or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Trade in Yours
For a £3.91 Gift Card
Trade in
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 
Tell the Publisher!
I’d like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939 (The Wilder House Series in Politics, History & Culture) [Paperback]

Terry Martin
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £18.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, 22 Sep.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover £43.95  
Paperback £18.95  
Trade In this Item for up to £3.91
Trade in The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939 (The Wilder House Series in Politics, History & Culture) for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £3.91, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (1 Nov 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801486777
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801486777
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 16 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 417,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Synopsis

The Soviet Union was the first of Europe's multiethnic states to confront the rising tide of nationalism by systematically promoting the national consciousness of its ethnic minorities and establishing for them many of the institutional forms characteristic of the modern nation-state. In the 1920s, the Bolshevik government, seeking to defuse nationalist sentiment, created tens of thousands of national territories. It trained new national leaders, established national languages and financed the production of national-language cultural products. This was a massive and fascinating historical experiment in governing a multiethnic state. Terry Martin provides a comprehensive survey and interpretation, based on archival sources, of the Soviet management of the nationalities question. He traces the conflicts and tensions created by the geographic definition of national territories, the establishment of dozens of official national languages and the world's first mass "affirmative action" programmes.

Martin examines the contradictions inherent in the Soviet nationality policy, which sought simultaneously to foster the growth of national consciousness among its minority populations while dictating the exact content of their cultures; and to sponsor national liberation movements in neighbouring countries, while eliminating all foreign influence on the Soviet Union's many diaspora nationalities. Martin explores the political logic of Stalin's policies as he responded to a perceived threat to Soviet unity in the 1930s by re-establishing the Russians as the state's leading nationality and deporting numerous "enemy nations".


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
 Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

Customer Reviews

5 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitive study of Soviet nationalities policy 27 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback
Terry Martin, Associate Professor of History at Harvard University, has written the definitive book on Soviet nationalities policy in the 1920s and 1930s. He writes, "the Soviet Union became the first multiethnic state in world history to define itself as an anti-imperial state." He points out, "The Soviet Union was the first country in world history to establish Affirmative Action programs for national minorities, and no country has yet approached the vast scale of Soviet Affirmative Action."

As he observes, "The Bolsheviks attempted to fuse the nationalists' demand for national territory, culture, language, and elites with the socialists' demand for an economically and politically unitary state. In this sense, we might call the Bolsheviks internationalist nationalists or, better yet, Affirmative Action nationalists."

