In May of 1945, there were more than eight million “displaced persons” (or DPs) in Germany—recently liberated foreign workers, concentration camp prisoners, and prisoners of war from all of Nazi-occupied Europe, as well as eastern Europeans who had fled west before the advancing Red Army. Although most of them quickly returned home, it soon became clear that large numbers of eastern European DPs could or would not do so. Focusing on Bavaria, in the heart of the American occupation zone, Between National Socialism and Soviet Communism examines the cultural and political worlds that four groups of displaced persons—Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, and Jewish—created in Germany during the late 1940s and early 1950s. The volume investigates the development of refugee communities and how divergent interpretations of National Socialism and Soviet Communism defined these displaced groups.
Combining German and eastern European history, Anna Holian draws on a rich array of sources in cultural and political history and engages the broader literature on displacement in the fields of anthropology, sociology, political theory, and cultural studies. Her book will interest students and scholars of German, eastern European, and Jewish history; migration and refugees; and human rights.
One of the most compelling, yet little known stories of race relations in the twentieth century is the account of blacks who chose to leave the United States to be involved in the Soviet Experiment in the 1920s and 1930s. Frustrated by the limitations imposed by racism in their home country, African Americans were lured by the promise of opportunity abroad. A number of them settled there, raised families, and became integrated into society. The Soviet economy likewise reaped enormous benefits from the talent and expertise that these individuals brought, and the all around success story became a platform for political leaders to boast their party goals of creating a society where all members were equal.
In Blacks, Reds, and Russians, Joy Gleason Carew offers insight into the political strategies that often underlie relationships between different peoples and countries. She draws on the autobiographies of key sojourners, including Harry Haywood and Robert Robinson, in addition to the writings of Claude McKay, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Langston Hughes. Interviews with the descendents of figures such as Paul Robeson and Oliver Golden offer rare personal insights into the story of a group of emigrants who, confronted by the daunting challenges of making a life for themselves in a racist United States, found unprecedented opportunities in communist Russia.
Russia first encountered Alaska in 1741 as part of the most ambitious and expensive expedition of the entire eighteenth century. For centuries since, cartographers have struggled to define and develop the enormous region comprising northeastern Asia, the North Pacific, and Alaska. The forces of nature and the follies of human error conspired to make the area incredibly difficult to map. Exploring and Mapping Alaska focuses on this foundational period in Arctic cartography. Russia spurred a golden era of cartographic exploration, while shrouding their efforts in a veil of secrecy. They drew both on old systems developed by early fur traders and new methodologies created in Europe. With Great Britain, France, and Spain following close behind, their expeditions led to an astounding increase in the world’s knowledge of North America.
Through engrossing descriptions of the explorations and expert navigators, aided by informative illustrations, readers can clearly trace the evolution of the maps of the era, watching as a once-mysterious region came into sharper focus. The result of years of cross-continental research, Exploring and Mapping Alaska is a fascinating study of the trials and triumphs of one of the last great eras of historic mapmaking.
Georgetown University Press, 2019 Library of Congress PG2129.E5M47 2019 | Dewey Decimal 491.786421
Global Russian Cultures
Edited by Kevin M. F. Platt University of Wisconsin Press, 2020 Library of Congress DK35.5.G56 2018 | Dewey Decimal 909.049171
Is there an essential Russian identity? What happens when "Russian" literature is written in English, by such authors as Gary Shteyngart or Lara Vapnyar? What is the geographic "home" of Russian culture created and shared via the internet? Global Russian Cultures innovatively considers these and many related questions about the literary and cultural life of Russians who in successive waves of migration have dispersed to the United States, Europe, and Israel, or who remained after the collapse of the USSR in Ukraine, the Baltic states, and the Central Asian states.
The volume's internationally renowned contributors treat the many different global Russian cultures not as "displaced" elements of Russian cultural life but rather as independent entities in their own right. They describe diverse forms of literature, music, film, and everyday life that transcend and defy political, geographic, and even linguistic borders. Arguing that Russian cultures today are many, this volume contends that no state or society can lay claim to be the single or authentic representative of Russianness. In so doing, it contests the conceptions of culture and identity at the root of nation-building projects in and around Russia.
Ivan and Misha: Stories
Michael Alenyikov Northwestern University Press, 2010 Library of Congress PS3601.L35355I93 2010 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
The linked stories in this powerful debut by Michael Alenyikov swirl around the titular fraternal twins and their father, Louie, as they make their way from the oppressive world of Soviet-era Kiev to the frenetic world of New York City in the late nineties and early aughts. Ivan, like his father, is a natural seducer and gambler who always has a scheme afoot between fares in his cab and stints in Bellevue for his bipolar disorder. Misha, more haunted than his brother by the death of their mother after their birth, is ostensibly the voice of reason.
