Libmonster ID: VN-121

L. M. ZAK. Soviet Historiography of the History of Cultural Construction in the U.S.S.R. (1956 - 1963)

Analyzing the historical literature on cultural construction in the U.S.S.R. published in 1956 - 1963, the author makes an attempt to show the basic trends of research in the problem during these years and the different treatment of a number of questions relating to the subject in various periods. Speaking of the fundamentally different approach to research in the history of Soviet culture manifested after the Twentieth CPSU Congress, L. M. Zak focusses attention on the following important points. One of the beneficent results of extirpating the personality cult and its pernicious consequences, the author writes, was the publication of Lenin's precious and all- embracing heritage, notably on cultural problems, the reappearance in a new edition of stenographic records of Party congresses and conferences, materials and documents of the Congresses of Soviets of the U.S.S.R. and of individual Union and Autonomous Republics, as well as of works by Nadezhda K. Krupskaya, Anatoly V. Lunacharsky, Mikhail I. Kalinin and other prominent Party and government personalities. All this created favourable conditions for a comprehensive study of the outstanding part played by V. I. Lenin in the cultural revolution. After the Twentieth CPSU Congress, the author points out, this became one of the leading subjects in the historiography of the problem. L. M. Zak graphically illustrates the progress made by historians in this direction.

The article notes that in the period under review the historiography of the history of cultural construction in the U.S.S.R. was enriched with a number of methodological principles, whose main significance lies in the creative elaboration of Lenin's heritage in the sphere of culture. The most important of these concerns periodization of the history of the cultural revolution and a close analysis of its role and place in the building of Soviet society. Emphasizing the importance of these theoretical questions to the elaboration of the entire problem, the author writes that the all-round study of Lenin's invaluable heritage made it possible finally and completely to overcome Stalin's dogmatic concepts and views concerning the cultural revolution, which persisted in our historical literature until quite recently. It also enabled our historians to re-establish the Leninist interpretation (which was "consigned to oblivion" during the personality-cult period) of the "starting point" of the cultural revolution and its place as an organic, component part of Lenin's plan of socialist construction. The article analyzes a number of works showing how Soviet historiography solved the problems of periodization of the cultural revolution, its initial and final stages, its aims and distinctive features.

Among other distinctive features in the development of the historiography of the cultural revolution after the Twentieth CPSU Congress L. M. Zak singles out the compilation of generalizing works on the history of Soviet culture as a whole and of its individual branches, as well as on the history of the progress of the cultural revolution in the Union and Autonomous Republics and individual Soviet territories and regions.

The author makes a detailed analysis of the literature devoted to the history of the development of public education in the U.S.S.R. (elimination of illiteracy, extension of the network of secondary schools and higher educational establishments, the shaping of the people's socialist intelligentsia).

The historical works on Soviet cultural development after the Twentieth CPSU Congress, the author sums up, are based on extensive and essentially new material- They highlight the creative contribution made by the popular masses under the guidance of the Communist Party and the Soviet state, analyze the difficulties and achievements in the advancement of Soviet culture.

In conclusion L. M. Zak draws attention to problems still awaiting solution and to the important tasks facing Soviet historians and researchers working on the problem.

A. I. GUKOVSKY. Research in the History of Soviet Society and Ancillary Historical Subjects

The author draws the attention of historians to a number of problems pertaining to historical research methods. A. I. Gukovsky analyzes the role played by certain ancillary historical subjects at different stages of research in the history of Soviet society. The article sets forth the author's views on the tasks facing source research relating to the history of Soviet society, brings out the significance of archive research as,a subordinate

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historical subject, and reveals (from the viewpoint of research in the history of the Soviet period) the specific features and distinctive traits of paleography, chronology, genealogy, heraldry, sphragistics, archeology, epigraphy, historical geography, archeography and philately.

I. P. LEIBEROV. The Revolutionary Actions of the Petrograd Proletariat During the First World War and the Revolution of February 1917

Drawing on archive materials, the author makes an attempt to give a statistical analysis of the mass revolutionary outbreaks among the Petrograd proletariat in the period of the first world war and the bourgeois-democratic revolution of February 1917. The author also tries to define the basic trends in the activity of Petrograd's Bolshevik organization in the preparation and carrying out of the general political strike and the armed uprising in conditions of war.

