Everyman's Concise Encyclopaedia of Russia

Everyman's Concise Encyclopaedia of Russia

Everyman's Concise Encyclopaedia of Russia

Everyman's Concise Encyclopaedia of Russia

Excerpt

This book is a co-operative effort: the entries on painting and sculpture have been written by V. Gregoriy, on the cinema by Hugh Lunghi, on architecture by P. Makaroff, on music, ballet and opera by G. R. Seaman, and the entry 'Theatre' by David Tutaev. The rest of the book owes a great deal to the collaboration of my wife, Patricia Utechin, to the extent that it is impossible to single out her contribution.

The aim of the book is to provide easily accessible information upon the principal aspects of contemporary Russia and its historical background. It may go some way towards filling the gap which exists in the literature between, on the one hand, detailed studies aimed at the specialist reader, and on the other those popular writings on Russia which are now so numerous and which only too often reflect a very fleeting acquaintance with the subject. It would, of course, be absurd to claim intimate knowledge of all the fields I have dealt with, and in particular the entries on science and technology and on military matters are pure compilations, though I hope from the best available sources, both Russian and foreign. On the other hand, many of the entries in the fields of society, modern history, political theory and education are to a considerable extent based upon my own academic work.

The selection of the material has been determined by what I have thought a prospective reader is likely to want to know, by what I think he ought to know, and by the limitations which the available information and the present state of research impose. The book is not primarily intended for the specialist in any particular field, although I hope it may be of use to him for reference. In no case is previous knowledge of any subject in its Russian context assumed; conversely, no attempt is made to deal with the general aspects of such subjects as, for example, communism or the Orthodox Church -- they are treated only in relation to Russia.

A few technical points. 'The party' always means the Communist Party, and 'the Central Committee,' unless otherwise . . .

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