Socially adrift, father and sons search for meaning in their divergent romantic relationships. Louie embarks on a traditional heterosexual dating relationship late in life, while Ivan is sexually opportunistic and omnivorous, and Misha,a young gay man, is torn between his family and the prospect of a committed relationship. The brothers’ search for connection leads them through a multitude of subcultures, all depicted in vivid detail. An evocative and frank exploration of identity, loss, dislocation, and sexuality, Ivan and Misha marks the arrival of a unique, authentic voice.
The Russian Empire had a problem. While they had established successful colonies in their territory of Alaska, life in the settlements was anything but civilized. The settlers of the Russian-America Company were drunk, disorderly, and corrupt. Worst of all, they were terrible role models for the Natives, whom the empire saw as in desperate need of moral enlightenment. The empire’s solution? Send in women. In 1829, the Company decreed that any governor appointed after that date had to have a wife, in the hopes that these more pious women would serve as glowing examples of domesticity and bring charm to a brutish territory.
Elisabeth von Wrangell, Margaretha Etholén, and Anna Furuhjelm were three of eight governors' wives who took up this domestic mantle. Married to the Empire tells their stories using their own words and though extraordinary research by Susanna Rabow-Edling. All three were young and newly wed when they left Russia for the furthest outpost of the empire, and all three went through personal and cultural struggles as they worked to adjust to life in the colony. Their trials offer a little-heard female history of Russian Alaska, while illuminating the issues that arose while trying to reconcile expectations of womanhood with the realities of frontier life.
In this unique book, William Richardson analyzes the descriptions given of Mexico by an assortment of Russian visitors, from the employees of the Russian-American Company who made their first contacts in the early nineteenth century to the artists, diplomats, and exiles of the twentieth century. He explores the biases they brought with them and the interpretations they relayed back to readers at home. Richardson finds that Russians had a particular empathy for the Mexicans, sharing a perceived similarity in their histories: conquest by a foreign power; a long period of centralized, authoritarian rule; an attempt at liberal reform followed by revolution.
This volume makes available for the first time in English a variety of primary source materials relating to the life and work of Natalia Shelikov, a pioneering nineteenth-century Russian-American businesswoman. As a principal of the Russian-American Company, Shelikov worked in Alaska, and her business acumen and wide-ranging connections—including the empress of Russia and a swathe of northern leaders—were crucial to the growth of Alaska’s economy, as well as to the welfare of the Native people, in whose life and culture she took a strong interest. The letters, petitions, and personal documents presented here will be indispensable for students of Alaska and nineteenth-century women’s history.
The Quality of Divided Democracies contemplates how democracy works, or fails to work, in ethnoculturally divided societies. It advances a new theoretical approach to assessing quality of democracy in divided societies, and puts it into practice with the focused comparison of two divided democracies—Estonia and Latvia. The book uses rich comparative data to tackle the vital questions of what determines a democracy’s level of inclusiveness and the ways in which minorities can gain access to the policy-making process. It uncovers a “presence–polarization dilemma” for minorities’ inclusion in the democratic process, which has implications for academic debates on minority representation and ethnic politics, as well as practical implications for international and national institutions’ promotion of minority rights.
Hosking follows the country’s history from the Slavs’ first emergence in the historical record in the sixth century C.E. to the Russians’ persistent appearances in today’s headlines. The second edition covers the presidencies of Vladimir Putin and Dmitrii Medvedev and the struggle to make Russia a viable functioning state for all its citizens.
In 1987, when victims of religious persecution were finally allowed to leave Russia, a flood of immigrants landed on the Pacific shores of North America. By the end of 1992 over 200,000 Jews and Christians had left their homeland to resettle in a land where they had only recently been considered "the enemy."
Russian Refuge is a comprehensive account of the Russian immigrant experience in California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and British Columbia since the first settlements over two hundred years ago. Susan Hardwick focuses on six little-studied Christian groups—Baptists, Pentecostals, Molokans, Doukhobors, Old Believers, and Orthodox believers—to study the role of religion in their decisions to emigrate and in their adjustment to American culture.
Hardwick deftly combines ethnography and cultural geography, presenting narratives and other data collected in over 260 personal interviews with recent immigrants and their family members still in Russia. The result is an illuminating blend of geographic analysis with vivid portrayals of the individual experience of persecution, migration, and adjustment.
Russian Refuge will interest cultural geographers, historians, demographers, immigration specialists, and anyone concerned with this virtually untold chapter in the story of North American ethnic diversity.
This important study analyzes the challenges faced by second-generation Russians in post-Soviet Estonia, and, in doing so, explores the interrelationships between ethnicity and social equality. It will be of great value to scholars of immigration, cultural assimilation, ethnicity, and nationalism.
This definitive work, the crown jewel in the distinguished career of Russian America scholar Lydia T. Black, presents a comprehensive overview of the Russian presence in Alaska. Drawing on extensive archival research and employing documents only recently made available to scholars, Black shows how Russian expansion was the culmination of centuries of social and economic change.
