"The welcome beginning of Bekus's book is the extensive theoretical elaboration of nationalism, comprising not one, but two chapters. The first chapter provides a general overview of theories of nationalism. Basically, as Bekus notes, there are two trends. According to one theory, national identity is directly related to objective categories, which cannot be changed arbitrarily. the proponents of the other theory hold that national identities ares subjective and can be constructed. The second introductory chapter provides a review of theories of ethnic relationships in the USSR. Here, as the author implies, three opposing theories also exist. According to one of them, the USSR was almost a classical colonial empire where Russians dominated helpless minorities. For others, it was a perfect example of the blending of people of different ethnicities into one nation. Finally, for others, it was a country where actually minorities ruled over ethnic Russians; at least this was the case in the very beginning of the USSR's history. As the author of the quoted book suggests, none of the above-discussed theories can be applied in totality, but all provide clues for understanding the USSR, its numerous ethnicities and the development of nationalism in the post-Soviet period."