Changing Attitudes in Soviet Russia: The Nationalities Problem and Soviet Administration: Selected Readings on the Development of Soviet Nationalities Policies

Changing Attitudes in Soviet Russia: The Nationalities Problem and Soviet Administration: Selected Readings on the Development of Soviet Nationalities Policies

Changing Attitudes in Soviet Russia: The Nationalities Problem and Soviet Administration: Selected Readings on the Development of Soviet Nationalities Policies

Changing Attitudes in Soviet Russia: The Nationalities Problem and Soviet Administration: Selected Readings on the Development of Soviet Nationalities Policies

Excerpt

The application of Soviet nationalities policies in the administration of the non-Russian areas may invite the reader's interest for a number of reasons. The subject is one of fairly broad interest in itself; it is directly relevant to important aspects of current history and politics in other parts of the world. While a good deal of fairly frank Soviet documentary evidence is available for the first fifteen years after the Revolution, this evidence is not widely accessible. So far as it has been used in Western publications, such use has been inevitably coloured by the author's standpoint and interests, so that the presentation of a selection of representative original evidence may be helpful to the student who wishes critically to use those publications, and also to the historian or political scientist who works on related subjects without having access to the original Russian documents.

In order to give a selection aiming at a fairly representative illustration (though not at completeness) in a volume of limited length, emphasis on certain stages in the development of Soviet nationalities policies was desirable. Most of the documents from the first period of the Soviet regime deal with the constitutional aspects of nationalities policies; a translation of the most important of these documents is available in W. R. Batsell's Soviet Rule in Russia (London, 1929). A presentation of the history of the first five years of Soviet nationalities policies is given in Part III ('Dispersal and Reunion') of Volume I ofE. H. Carr's The Bolshevik Revolution: 1917-1923, which is likely to remain for many years the standard work on the subject. Anyone who would wish to improve upon it would in any case have to go back to the original sources. In these circumstances, we believed that the treatment of those first five years in the present volume could be reduced to a skeleton of a few documents which may be helpful for the understanding of the developments of the following ten years.

For the opposite reason, the last (fifth) section of our collection was also reduced to a skeleton. While the origins of Soviet national administration are fairly discussed in existing Soviet literature, with . . .

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