The editors wish to record their especial gratitude to Andrew Lockett of OUP for entrusting them with this project, and for his patience during its gestation.
Similarity between the proposal for a book and the end product is often, if not coincidental, at least distant. This is the second of two books arising from a single volume first mooted in 1992(the first, Constructing Russian Culture in the Age of Revolution, 1881-1940, is also published by OUP). In part this development results from changes in the understanding of Russian culture which have taken place since then, and which we have tried to reflect, and in part from the helpful suggestions of anonymous readers. But it is also in large measure the fruit of a workshop on the theme of Russian Cultural Studies held at the School of Slavonicand East European Studies, University of London, in July 1995, with the generous support of the British Academyand the Leverhulme Trust. Discussions at the workshop opened new avenues and provided fresh impetus; especially important were the frequent contributions made by Robin Aizlewood, Martin Dewhirst, Sheila Fitzpatrick, Maria Gough, Julian Graffy, Barbara Heldt, Geoffrey Hosking, Lindsey Hughes, Robert Service, and Tony Swift. The workshop could not have succeeded in this way without Radojka Miljevic's organizational skills.
The slightly unorthodox genesis of this book has its counterpart in matters of presentation. This is not a traditional volume of essays, each by an individual author. Rather, in the interests of narrative and thematic coherence, material submitted by contributors has in some cases been combined, often with greater than usual editorial intervention, to form lengthy chapters which are credited in their entirety to the authors. The willingness of contributors to accept this unconventional procedure is greatly appreciated.