Totalitarian Societies and Democratic Transition

Essays in memory of Victor Zaslavsky
ISBN: 
978-963-386-130-1
cloth
$70.00 / €64.00 / £56.00
Publication date: 
2017
442 pages

This book is a tribute to the memory of Victor Zaslavsky (1937–2009), sociologist, émigré from the Soviet Union, Canadian citizen, public intellectual, and keen observer of Eastern Europe.In seventeen essaysleading European, American and Russian scholars discuss the theory and the history of totalitarian society with a comparative approach. They revisit and reassess what Zaslavsky considered the most important project in the latter part of his life: the analysis of Eastern European - especially Soviet societies and their difficult “transition” after the fall of communism in 1989–91. The variety of the contributions reflects the diversity of specialists in the volume, but also reveals Zaslavsky's gift: he surrounded himself with talented people from many different fields and disciplines.

In line with Zaslavsky's work and scholarly method, the book promotes new theoretical and methodological approaches to the concept of totalitarianism for understanding Soviet and East European societies, and the study of fascist and communist regimes in general.

1. T. Piffer and V. Zubok, Introduction

Part I: Theory and Debate

2. Peter Baehr, Movement, Formation, and Maintenance in the Soviet Union: Victor Zaslavsky’s Challenge to the Arendtian Theory of Totalitarianism
3. Giovanni Orsina, European Liberalism in the Age of Totalitarianism
4. Vittorio Strada, Totalitarismum ante litteram
5. Vladimir Tismaneanu, Totalitarian Dictators and Ideological Hubris
6. Emilio Gentile, From Facts to Words: From the Party Militia to Fascist Totalitarianism

Part II: History and Society

7. Vladimir Pechatnov, Stalin as a Statesman
8. Oleg Khlevniuk, Stalin’s Dictatorship: Priorities, Policies, and Results
9. Andrea Graziosi, The “National Question” in the Soviet Union
10. Inessa Yazhborovskaia, The Katyn Affair
11. David Holloway, Totalitarianism and Science: The Nazi and the Soviet Experience
12. Maria Teresa Giusti, From Fascism to Communism: The Conversion to Communism of a Prisoner of War in the USSR

Part III: Beyond Totalitarianism

13. Veljco Vujacic, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Vasily Grossman: Slavophile and Westernizer Against the Totalitarian Soviet State
14. Antonella d’Amelia, “Without a free word, there are no free men”: Lydia Chukovskaya’s Writings on Terror and Censorship
15. Lev Gudkov, The Transition from Totalitarianism to Authoritarianism in Russia
16. Gail Lapidus, Totalitarianism, Nationalism, and Challenges for Democratic Transition
17. Mark Kramer, Public Memory and the Difficulty of Overcoming the Communist Legacy : Russia and Poland in Comparative Perspective

"Благоприятное впечатление от книги явно перевешивает. В ней, безусловно, присутствует ряд интеллектуально провокативных моментов (к таковым я бы отнес попытку Л. Гудкова показать, что в каком-то смысле мы все еще живем на обломках тоталитаризма, а не в условиях новой постсовет-ской реальности). Есть здесь и интересные исторические сюжеты (я бы выделил главы Д. Холловэя о роли науки в тотали-тарных режимах и И. Яжборовской о Катыни), а также то, что можно назвать примером хорошего литературно-философско-го эссе (например, статья о Лидии Чуковской, в которой А. д‘Амелия разбирает ее повесть «Софья Петровна» и ставит вопрос о том, почему у советских людей не оказалось иммунитета против тоталитаризма). Пожалуй, можно сказать, что участникам сборника своим интеллектуальным вкладом в проект удалось достойно почтить память коллеги — Виктора Заславского."