Choice

"This lucid assessment of post-socialist Buryatia delves back to czarist times to chart an informed trajectory of how Buryat society adapted to become part of the larger Soviet and Russian worlds. The author begins with the subordination of Siberia’s nomadic tribes to colonial rule in the 17th century and the development of local political and intellectual elites. Archival sources document the effects of the civil war, the creation of the Buryat-Mongolian ASSR, and the early Bolsheviks’ short-lived korenizatsiia (fostering of indigenous educational and social elites). Subsequent chapters examine how Buryatia’s demographic and political structure emerged from Stalin’s brutal collectivization, industrialization, and “re-Russification” campaigns, which profoundly affected the entire USSR. The late Soviet era witnessed a rapid growth of Russian literacy and considerable success among the republic’s professional workers within an increasingly Russian Soviet Union. By carefully examining Buryat autobiographical voices, Chakars (Saint Joseph’s Univ.) achieves a nuanced balance between feelings of culture loss and a strong sense of integration with the modern international world. This meticulously researched history successfully portrays Buryatia's uniqueness alongside its status as part of the contemporary Russian Federation. Especially notable for historians and social scientists concerned with northern Asia. Summing Up: Highly recommended"
Reviewed book: 
Author: 
Melissa Chakars
ISBN: 
978-963-386-013-7
cloth
$85.00 / €75.00 / £67.00
Kindle edition is available through Amazon