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Author: Jeffrey Brooks

Abstract

The author of The Firebird and the Fox: Russian Culture under Tsars and Bolsheviks (Cambridge University Press, 2019) responds to comments of Michael David-Fox, Muireann Maguire, Kevin Platt, William Mills Todd, and Olga Velikanova. He expresses appreciation for the reflections provided and elaborates on several points raised by the commentators individually and collectively: the theoretical framing of the work and the importance of agency; continuity of culture over episodes of political disjuncture; the applicability of the term “cultural ecosystem;” an alternative treatment of the topic that would have accorded greater emphasis to political power and the life cycle of revolutions; and the relationship of the work to analysis of institutional history and cultural theory. He finds the five commentaries to be valuable companion pieces for readers of The Firebird and the Fox and stimulants to further scholarship.

Open Access
In: Russian History

Abstract

This essay responds to Jeffrey Brooks’ 2020 monograph The Firebird and the Fox, drawing attention to Brooks’ emphasis on a set of cultural symbols persistent during the historical period he surveys, and on the social activism which he identifies with leading Russian cultural figures such as Tolstoi and Chekhov. In support of Brooks’ argument, I present the example of Aleksandr Chaianov (1888–1937), a specialist in agronomy and amateur writer whose reputation as a driver of early Soviet agricultural policy was overshadowed by his arrest in 1930 and subsequent exile and execution. Chaianov’s social activism, as expressed in his short fiction and historical essays, took the form of reminding his readers about the cultural continuities between Russia’s past, present, and future.

Open Access
In: Russian History
Akteure der deutschen Kolonialtechnik in Afrika und Europa 1890–1943
Author: Sebastian Beese
Der Glaube an die Segnungen, aber auch die Zwangsläufigkeit des technischen Fortschritts entwickelte sich in der Phase des Hochimperialismus zu einer wirkmächtigen Ideologie, von der auch deutsche Ingenieure profitierten.
Das Buch legt den Schwerpunkt der Analyse auf die ehemaligen Kolonien Deutsch Ost- und Deutsch-Südwestafrika. Der Fokus liegt dabei auf der Gruppe der technischen Experten, die mit dem Bau von Eisenbahnen, Straßen und Häfen einen entscheidenden Anteil an der Machtsicherung, Erschließung und Ausbeutung der Kolonien hatten. Neben der Exotik, monetären Anreizen sowie dem Prestige, das eine Tätigkeit in Afrika versprach, zog es Ingenieure vor allem aufgrund einer speziellen „Ideologie der Erschließung“ in die sogenannten Schutzgebiete. Die spezielle Gruppenidentität als Kolonialingenieure, die sich in der Folge herausbildete, lässt sich in Artikeln und Vorträgen bis in die 1940er Jahre nachweisen und wirkte sich selbst noch auf die Ansätze der frühen Entwicklungshilfe aus.
Open Access
In: Experten der Erschließung
In: Experten der Erschließung
In: Experten der Erschließung
In: Experten der Erschließung
In: Experten der Erschließung
A Sourcebook
Volume Editors: Elena Marushiakova and Vesselin Popov
This ground-breaking book is an impressively extensive collection of primary historical sources in various languages that reflect the history of the Roma (formerly referred to as ‘Gypsies’ in local languages). The selection of the included materials reflects the authentic voice of the Roma them - selves, and presents their visions and the specific goals pursued by the Roma civic emancipation movement. The source materials are published in original and translated in English, and are accompanied by explanatory notes and summarising comments discussing the specific historical realities and their interrelation to the Romani emancipatory movement in Central and Eastern Europe, thus presenting a comprehensive picture of the historical processes.
Open Access
In: Roma Voices in History