Russia: Tsarist and Communist

By Anatole G. Mazour | Go to book overview

Preface

Our agitated age calls for a knowledge not only of our own past but also of the past of our adversaries. This book endeavors to fill in part such a need. It is a revision and expansion of my earlier Russia Past and present. The new work includes additional material, revisions, and corrections and brings up to date the narrative. The original book was based on the principle of topical order; the present book has discarded that order in favor of the traditional chronological narrative.

Even more than in Russia Past and Present, I have endeavored to incorporate here the cultural aspects of Russian history. Proportionately allotted space has been given to the church, literature, the theater, music, painting, architecture, and science. It is my sincere hope that these chapters will aid the reader to obtain a fuller picture of the Russian people.

Throughout the writing and rewriting, I was guided by a single aim-- to write objectively without allowing objectivity to become a sterilizing fetish. It has never been my desire either to escape from responsibility of interpretation or to hesitate to express conviction. Whenever verdicts of the student of history were called for, these have been unhesitatingly given with the hope that they are passed neither by the whim of hysteria nor by a restraining fear of unpopularity. I now hand the complete work to the reader, who will, I hope, judge the writer in the same spirit.

The chapter "The Music of Russia" was contributed by Dr. Cyclone Covey of Oklahoma State University, to whom I extend my deepest gratitude for ably handling a complicated subject. I am most grateful also to the staff of the Princeton University Library and the Marquand Library for generous help in gathering the illustrations.

Stanford University A. G.M. August 1961

-vii-

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