization of the
image of an enemy as a functional
composite of properly Russian attributes, and an overall simplification and conservation of debased
perceptions about man and reality (P.
662). Gudkov writes: the worst we
are ourselves, the stronger our heroic-ascetic myth of the great past
as a superpower, its instrumental
achievements in outer space and
colonial ones from one hand, and
non-real mirrors of our fantastic
merits: we are simple, open, the most
deep, cultivated, good-hearted, hospitable, ready to help, etc. (P. 284).
He attributes the resurgence of traditionalism to a general lethargy and
aloofness caused by the totalitarian
past and a general decay of the system.
Turning to theoretical premises
laid out in this work, one cannot fail
to notice that the author disparages
fellow analysts who apply Western
theory to the study of post-Soviet
transformation. He criticizes transitology for misunderstanding the
complex nature of post-Soviet social

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
processes and for heavily overusing
the Western concepts of social
stratification, middle class, social elite, representative system,
presidential republic, as well as the
ethic of entrepreneurship and the
division of powers and civil society; and claims these can be used
but with reservation in the Russian
case (P. 6). Yet at the same time,
Gudkov resorts to definitely Western
theoretical notions of negative identity and totalitarianism to prove his
case.
Heavily indebted to the works of
Western maitres, the author falls
prey to the post-Soviet vogue of applying identity and personality theories to the study of society.9 Additionally, Gudkov does it in a rather
repetitive manner: at times the reader
is faced with the same account of the
negative identity of post-Soviet society (with some paragraphs and arguments appearing copied verbatim
twice or more throughout the book).
It is therefore not difficult to imagine that these numerous articles
present a better reading as separate
pieces than as a collection.
It is with these reservations regarding the theoretical contribution
of the author that one should approach this book. If done so, this
compilation of articles can be of
great interest to those looking for

clues to the institutional and, most


importantly, spiritual and ideational
crisis that has overshadowed Russia during the roaring 1990s.
Gudkovs use of psychoanalytic theory provides an account of a deeply
ill society suffering from collective
depression and disillusionment with
the reforms of the early 1990s. Written by a talented author, whose approach is from the Western tradition,
the articles vacillate between serious
scholarly analysis and social commentary (publitsistika), gravitating
towards the latter. Hastily written
and verbose at times, and lacking the
profundity that one would expect
from this reputed author, this volume
is nevertheless a far better example
of the many works that focus on the
ideational vacuum that was created
by the demise of Marxism-Leninism.

See, for instance: D. Rancour-Laferriere. Russian Nationalism from an Interdisciplinary Perspective: Imagining Russia. Lewiston, 2000; also, by the same author: The
Slave Soul of Russia: Moral Masochism and the Cult of Suffering. New York, 1995.
9

475

/Reviews
Alexander OGDEN
/ ., ., , .
. . . . -: -, 2003. 396 . ISBN: 5-94380024-7.
The spoken word, stories retained
only in memory, and the oral transmission of narratives, both historical and fictional, have a crucial place
both in the underground survival of
culture during times of repression
and also in any subsequent public
confrontation with those times of
repression. In such periods, when
oppression and censorship make official documents suspect and unofficial writings dangerous, oral sources provide a valuable corrective. As
a team of glasnost-era Russian oral
historians wrote, quoting a prevailing sentiment, for us the documents
are subjective, and the only things
which might be objective are the
memories.1 Hallmarks of the Stalin period include Akhmatovas entrusting her Requiem to the memory

of Lidiia Chukovskaia and Solzhenitsyns reliance on stories, written


or oral to confront the immensity
of the Gulag.2 Later, when wideranging discussion of the Stalinist
and larger Soviet legacy became
possible, the voices of glasnost represented a noisy coming to terms
with the past. Television and movies
showed in-depth interviews with
camp survivors and life stories in
documentary format such as Semen
Aranovichs I Was Stalins Bodyguard and I Worked for Stalin. Mass
movements such as Memorial, and
academic organizations such as the
Oral History Center at the Moscow
Institute of History and Archives
mobilized to reclaim the past, and as
a result historical events became
more available and therefore closer.3
Discussion and dialogue the
interplay enabled by interviewing
and oral communication have thus
been key in preserving and making
sense of the Russian past and in the
on-going assessment of the Soviet
legacy. But oral history as an academic field is still quite new in Russia. Marina Loskutovas anthology
presents itself as the first attempt

1
Daria Khubova, Andrei Ivankiev, and Tonia Sharova. After Glasnost: Oral History in
the Soviet Union // Luisa Passerini (Ed.). Memory and Totalitarianism. International
Yearbook of Oral History and Life Stories. Vol. 1. Oxford, 1992. P. 96.
2
Lydia Chukovskaya. The Akhmatova Journals / Trans. Milena Michalski et al. New
York, 1994. Vol. 1. P. 6. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The Gulag Archipelago, 19181956:
An Experiment in Literary Investigation / Trans. Harry Willetts. New York, 1992. Vol.
3. P. 526.
3
On the movements, see Khubova et al. Op. Cit. On reclaiming the past, see Irina
Sherbakova. The Gulag in Memory // Passerini (Ed.). Op. Cit. Pp. 105-106.