Martin notes, "Russia's new revolutionary government was the first of the old European multiethnic states to confront the rising tide of nationalism and respond by systematically promoting the national consciousness of its ethnic minorities and establishing for them many of the characteristic institutional forms of the nation-state. ... New national elites were trained and promoted to leadership positions in the government, schools, and industrial enterprises of these newly formed territories. In each territory, the national language was declared the official language of government. In dozens of cases, this necessitated the creation of a written language where one did not yet exist. The Soviet state financed the mass production of books, journals, newspapers, movies, operas, museums, folk music ensembles, and other cultural output in the non-Russian languages.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely seminal work on the subject 5 Mar 2002
By pnotley@hotmail.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a difficult book, but everyone must make the effort to read it. It is based on dozen of archives and several pages (in tiny print) of contemporary Soviet sources. It details a very important question. In recent years the "totalitarian" paradigm has returned, with a vengeance, to the study of Soviet history. And what could be a greater symbol of the "equivalence" of Stalinism and Nazism, than their mass use of ethnic cleansing? German atrocities need no introduction. But one can still be stunned by the brutalities involved in the acquistion of the other fourteen Soviet republics, the savage famine of 1932-33 that ravaged Ukraine and Kazhakstan, the mass deportations from the Baltic countries, and the manifold ethnic cleansing of Germans, Poles, Koreans and Chechyeans, among many others. The vital importance of this book is that whatever one might say about these cruelties, they emerged in a context radically different from that of Nazism, they had a different logic, and in the end radically different consequences.
The Soviet Union was always dominated by the Soviet Communist Party. The nominal independence of the 15 republics was an illusion until just before the end. But the desire to encourage the national consciousness of every group within the Union, that was not an illusion, that was not a lie. Indeed, far from being destroyed by the primordial nationality that it so viciously repressed, the Soviet Union did much to foster nationalities in the first place. Not only did it create the 15 republics, but it created dozens upon dozens of autonomous republics and national soviets all throughout the Soviet Union. For dozens of tribes and languages it created written scripts and then set about translating each others books into each others languages. In every corner of the Soviet Union it sought to increase the representation of the dominant nationality in the local branch of the party. It is often forgotten that in much of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, the now dominant nationality was a minority in the cities. Prague was once a German city. Kiev and Minsk were dominated by Jews and Russians. Tiblisi, the capital of Georgia, once had an Armenian majority, while many times during its history Armenia's capital had a Muslim majority. Ensuring the demographic triumph of the dominant nationality was another Soviet policy.
The origins of this eccentric and vigorously pursued policy came from Stalin and Lenin who believed that encouraging national consciousness would limit local opposition to any "Russian" movement. Martin details the development of this policy from 1923 to 1939 where it modified in several important ways. In 1939 the Soviet Union no longer castigated Russian chauvinism as the most pernicious of evils. The other nationalities were expected to have some basic knowledge of Russia and its culture, and no longer would the tiniest of nationalities would be given its own soviet. The active opposition to allowing members of other nationalities to becoming Russian was dropped. However, the affirmative action programs would be continued, and indeed the beneficiaries would be the core of many post-Soviet regimes.
Martin writes important chapters on the especially complicated situation in the Far east, where the Soviet government had to deal with 99 separate nationalities. He discusses the efforts to encourage Ukrainization in Ukraine. Much to their disappointment, and contrary to what one might expect from Ukrainian nationalist historigoraphy, their support for a unilingual Ukrainian culture in the cities met with very limited success. The people there actually preferred a bilingual Russian-Ukrainian culture. Martin also provides a subtle account of the 1932-33 famine. This was not a famine designed against the Ukraine, but against grain "surplus" regions. However, a deadly "national interpretation" of the famine developed in Soviet ideology as the famine progressed. Martin is also useful on the Great purges later in the decades. Contrary to what one might think, nationalities like Ukrainians and Jews were not overrepresented. The one that were consisted of the "diasopora" ones, such as Poles, Germans, Koreans and other bordering countries that might be potential threats.
Finally there is the chapter on ethnic cleansing. Martin reminds us of the ideological and security origins of the cleansing. In certain situations even Russians could find themselves ethnically cleansed (such as former Russian workers on the Manchurian railroads). He reminds us of the broader context of ethnic cleansing, such as the extermination of the Armenians, the mass deportations following the Balkan Wars and the Greek-Turkish war, and the wartime deporation of 800,000 Jews from the Russian Front. He also reminds us of the local ethnic and popular hatreds that would have existed regardless of the Soviet Union's existence, such as in Kazhakstan and the North Caucasus. He also reminds us that the Soviet leadership understandly wanted to encourage ethnic concentration in order to form more viable national units. In the end most nationalities have claimed to be specially victimized by the former Soviet Union. And while this is true for some groups, like the Chechens, it should be remembered that for the Russians, Ukrainians, Jews, Georgians, Kazhaks, and many other groups, the Soviet Union was not the prisonhouse of nations. It did not kill countries, only people.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Soviet Multiculturalism 1 Jun 2006
By D V - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book underscores the importance of ideology in historical development. The Soviet Union was a communist entity, and the often bizarre vagaries of communist ideology as they pertained to the Soviet Union's multi-ethnic make-up are the centrepiece of this important and original investigation. According to Terry Martin, the Soviet Union was not, at least in its pre-war manifestation, a chauvinistic entity, despite the evident suffering meted out to sundry ethnic groups in opposition to the implementation of Bolshevik policies. Indeed, Martin demonstrates that the Soviets embodied a qualified cosmopolitan tendency. Soviet authorities, although divided on the wisdom of this course of action, sought to undermine certain ("negative") aspects of nationalism or ethnic particularism by promoting other ("positive") aspects of the same phenomenon. They were, for a time, national internationalists. Russian nationalism, long excoriated and denigrated by the Party, did eventually emerge supreme after World War Two, for reasons outlined by Martin, but multiculturalism was not entirely eschewed. Martin's research is a seminal contribution to the field of Russian and Soviet studies. His book does, however, lack a certain fluency in composition and does seem quite cumbersome, if not repetitive, in certain places.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A problem no one has resolved 7 Sep 2012
By R. L. Huff - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Terry Martin's long and complex book shows the ambiguous nature of multi-national policies in general, and not just as they pertain to the USSR. Despite some reviewers' critiques, Soviet nationality policy was neither an outgrowth of "the vagaries of Communist ideology" nor Europe's first 20th century attempt to deal with nationality dilemmas. The idea of federation was broached during the Provisional Government era in 1917; the fall of the second coalition regime in July was brought about partly by Ukrainian leader Hrushchevsky threatening secession if federation was not agreed to. Elsewhere after WWI other new states and old empires tried to walk the fine line between self-determination and autonomy: Austria-Hungary unsuccessfully; Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia - for a time - successfully.

The Soviet Republic was also caught on its own propaganda petard: how to reconcile the land and resources (Ukrainian wheat and coal, Caucasian oil, Central Asian cotton) necessary for a planned and integrated economy, with socialist internationalism. Lenin's resolution of a USSR was opposed by Stalin, who favored an expanded Russian Federation. Multi-nationalism in itself, Stalin felt, was too divisive. After he assumed all Soviet power in the mid-30s, reversing Lenin's legacy in practice was one of his first priorities, returning to a de facto Greater Russia.

