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A Concise History of Russia (Cambridge Concise Histories) by Paul Bushkovitch

By Paul Bushkovitch

Obtainable to scholars, travelers, and common readers alike, this ebook offers a extensive evaluate of Russian heritage because the 9th century. Paul Bushkovitch emphasizes the big alterations within the knowing of Russian heritage due to the tip of the Soviet Union in 1991. in view that then, new fabric has come to mild at the historical past of the Soviet period, delivering new conceptions of Russia's pre-revolutionary prior. The publication strains not just the political heritage of Russia, but additionally advancements in its literature, paintings, and technological know-how. Bushkovitch describes famous cultural figures, reminiscent of Chekhov, Tolstoy, and Mendeleev of their institutional and historic contexts. although the 1917 revolution, the ensuing Soviet method, and the chilly warfare have been a vital a part of Russian and international background, Bushkovitch offers prior advancements as greater than only a prelude to Bolshevik energy.

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The contrast appears even more dramatic if we keep in mind the difference in the absolute size of the two populations and countries. After all, given Russia’s territory, population Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Rebuilding Russia (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1991). 23 22 Russians and Serbs in the Dissolution of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia size, and natural resources, there were few incentives to pursue an aggressive nationalist policy. Leaving aside for the moment arguments about natural wealth and geographic size, and concentrating only on the ratio of the prospective transborder populations to the total population of Russians and Serbs, a closer look reveals that the difference between the two cases is not as dramatic as it seems.

Such a conclusion would appear even more justified in view of the existence of compact areas of Russian settlement in eastern Ukraine and northern Kazakhstan. Moreover, as these regions were geographically contiguous to the RSFSR, the emergence of a Russian irredentist movement, staging referenda on self-determination and demanding incorporation into the Russian national homeland, could have been expected. 23 By contrast, Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina were connected to Serbia by thin stretches of territory that could easily be claimed by other ethnic groups.

Political stability, in turn, depended on the allegiance of local party elites to communist internationalism – the Soviet “friendship of peoples” (druzhba narodov) and Yugoslavia’s “brotherhood and unity” (bratstvo i jedinstvo). As a result, in both countries ideological cohesion became a necessary precondition for the survival of the multinational state.  162. 10 II. Contentious Events, Political Processes, and Different Outcomes 15 exponents of the national interest, that is, of conflating of the good of the party with the good of “their” nation/republic.

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