476

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
to acquaint the Russian reader with
an extraordinarily varied and dynamic trend in the social sciences,
which has received the name of oral
history. As such, the collection provides a succinct overview of how the
field developed in the West.
In a quite detailed introduction,
Loskutova, of the European University in St. Petersburg, surveys the
development of oral history as an
academic discipline in Western Europe and the United States. She first
notes the tendency in treatments by
Western scholars to stress both the
ancient roots and the novelty of oral
history as an approach and then turns
to the unique development of the
field in various nations, at the same
time raising many of the theoretical
and institutional issues that have
shaped that development. While in
the United States, in the work of
Allan Nevins and others, oral history began as an approach to the lives
of great men in politics and industry and only later took on an interest in history from below (as reflected, for example, in the work of
Studs Terkel and Alex Haley), in
Great Britain it emerged from the beginning from social history, ethnography, and studies of the working
class experience. Turning to Italy,
Loskutova notes the tendency there

to combine research and social activism and also points out the importance of less formal working groups
and circles. Germany and France
came late to oral history, for reasons
of both academic proclivities and
institutional culture. Loskutova also
traces the impact of the linguistic
turn in the social sciences on oral
history, leading to a shift from an
emphasis on science and objectivity
to a focus on individual realities,
narrative theory, and the nature of
memory and its social construction.
The introduction covers material
found in previous English-language
surveys of the topic, but Loskutovas
treatment also makes good use of a
range of more specialized sources
and provides a satisfying synthesis
of the fields evolution.4
Many of the eleven works anthologized here are classics of oral
history study, and the authors include
some of the most widely published
and highly regarded in the field:
Alessandro Portelli (2 articles),
Michael Frisch, Jan Vansina, Paul
Thompson, Tamara Hareven,
Alistair Thomson, Luisa Passerini,
Ronald Grele, Gabriele Rosenthal,
and Patrick H. Hutton. Originally
written between 1972 and 1993, the
articles and excerpts have all appeared in English, including three

General studies and anthologies drawn on include the following: Paul Thompson. The
Voice of the Past. Oxford, 1988; David K. Dunaway and Willa K. Baum (Eds.). Oral
History: An Interdisciplinary Anthology. Walnut Creek, 1996; and Robert Perks and
Alistair Thomson. The Oral History Reader. London and New York, 1998.
4

477

/Reviews
that had their first publications in
Italian. Categorizing her selections
into six sections, Loskutova first offers discussions of the nature and
tasks of oral history (sections Oral
History: Approaches and Problems
and Oral History and Oral Tradition), then moves to applications of
oral history methods and case studies (sections Oral History and Social-Demographic and Economic
History, Oral History and the Political History of the Twentieth Century, and Practical Aspects of the
Researchers Work: Conducting the
Interview and Interpreting It), and
ends with one selection marking the
trend toward relating oral history
studies to issues of tradition and collective memory (the section History and Memory).
In addition to a good selection of
articles, the volume makes the material easily accessible, with intelligent excerpting and editing, informative editors footnotes, biographies of all the contributors, and an
annotated index. Published by the
European University in St. Petersburg and funded by the Open Society Institute (Soros Fund) and the
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur
Foundation, it is attractively presented in a paper cover with a photo
collage and intriguing jacket quotations from Washington Irving and

Agatha Christie (both epigraphs to


Portellis What Makes Oral History Different).
The selection of materials for the
anthology is considerably more limited in quantity and scope than that
of similar collections that have appeared in English.5 The comparative
brevity is not, however, necessarily
a drawback: the book presents particularly thought-provoking and
well-written studies without overwhelming the reader with unnecessary detail. If the goal is to introduce
students to some of the best materials on oral history and then inspire
them to do oral history themselves,
the book achieves that well.
It is curious, however, that Loskutova misses an opportunity to connect these materials to a Russian
context in any way. Her introduction, in portraying the collection as
a first attempt to broach the topic
in a Russian collection, does a disservice both to a vibrant if recent
approach among Russian investigators and to the substantial work done
by Western investigators in Russia.
The Gorbachev period saw both
popular and academic movements
focused on oral history a phenomenon well represented in the first
volume of the International Yearbook of Oral History and Life Stories, published in 1992 under the ti-

5
The Oral History Reader, for example, comprises 39 articles and more thoroughly
covers the practical concerns and applications of oral history not included by Loskutova.