I. P. Leiberov singles out four periods in the Petrograd working-class movement. In the initial period of the war marked by a drastic decline of the revolutionary movement (July 1914-July 1915) isolated economic and individual political strikes of a spontaneous character predominated. With the rise and development of the revolutionary situation in the country (summer and autumn 1915) the workers of Petrograd passed from defensive economic strikes to the offensive by organizing mass political and economic strikes involving the entire proletariat of the capital. In the revolutionary situation that took shape in the autumn of 1916 the proletariat of Petrograd made effective use of such forms of mass revolutionary actions in the struggle against the war and the tsarist autocracy as general strikes and political demonstrations. After the strike battles of October 1916, the Petrograd Bolshevik organization proceeded to coordinate the activities of the local party organizations with a view to effecting a direct transition to the general strike and the armed uprising on a local and national scale.

The revolution of February 1917 is divided by the author into the following three stages according to the forms of revolutionary proletarian actions: the city-wide strike (February 23 - 24, 1917); the general strike (February 25 - 26); the armed uprising (February 27 - 28), simultaneously with consolidating the first revolutionary gains (March 1 - 2).

The industrial proletariat was the hegemon and leader of the second bourgeois- democratic revolution in Russia. In the course of that revolution the working masses came out as a closely united and highly-organized force, displaying mass heroism in the struggle against the tsarist police and gendarmerie. The article emphasizes that clearly reflected in all these actions was a marked increase in the level of consciousness and organization of Petrograd's industrial proletariat since the revolution of 1905 - 1907 and the Bolshevik Party's mobilizing and guiding role. .

ANDREW ROTHSTEIN. The Trade Unions and the Labour Party on the Eve of General Parliamentary Elections in Britain

The article is based on revised texts of the lectures delivered by the author in Moscow, Leningrad and Tashkent in October 1963. It consists of two parts, the first being devoted to the trade unions and the second to the Labour Party.

In the first part the author cites the views and opinions of Karl Marx, Frederick Engels and V. I. Lenin on the British trade unions and briefly reviews the history of the British trade union movement from the 1720's to 1963 inclusive. Analyzing the strong and weak points of the British trade union movement, the author notes the growth of union membership, the organization and unity of the English proletariat, the invariable failure of all attempts to set up permanent strikebreaking organizations, at the same time trying to disclose the nature and root causes of the weaknesses characteristic of the British working-class movement. The article comprehensively examines the internal problems of the trade union movement in the light of the decisions adopted by the 28th Congress of the Communist Party of Great Britain (April 1963). Much attention is devoted by the author to the resolutions of the 95th TUC convention in Brighton (September 1962), at which the Right-wing opportunist union leaders met with serious setbacks on a number of issues, notably on the wage- freeze and nationalization policy.

The second part contains an analysis of the Labour movement. From the moment of its appearance in 1900 to our days, the author writes, the Labour Party has been rent by an unceasing struggle between the working class, represented mainly by the trade unions affiliated to the Labour Party, Left-wing trade unionists and, from 1920, the Communists, on the one hand, and the petty bourgeoisie, the labour aristocracy and the Right-wing trade union and Labour Party leaders, on the other.

The struggle assumed particularly acute forms at the 62nd Labour Party Conference in Scarborough (September-October 1963). The conference was distinguished by its preelection character and the party leaders decided to devote chief attention to their election

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platform. The conference resolutions on questions of domestic and foreign policy made it plain that if the Labourites win the forthcoming parliamentary elections, they intend to set up a government which will again, as in 1945 - 1951, take upon itself the task of guiding British monopoly capitalism more effectively than is now done by the Tories. In conclusion the author examines the pre-election tactic of the English proletariat, explaining why the working masses are interested in defeating the Conservatives and securing Labour victory in the general parliamentary elections.

D. K. SHELESTOV. Soviet Historiography of the Civil War and Foreign Intervention in the U.S.S.R.

The author points out that no other period in the history of Soviet society, with the exception of the period of the preparation and carrying out of the Great October Socialist Revolution, has been so thoroughly elaborated in historical literature as the struggle against foreign intervention and Whiteguard counter-revolution. Yet it has to be said that the extensive literature devoted to this period has not so far been subjected to a close historiographical analysis.

The article shows the outstanding part of V. I. Lenin as the founder of a scientific analysis of the events of 1918 - 1920 and of the entire history of the early years of Soviet power. Lenin's works, along with Communist Party documents, are of the utmost significance for the scientific elaboration of the history of the defeat inflicted on external and internal counter-revolution.

Although research into this problem was started back in 1918 - 1920, it developed on a really extensive scale only after the last salvoes on the battlefront had died down. The 1920's, D. K. Shelestov stresses, saw the rise and development of the historiography of the Civil War and foreign military intervention, which proceeded in conditions marked by an acute ideological struggle between nascent Marxist-Leninist historical science and its enemies from the camp of bourgeois-landlord, Menshevik, Socialist-Revolutionary, Trotskyite and Right-opportunist elements. The first successes in Marxist-Leninist interpretation of the struggle against foreign imperialist intervention and internal counter-revolution were recorded in the twenties and early thirties.

