Category Archives: Blog Conversations

Mobilization, Motivation, and the Staatsidee

One of the pleasures of a forum like this is that an author can see how his or her work is read and used by colleagues in “real time.” John Paul Newman’s comments about mobilization and ideas, more specifically the … Continue reading

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Imperial Apocalypse – Response regarding “decolonization”

I too want to begin with more than formulaic thanks to Alison, John Paul, David, and Willard. Alison did a wonderful job of soliciting commentators for this conversation, and (shameless plug #1!) readers should keep an eye out later this … Continue reading

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Imperial Apocalypse Part III

Josh Sanborn’s Imperial Apocalypse is a remarkable book. With so much written about World War I, including the relatively less studied Russian fronts of the war, it’s easy to lull yourself into thinking that no single work is likely to … Continue reading

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Imperial Apocalypse–Part II

In deference to emerging tradition on this blog, let me begin by thanking Alison Smith for her invitation to participate in this conversation about Josh Sanborn’s important new book on Russia’s Great War. Accessible to specialists and the proverbial “general … Continue reading

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Imperial Apocalypse

Many thanks for inviting me to participate in this blog discussion. I am delighted to participate in the lively scholarly discussion that Sanborn’s work has already sparked. I should make some excuses for myself before I begin in earnest: I … Continue reading

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Imperial Apocalypse–Introduction

Welcome to the second blog conversation of summer 2015. Our next conversation is Russian History Blog contributor Josh Sanborn’s great Imperial Apocalypse: The Great War and the Destruction of the Russian Empire (Oxford University Press, 2014). Josh has brought a … Continue reading

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Gulag Town, Company Town – First Response

First of all, I want to thank: Steve Harris and Steve Barnes for taking the time to organize these blog conversations; Ana, Ekaterina, Asif, Wilson, and Jeff for taking the time to read my book with such care and offer … Continue reading

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Gulag Town and the “Little Zone” vs. the “Big Zone”

The main question Alan Barenberg urges us to ponder is the question of space. Solzhenitsyn, Shalamov, and others have conditioned us into thinking of Gulag space as separate space. Alan’s book, however, explicitly “aims to free the Gulag from Solzhenitsyn’s … Continue reading

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Released Prisoners and the Question of “Company Town”

Thank you to Steve Barnes and to Steve Harris at the Second World Urbanity blog for organizing this forum.  And a special thanks to Alan, of course, for allowing his fascinating book to be discussed in such fashion.  To start … Continue reading

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Gulag Town, Company Town, and the History of the Gulag

Thanks, Steve, for inviting me to participate in another Blog Conversation on the Gulag! Since we have almost a complete handful of Gulag specialists in on this conversation, I thought it might be useful to place Alan’s excellent book within … Continue reading

Posted in Gulag, Gulag Town Company Town, Historiography, Soviet Era 1917-1991 | 3 Comments

Gulag Town, Company Town: A Blog Conversation

We are excited to be trying something new with the latest in our series of blog conversations. We are co-hosting this blog conversation in conjunction with the Second World Urbanity Project blog. You can follow part of the conversation here … Continue reading

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Myth Memory Trauma–What De-Stalinization was not

De-Stalinization has often been defined in terms of what it was not: not as complete and aggressive as de-Nazification (though Stephen Cohen has argued that the Soviet Union came close to its own Nuremberg trial in the early 1960s); not as … Continue reading

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Myth, Memory, Trauma – Coming to Terms

In his initial post, Denis Kozlov mentions a number of keywords – key, that is, to public discourse during the Khrushchev era as well as to Polly’s wide-ranging analysis of that discourse – and calls for “closer attention to this … Continue reading

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Myth, Memory, Trauma – Soviet Exceptionality?

Like Ben, I’m inclined to think that, comparatively speaking, the “memory work” of the 1950s and 60s in the Soviet Union was distinctive. I’m struck, however, not by the constancy of the gardener, who’s always tending to memory’s blooms, but by the inconstancy of … Continue reading

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Myth Memory Trauma–Narratives and Subjects

I would like to offer heartfelt thanks to all the participants for taking the time to read my book so carefully and to comment so insightfully. It is a cliché, but in this case a true one, that all of … Continue reading

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Myth, Memory, Trauma – The Constant Gardner

When reading Polly Jones’ stimulating book on Soviet memory of the Stalin era, I found myself thinking about two other works that helped establish the memory of collective trauma as a distinct field of humanistic inquiry: Paul Fussell’s The Great … Continue reading

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Myth, Memory, Trauma – The Stalinist Past and the Post-Soviet Present

I should start by admitting that I read an early version of Polly’s book proposal and manuscript a few summers back while sitting under an umbrella on a Lake Michigan beach. I was enthusiastic then about Polly’s project, so it is a special … Continue reading

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Myth, Memory, Trauma: On Rethinking versus Repackaging the Past

Let me begin by thanking Steve Barnes for inviting me to comment on Polly’s book. I am glad that this blog provides such a valuable opportunity for informative discussions of new scholarship in our field. The book is based on … Continue reading

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Myth, Memory, Trauma – Narratives and Complications

It is an honor to be asked to discuss Polly Jones’s Myth, Memory, Trauma: Rethinking the Stalinist Past in the Soviet Union, 1953-1970.  This masterful analysis of the response to de-Stalinization is meticulously researched and powerfully argued.   There are two … Continue reading

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Myth, Memory, Trauma: A Blog Conversation

For this edition of Russian History Blog’s “Blog Conversations,” we have gathered a distinguished group of scholars to discuss Polly Jones’s new book, Myth, Memory, Trauma: Rethinking the Stalinist Past in the Soviet Union, 1953-1970 (Yale University Press, 2013). Having devoted … Continue reading

Posted in Blog Conversations, Historiography, Myth, Memory, Trauma, Nostalgia and Memory, Russian Literature, Soviet Era 1917-1991, Soviet Intelligentsia, Stalinism | Leave a comment