478

Ab Imperio, 4/2006
tle Memory and Totalitarianism.6
Western scholars, meanwhile including Paul Thompson, whom
Loskutova calls the British founder
of oral history took advantage of
new access to informants to conduct
extensive oral history interviews in
Russia, leading to numerous articles
and books based on oral sources.7 A
vital connection between oral history and Russian Studies in the West
began much earlier: the first systematic in-depth interviews with Soviet
migrs in the early 1950s coincided
with the dawn of modern oral history and continued with subsequent
projects that together augmented

significantly what Western scholars


knew about life in the Soviet
Union.8
There is a further Russian connection to be made. The increasingly sophisticated theoretical context
for discussions of oral history (nicely
represented by the selections in this
anthology) has led scholars to draw
on literary theory, notably Russian
theory. The authors in Loskutovas
collection mention in passing
Mikhail Bakhtin, Roman Jakobson,
Vladimir Propp, and Boris Tomashevskii. A more sustained exploration of the Bakhtin angle could be
particularly productive, especially

6
Passerini (Ed.). Op. Cit. See in particular Khubova et al. After Glasnost. Pp. 89-101;
Irina Sherbakova. The Gulag in Memory. Pp. 103-115; Sherbakova. Voices from the
Choir: Reflections on the Development of Oral History in Russia // Ibid. Pp. 188-191;
and the review article by Daniel Bertaux of: Alain Brossat et al. A lEst la mmoire
retrouve // Ibid. Pp. 206-207.
7
On work by Thompson and his colleagues in Russia, see: Ray Pahl, Paul Thompson.
Meanings, Myths and Mystifications: The Social Construction of Life Stories in Russia //
C. M. Hann (Ed.). When History Accelerates. London, 1994. Pp. 130-160; Daniel Bertaux. Transmission in Extreme Situations: Russian Families Expropriated by the October Revolution // Daniel Bertaux, Paul Thompson (Eds.). Pathways to Social Class.
Oxford, 1997. Pp. 230-258; Daniel Bertaux, Anna Rotkirch, and Paul Thompson. Living
Through Soviet Russia (Memory and Narrative). London and New York, 2003. For
Thompsons own oral history interview on his work in Russia, see: Paul Thompson.
Life Story Interview with Karen Worcman / Interviews dated June 1996 [with subsequent annotations]. Pp. 67-70. Available at http://www.esds.ac.uk/qualidata/online/data/
edwardians/biography/PaulThompsonLifeStoryInterview1996.pdf. Last time consulted
November 23, 2006. See also: Robert Perks. By Train to Samarkand: A View of Oral
History in the Soviet Union // Oral History. 1991. Vol. 19. No. 1-2. Pp. 64-67.
8
On the Harvard Emigre Interview Project, 19511953, see http://
daviscenter.fas.harvard.edu/research_portal/emigre.html. The most extensive subsequent
project (2750 informants) was the Soviet Interview Project, 1979-85, sponsored by the
U.S. National Council for Soviet and East European Research. See http://
webapp.icpsr.umich.edu/cocoon/ICPSR-STUDY/08694.xml. Last time consulted November 23, 2006. Se also: E. V. Kodin. Garvardskii proekt. Moscow, 2003. Kodins
book was reviewed by Irina Roldugina in Ab Imperio, see: Ab Imperio. 2006. No. 2.
Pp.419-425.

479

/Reviews
given the frequent calls for a more
nuanced understanding of oral history interviews as collective
creation[s] and joint activities, organized and informed by the historical perspectives of both participants in other words, as dialogue.9
Oral history is burgeoning in
Russia and other former republics.10
It has received institutional support,
with oral history centers at the European University of St. Petersburg
and the Russian State Humanities
University in Moscow, as well as
regional centers in Petrozavodsk,
Perm, and elsewhere. As it often has
elsewhere, oral history also offers
important alternative voices to the
countrys official historical narrative: recent publications include ones
focusing on the voices and perspectives of camp survivors, Muslims in
Dagestan, and Armenian women
who witnessed events from the 1915
genocide to violence in Nagorno-

Karabakh.11 Researchers from the


former Soviet Union continue to
show a penchant for turning to Western sources for their methodological underpinnings. 12 Loskutovas
collection, composed of classic
Western texts, will not change that,
but it will certainly make those texts
more widely available to a Russianspeaking audience, and this accessible, well-selected, and stimulating
volume will doubtless contribute to
the popularity of oral history.

9
Ronald J. Grele. Movement Without Aim: Methodological and Theoretical Problems
in Oral History // Perks and Thomson. The Oral History Reader. Pp. 42, 44.
10
For a discussion of recent developments, see P. V. Krylov. Obretenie istoricheskogo
slukha: Paradigmy izucheniia neofitsialnoi pamiati // NLO. 2005. No. 74. See http://
magazines.russ.ru/nlo/2005/74/kry27.html. Last time consulted November 23, 2006.
11
I. L. Shcherbakova. Pamiat GULAGa. Opyt issledovaniia memuaristiki i ustnykh
svidetelstv byvshikh uznikov // Vek pamiati, pamiat veka. Opyt obrashcheniia s proshlym v XX stoletii. Cheliabinsk, 2004. T. Sivertseva. Kulturnaia transformatsiia i smena
identichnostei (Dagestan, Tsumaninskii raion) // Identichnost i konflikt v postsovetskikh
gosudarstvakh. M, 1997. Pp. 168-183; H.Gevorgyan. Iskusstvo byt: Ritmy dvadtsatogo
stoletiia. Erevan, 2003.
12
Thus all the methodological references in Gevorgyan, for example, are to Western
sources. Meanwhile a complete Russian translation of Paul Thompsons fundamental
study The Voice of the Past has appeared as: Golos proshlogo: Ustnaia istoriia. Moscow,
2003.

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536

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537