The author graphically shows that the 1930's were marked by further significant progress in this direction. In the summer of 1931 the Central Committee of the All- Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) adopted a decision (on Maxim Gorky's initiative) to publish a many-volume edition of "A History of the Civil War in the U.S.S.R." The compilation of this comprehensive work exerted a vast influence on research in this field. At the same tims it should be noted that in mid-1930's the pernicious influence of the Stalin personality cult began to penetrate the literature on the history of the Civil War. Its harmful effects made themselves felt in works produced in the subsequent years, up to the middle of the fifties. But even in these adverse conditions, the article points out, historiography of the early Soviet period was able to make definite progress in elaborating a series of important problems.

A new period of intensive research in the history of the Civil War and foreign intervention was ushered in by the Twentieth CPSU Congress, which resolutely condemned the personality cult and opened up wide opportunities for the development of Soviet historical science. The past seven-odd years witnessed the completion of the "History of the Civil War in the U.S.S.R." and publication of dozens of monographs illustrating the defeat of the interventionist and Whiteguard counter-revolutionary forces, as well as the appearance of numerous research works devoted to the struggle for Soviet power in different parts of the country. All this, D. K. Shelestov writes in conclusion, testifies to the achievements of Soviet historiography of the Civil War and intervention, and inspires confidence that the Soviet scientists working in this field will accomplish the tasks set out by the Twenty- Second CPSU Congress and the new Party Programme.

An Interesting Find ("The Kokovtsov Case")

The material under review is a stenographic record of an interrogation to which V. N. Kokovtsov, one of the tsarist government's Prime Ministers, was subjected by the Provisional Government's Extraordinary Committee of Inquiry on September 11, 1917. This document was believed to be lost and, naturally, did not figure in the seven-volume edition of the "Collapse of the Tsarist Regime" which appeared in 1924 - 1927 and contained the stenographic records of the interrogation of twenty Ministers, including four Prime Ministers (notably the interrogation of V. N. Kokovtsov on August 25), ten Deputy Ministers, two generals, several directors of the Police Department, ten high-placed officials of the Political Investigation Department, ten public representatives and, lastly, six persons characterized by the Committee as "rogues."

In his testimony before the Extraordinary Committee of Inquiry on August 25, Kokovtsov describes the circumstances of the dissolution of the First and Second State Dumas, the drafting of the notorious anti-democratic law of June 3, 1907. the assassina-

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tion of Stolypin, the appointment of Kokovtsov to the post of Chairman of the Council of Ministers, etc.

The stenographic record of the interrogation of Kokovtsov on September 11, published in Nos. 2 and 4 of the journal, opens with the question concerning the application of Article 87 of the "Fundamental Laws," which authorized the government, in the intervals between sessions of the State Duma and the State Council, to issue "edicts" (laws) subject to subsequent endorsement by the State Duma. A close examination of the stenographic record enables one to understand why the bourgeoisie, which had its representatives in the Duma, was above all interested in this question; it enables one to accuse the tsarist government of violating the existing legislative principles. Of considerable interest are those parts of the stenographic record which are connected with the appointment of Makarov (under whom a brutal shooting down of workers at the Lena goldfields was perpetrated in 1912) and Maklakov to the post of Ministers of the Interior. Kokovtsov's evidence sheds a revealing light on the procedure of elections to the State Duma, graphically showing the government's intervention in the election campaign.

No less significant are the facts, cited by Kokovtsov, concerning the allocation of special secret funds to the Ministry of the Interior for subsidizing many Right-wing newspapers and magazines, notably the reactionary newspaper "Zemshchina."

The stenographic record contains a comprehensive analysis of the subject "The Tsar and the Government." Despite Kokovtsov's undoubted loyalty to the tsar (which is clearly manifested in his carefully chosen and deferential expressions with regard to Nicholas II), the stenographic record provides valuable material enabling us to draw the conclusion that the tsar could not reconcile himself to the political order established in Russia as a result of the 1905 revolution. An important place in the stenographic record is devoted to a detailed description of diverse circumstances which ultimately led to Kokovtsov's resignation. One of the principal causes named by Kokovtsov himself was the position of Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, whose attitude to the Prime Minister changed sharply after the cold reception he had given to Rasputin. Another factor of major importance was Kokovtsov's disagreement with War Minister Sukhomlinov on the question of extending the operation of emergency credits to the army.


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