Black’s work challenges the standard perspective on the Russian period in Alaska as a time of unbridled exploitation of Native inhabitants and natural resources. Without glossing over the harsher aspects of the period, Black acknowledges the complexity of relations between Russians and Native peoples.
She chronicles the lives of ordinary men and women—the merchants and naval officers, laborers and clergy—who established Russian outposts in Alaska. These early colonists carried with them the Orthodox faith and the Russian language; their legacy endures in architecture and place names from Baranof Island to the Pribilofs.
This deluxe volume features fold-out maps and color illustrations of rare paintings and sketches from Russian, American, Japanese, and European sources—many have never before been published. An invaluable source for historians and anthropologists, this accessible volume brings to life a dynamic period in Russian and Alaskan history. A tribute to Black’s life as a scholar and educator, Russians in Alaska will become a classic in the field.
Russia's American Colony
S. Frederick Starr, ed. Duke University Press, 1986 Library of Congress F907.R976 1987 | Dewey Decimal 979.802
American, Canadian, and Soviet scholars gathered in Sitka under the auspices of the Kenan Institute to review and reinterpret the history of tsarist Russia's colonial outpost in Alaska. The result is this comprehensive examination of that history, which goes beyond the traditional concentration on political and diplomatic history by treating the economy, society, and culture of Alaska during the Russian period.
The third volume in a series on Point Hope, Alaska, Ultimate Americans examines the first encounters between the native Tikigaq people and Anglo-Americans during the nineteenth century. Tom Lowenstein investigates the interactions between Native Alaskans, commercial whalemen, and missionaries in Point Hope, charting the destabilizing elements of alcohol and disease among Native populations, as well as cultural collisions and the eventual mutual assimilation of the groups. An in-depth historical chronicle, Ultimate Americans will be invaluable reading for historians, ethnographers, and anthropologists alike.
From the beginning of this century, wars, pogroms, revolution, and economic hardship have impelled Russian cultural figures to seek their fortunes abroad—and theatre people have been no exception. This movement was a windfall for Western Europe and North America, for often the most talented and exciting actors and directors put down roots in foreign lands. Their styles and messages were transmuted in the process, but the inspiration they provided was tremendous.
Now, Wandering Stars is the first book in any language to look closely at this theatrical emigration. Essays by Russian and American scholars and practitioners examine the ways in which the process of transplanting art distorted, magnified, or otherwise altered originals and how expectations on both sides led to disappointments and achievements. A particular strength of this collection is its attention to the question of the transmission of one culture to another.
The thirteen essays in Wandering Stars, originally presented at a landmark 1991 conference at Harvard University, approach a host of historical, cultural, and theatrical issues. The effects of the pioneer touring companies of Pavel Orlenev, Alla Nazimova, and, most significantly, the Moscow Art Theatre are traced. The fates of actors like Maria Germanova and directors like Theodore Komisarjevsky who settled in the West receive careful inquiry. The techniques and influences of charismatic teachers such as Michael Chekhov and Andrius Jilinsky are examined, and the fortunes of cabarets like the Chauve-Souris and experimental playwrights like Nikolay Evreinov are given careful study. In addition, essays analyze the fascination America has held for Russian artists throughout history and the problems which face any emigrant who tries to preserve the best of his or her culture in an alien environment.
With the continuing interest in interculturalism evinced in the academy, popular literature, and the media, Wandering Stars makes a vital and timely contribution to the ongoing inquiry and debate. This book should be of interest to all students of theatre and Russian life and all those with an abiding interest in the realities of a global society.
Winner of the Pushkin House Russian Book Prize Winner of the AATSEEL Book Prize Winner of the University of Southern California Book Prize Honorable Mention, Reginald Zelnik Book Prize
“Stand aside, Homer. I doubt whether even the author of the Iliad could have matched Alexis Peri’s account of the 872-day siege which Leningrad endured.” —Jonathan Mirsky, The Spectator
“Fascinating and perceptive.” —Antony Beevor, New York Review of Books
“Powerful and illuminating…A fascinating, insightful, and nuanced work.” —Anna Reid, Times Literary Supplement
“A sensitive, at times almost poetic examination.” —Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs
In September 1941, two and a half months after the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union, the German Wehrmacht encircled Leningrad. Cut off from the rest of Russia, the city remained blockaded for 872 days, at a cost of almost a million civilian lives. It was one of the longest and deadliest sieges in modern history.
The War Within chronicles the Leningrad blockade from the perspective of those who endured it. Drawing on unpublished diaries written by men and women from all walks of life, Alexis Peri tells the tragic story of how young and old struggled to make sense of a world collapsing around them. When the blockade was lifted in 1944, Kremlin officials censored publications describing the ordeal and arrested many of Leningrad’s wartime leaders. Some were executed. Diaries—now dangerous to their authors—were concealed in homes, shelved in archives, and forgotten. The War Within recovers these lost accounts, shedding light on one of World War II’s darkest episodes while paying tribute the resilience of the human spirit.