This book compares the past of three countries, which were part of the Soviet Union. These republics are located in different corners of the former Soviet geography: Ukraine is in the west; Azerbaijan is in the Caucasus and Kazakhstan is in Central Asia. It analyses how and by whom Soviet national histories were constructed in these countries in the postwar years of Stalin and the initial years of Khrushchev. It examines the political and ideological agendas behind the way they were written. The author argues that local considerations are extremely important, that they cannot be ignored and that they played an active part in the implementation of policy at a local level. He places the outcome of the Second World War in the USSR in the context of these national developments as well as looking at evolution of policy all these countries. He also shows the extent to which the Communist Party was dependent on input from local elites – in this particular case, on historians who were familiar with the national development – and demonstrates how the Communist Party and the intelligentsia interacted.
Based on extensive archival local research, the book presents new findings and as such produces a nuanced and interesting corrective to nationality policy in the USSR. It will be of interest to historians of the Soviet Union, to specialists in politics, in particular nation building and national development, and to scholars of Central Asia Studies and the Caucasus.
1. Introduction: The Impact of the War Part 1: Stalinist National Constructions after the War 2. Kaganovich, Bogdan Khmel’nyts’kyi and Petrovs’kyi. 3. Shaiakhmetov, Kenesary Khan, and Bekmakhanov. 4. Bagirov, Dede-Korkut, and Huseinov. Part 2: Stalinist National Constructions after Stalin 5. Stalinist History after Stalin: Azerbaijani Ethnogenesis 6. Continuities and Limits of Stalinist History Writing in Kazakhstan 7. Conclusions