The Soviet historical profession is in ferment. For decades it was relegated to the task of obfuscating the past, gilding the status quo and papering over the "blank spots" in Soviet history - events that defied even the most brazen attempts at falsification. Today it is engaged in an often painful process of self-examination. Initially rather timid, the internal discussion was soon propelled by external events - the scuttling of history textbooks, official disclosures of formerly "classified" facts and the explosion of candour in the depictions of the past in memoirs, journalistic writing and fiction. This volume gives voice to the lead actors in the "first phase" of this process - the senior historians, their journalistic "challengers" and those charged with responsiblity for the institutions of research, training and publication in the field of history.