11

Arctic studies since 1953

BROADENING THE FIELD

It is a remarkable fact that Stalin's demise did cause an important reappraisal of maritime policy, with marked consequences for the Northern Sea Route, while it had next to no influence on the development of Arctic historiography. The tone of Belov's official history did perhaps become slightly less belligerent towards the West, but its character hardly changed. There was no major change of approach, except for some suggestions in the Introduction of Volume IV as will be noted in this chapter. Instead, most Arctic studies still toiled over the problem of proving priority and continuity, without making much progress. Belov occasionally wrote articles on topics such as using the lives of saints as a source for the Pomory or the life of V.A. Nordkvist, a Russian zoologist who took part in the Nordenskiöld passage of 1878-9; but most work was put into time-honoured subjects. The study of Dezhnev flourished, having obtained a new impetus from the tercentenary in 1948. Several people were working on that topic. T.D. Lavrentsova found another of the original accounts of Dezhnev's voyage (Lavrentsova, in Belov 1964). Indeed, in the early sixties a person emerged whom Raymond Fisher has described as 'the second major scholar of Dezhnev', B.P. Polevoy, who found the last of the four documents on the basis of which Miller had concluded that Dezhnev had sailed through the Bering Strait (Fisher 1981:22). The first major scholar was, of course, Belov, who from time to time rewrote and updated his book on Dezhnev (Belov 1955, 1973).

Similarly, the study of Vitus Bering did not lose impetus. A dissertation was written by E.V. Kushnarev (Kushnarev 1967), soon to be followed by a book (Kushnarev 1976, 1981 (in Danish)). A.V. Efimov treated the subject in a booklet (Efimov 1964). In fact, enough books and articles appeared to allow the American historian Raymond Fisher to write his penetrating work on Bering's voyages (Fisher 1977). On a less scientific level, short and popular biographies appeared as well (Chukovsky 1961; Pasetsky 1958b). To some extent, continuation of interest in Bering and his times was linked not only to the popularity of the Arctic, but also to the great interest in Russian explorers in general, while an additional reason can be found in the contemporary interest in the Far East and its development

-152-

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The Soviet Arctic
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgements xii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Russian Policy in the Far North 1897-1917 6
  • 2 - Soviet Sovereignty in the Arctic and the Advent of Flying 1917-32 21
  • 3 - The Stalinization of Arctic Exploration 35
  • 4 - In Stalin's Time 1932-53 53
  • 5 - Arctic Policy During the Cold War 67
  • 6 - Historiography in the Cold War 84
  • 7 - The Age of the Nuclear Submarine 109
  • 8 - Arctic Shipping Since 1953 120
  • 9 - The Western Section: Winter Navigation 127
  • 10 - The Season of 1983 139
  • 11 - Arctic Studies Since 1953 152
  • Conclusion 170
  • Appendix 175
  • Glossary 179
  • Bibliography 181
  • Index 222
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