Beata Halicka’s masterly narrated biography is the story of an extraordinary man and leading intellectual in the Polish-American community. Z. Anthony Kruszewski was first a Polish scout fighting in World War II against the Nazi occupiers, then a Prisoner of War/Displaced Person in Western Europe. He was stranded as a penniless immigrant in post-war America and eventually became a world-renowned academic.
Kruszewski’s almost incredible life stands out from his entire generation. His story is a microcosm of 20th-century history, covering various theatres and incorporating key events and individuals. Kruszewski walks a stage very few people have even stood on, both as an eye-witness at the centre of the Second World War, and later as vice-president of the Polish American Congress, and a professor and political scientist at world-class universities in the USA. Not only did he become a pioneer and a leading figure in Borderland Studies, but he is a borderlander in every sense of the word.
In den 1980er Jahren entwickelte sich in oppositionellen Kreisen Polens ein unabhängiger Publikationsumlauf, der sogenannte „Zweite Umlauf“ (
drugi obieg). Dieser etablierte sich außerhalb der staatlichen Zensur.
Zum „Zweiten Umlauf“ gehörten nicht nur Texte in illegal erscheinenden Büchern und Untergrundzeitschriften. Es wurden auch nachgeahmte Briefmarken und Poststempel veröffentlicht. Die nachgeahmten postalischen Medien hatten keine Frankierfunktion. Als Sammelobjekt dienten sie der Bestätigung einer Gemeinschaft von Gleichgesinnten. Der Erlös aus dem Verkauf der Untergrundbriefmarken floss weitestgehend in die Unterstützung oppositioneller Aktivitäten zurück; es bestand aber auch der Verdacht des finanziellen Missbrauchs durch Privatpersonen.
The book focuses on the early period of Roma publishing (from the nineteenth century until the Second World War) when the first original texts, fiction and media publications authored by Roma appeared.
Based on extensive archival and historical research, including the discovery of earlier, up to now unknown sources, the literary activities of Roma in Central, South-eastern and Eastern Europe are discussed in their historical context and interrelation with the birth of the Roma emancipatory movement. Romani literature and press are thus embedded in the history and literary studies of the European national literatures.
The book systematically explores the history of the Buddhist community in the Russian Empire. It offers an advanced overview of the relations that existed between the Buriat Buddhists and the Russian imperial authorities.
Various institutions and actors represented Russian power: foreign and interior ministries, the Irkutsk general-governorship, the Orthodox Christian mission of East Siberia, local journalists and academic scholars. The book is focussing especially on the evolution of imperial legislation and specific administrative mechanisms aiming at the regulation of Buddhist affairs. The author demonstrates how these actors responded to conflicting situations and collisions of interests. Thus the history of relations between Russia and her Buddhist subjects is shown as a complex process with participation of a number of actors with their own interests and motivations.
Baku, the center of the Russian and then Soviet oil industry, represented the raw economic potential of early Soviet industry. At the head of the industry was Alexandr Serebrovskiĭ, head of Azneft, the largest Soviet oil trust, and a pivotal figure in reviving Soviet oil production across the 1920s. His trip to the United States in 1924 and his subsequent plan to restore Baku’s productive capacity via American technology and methodology would not only improve the industry’s output but allow Azneft to directly compete with American oil companies on the international stage, thus demonstrating the latent potential of the Soviet Union for exportation. However, while this project seemed initially successful, it created a difficult fiscal legacy as Azneft became increasingly financially insolvent across the 1920s.
The historiography of sixteenth-century Church parties may have arisen from historians’ misinterpreting the use of the terms “band of Josephian monks” (cheti Osiflianskikh mnikhov) and the “non-possessor way of life” (nestiazhatel’noe zhitel’stvo) by the author of The History of the Grand Prince of Moscow. But he does not juxtapose these terms against each other. Those monks who live the non-possessor way of life are, instead, directly contrasted with those who love possession (liubostiazhatel’nye), but neither they nor the Josephians are described as a Church party, let alone one that had an “ideology”. The monks in The History who loved possessions are not identified with the Josephians, nor are the monks who follow the non-possessor way of life identified with the Trans-Volga elders. Another attempt to find the antecedent of the Church parties model were historians who cite the use by Zinovii Otenskii of the term nestiazhatel’ in relation to Vassian Patrikeev, but he too was not using the term in the sense of a Church party. These attempts are examples of “thick interpretation”; that is, imposing on the source testimony an outside construct that is not contained within it.
Among many arguments for constitutional changes presented in the wake of the 2020 campaign for the popular vote in Russia, there was the idea that “cementing” Russia’s political landscape for the sake of the regime’s durability would serve as a tool for improvement of quality of governance. This argument, in a way, followed the essential point of Mancur Olson describing many autocrats across the globe as “roving bandits” with their short-term time horizons and incentives for predatory behavior. To what extent may the constitutional extension of the time horizon of Russia’s authoritarian regime contribute to conversion of Russia’s state officials and top managers from the “roving” to the “stationary” model, in Olson’s terms? On the basis of previous research, I argue that the nature of Russia’s political regime—electoral authoritarianism under personalist rule—prevents such a trajectory of further evolution. Indeed, the set of constitutional changes adopted in Russia in July 2020 is likely to preserve bad governance as a mechanism of maintenance of politico-economic order, as intentionally built and developed during the post-Soviet period. While certain technocratic solutions for Russia’s governance, aimed at “fool-proofing”, may avert the risks of major disasters, under conditions of durable authoritarianism the use of these devices will not result in major advancements in the quality of governance. Rather, they may contribute to further decay and aggravation of the numerous vices of bad governance.