As Martin demonstrates, the fractiousness of the original Soviet nationalities policy was all too apparent and proving Stalin essentially right. There were two solutions: to divide the Soviet Union into truly independent socialist states, prefiguring post-WWII eastern Europe; or impose central Muscovite authority. Affirmative action based on class and gender - also part of the Soviet cultural revolution - were likewise played against nationalism as competing sources of liberation. Seeing how national fault lines finally did bring the USSR down makes this dilemma all the more compelling. Martin - like Soviet nationality experts - seems to sidestep definitive solutions, suggesting there really were none.

While America's melting pot ideology has worked only because it applied to a "nation of immigrants", elsewhere the West seems not to have fared much better than the USSR with its multi-national experiments. The United Kingdom - which Soviet policy seemed to indirectly mimic - lost Ireland and the rest of its empire for the same reasons. Basques, Kurds, and Quebecois feel as aggrieved as Croats, Ukrainians, or Lithuanians (without the need for ideological blame). Martin has done a great service by probing this corner of Soviet history. Unfortunately others seem to take its findings to unwarranted conclusions.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive work on Soviet nationalities policy in the 1920s and 1930s 27 Sep 2011
By William Podmore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Terry Martin, Associate Professor of History at Harvard University, has written the definitive book on Soviet nationalities policy in the 1920s and 1930s. He writes, "the Soviet Union became the first multiethnic state in world history to define itself as an anti-imperial state." He points out, "The Soviet Union was the first country in world history to establish Affirmative Action programs for national minorities, and no country has yet approached the vast scale of Soviet Affirmative Action."

As he observes, "The Bolsheviks attempted to fuse the nationalists' demand for national territory, culture, language, and elites with the socialists' demand for an economically and politically unitary state. In this sense, we might call the Bolsheviks internationalist nationalists or, better yet, Affirmative Action nationalists."

Martin notes, "Russia's new revolutionary government was the first of the old European multiethnic states to confront the rising tide of nationalism and respond by systematically promoting the national consciousness of its ethnic minorities and establishing for them many of the characteristic institutional forms of the nation-state. ... New national elites were trained and promoted to leadership positions in the government, schools, and industrial enterprises of these newly formed territories. In each territory, the national language was declared the official language of government. In dozens of cases, this necessitated the creation of a written language where one did not yet exist. The Soviet state financed the mass production of books, journals, newspapers, movies, operas, museums, folk music ensembles, and other cultural output in the non-Russian languages. Nothing comparable to it had been attempted before, and, with the possible exception of India, no multiethnic state has subsequently matched the scope of Soviet Affirmative Action."

He writes, "the Soviet state created not just a dozen large national republics, but tens of thousands of national territories scattered across the entire expanse of the Soviet Union." But this, unfortunately, turned out to be a mistake. "This system was based on the assumption that, to use Stalin's famous formulation, national territorial forms could be empty of national content, that if national territories were granted, national solidarity would crumble and class differentiation would become apparent. ... The larger the territory, and the more multinational its composition, the less intensely any one given group will feel its minority status. As the scale of territory is reduced and the number of ethnic groups drops to only two, the minority group becomes acutely aware of its minority status. Drawing any national border creates ethnic conflict. The Soviet Union literally drew tens of thousands of national borders. As a result, every village, indeed every individual, had to declare an ethnic allegiance and fight to remain a national majority rather than a minority. It is difficult to conceive of any measure more likely to increase ethnic mobilization and ethnic conflict."
In passing, Martin concludes, "The famine was not an intentional act of genocide specifically targeting the Ukrainian nation."
The Soviet government punished chauvinist words and deeds, but, "The Affirmative Action Empire required a constant practice of ethnic labelling and so inadvertently indoctrinated its population in the belief that ethnicity was an inherent, fundamental, and crucially important characteristic of all individuals. ... the nationality line on Soviet passports became one of the single most important factors in reinforcing the belief, and the social fact, that national identity was primordial and inherited."
Stalin wrote, "The leaders of the revolutionary workers of all countries study eagerly the enormously instructive history of the Russian working class, knowing that in addition to reactionary Russia, there existed a revolutionary Russia, the Russia of Radishchevs and Chernyshevskiis, Zheliabovs and Ulianovs, Khalturinyis and Alekseevs. All of this instills in the hearts of the Russian workers (and cannot not instill) a feeling of revolutionary national pride, able to move mountains, able to create miracles."

So Russia was not just its reactionary ruling class, but was also its revolutionary working class. Stalin's definition of nation applies to all nations.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category


Feedback