McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Russia and the Soviet Union

McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Russia and the Soviet Union

McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Russia and the Soviet Union

McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Russia and the Soviet Union

Excerpt

The object of the ENCYCLOPEDIA is to present, within the relatively brief space of a single volume, a mass of useful information on Russia before and after the revolution of 1917. While the ENCYCLOPEDIA endeavors to avoid a partisan approach, its scope is not limited to the mere listing of facts and figures -- important as they are -- but offers interpretations of the principal developments discussed. It strives to maintain a high level of scholarship without being too technical and to present the material in a clear and readable style. The amount of information that can be encompassed between the covers of one volume is necessarily limited, yet the coverage is broad and comprehensive and it is hoped that the ENCYCLOPEDIA will prove of real use to those who are interested in Russian affairs -- and today who is not interested in the land of the Soviets and its predecessors? It is the expectation of those responsible for the ENCYCLOPEDIA that it will meet a real need of both the general public and the students of Russia and the Soviet Union. The importance of the USSR in world affairs has enormously increased since the end of World War II, but misconceptions about things Russian are still innumerable. It is believed that the ENCYCLOPEDIA will help to remove at least some of them. The articles and the shorter entries are written by qualified experts and are entirely up to date.

The preparation of a comprehensive volume on Russia, such as the ENCYCLOPEDIA, raises special problems of which the two most thorny ones are those of the calendar and transliteration. Prior to February 14, 1918, Russia used a calendar which differed from that adhered to in the West (see Calendar). As a rule, all dates in this book are given in accordance with the calendar in force in Russia at the time the event occurred; if, however, there is a possibility of confusion the date is followed by "O.S." (Old Style, the Russian calendar), or "N.S." (New Style, the Western calendar). Since February 14, 1918, the Soviet Union has used the Western calendar and the possibility of confusion has been eliminated.

The second major difficulty is that of transliteration. Systems of transliteration are many but none possesses real intrinsic value. The transliteration adopted in this book is that of the American Geological Institute Translation Center (adoption of the transliteration recommended by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Board of Geo- graphical Names) . . .

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