Book Reviews: Annotated Bibliography of Russian Language Publications on Accounting 1736-1917

Article excerpt

Wolodymyr Motyka, Annotated Bibliography of Russian Language Publications on Accounting 1736-1917 (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1993, 848 pp., 2 vols., $132).

Reviewed by Marc I. LeBow Virginia State University

Russia is situated astride Europe and Asia. As such, both Western (European) and Asian (Occidental) cultural influences have interacted to make the nation a unique blend of diverse cultural extremes. This has made Russia very difficult for Westerners to understand. Winston Churchill described Russia as an enigma wrapped in a paradox.

Despite these difficulties, understanding Russia is important to Western European historians. Russia is still a major power on the world stage. It is also a significant factor in the new independent nations that were once part of the greater Russian/Soviet empire. Addressing the turmoil in these countries may require the understanding of the West. Russia is also rich in natural resources that are drawing the investments of many Western companies. Understanding Russian economic development and how Russia deals with outside influences will help Westerners deal with and understand Russians and the nations on the periphery of greater Russia.

One way to gain a greater understanding qf Russia's economic development is to study the parallel development of accounting theory and practices. Wolodymyr Motyka's book is an important contribution to the body of literature about the development of Russian accounting.

As the title explains, the two volumes of the book are an annotated bibliography of Russian language publications on accounting from 1736-1917. The book consists of two different parts: an annotated bibliography of articles related to accounting published in Russia before the Russian Revolution of 1917 and an essay about the development of accounting in Russia accompanied by tables and appendices. The articles included in the bibliography were selected based on the title of the article, any description of the article available in the literature, and any additional information available in the source material. If there was any indication that the article dealt with accounting issues, it was included in the bibliography. Many of the articles selected were from booksellers' catalogs and other sources where the original work no longer exists. Where additional information about the contents of the article is available, the author provides a short description. Most references, however, involve little more than the title of the work, the author, and whatever references are available to identify the work. …