Martin, Terry

The affirmative action empire: nations and nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939 - Ithaca Cornell University Press 2001 - xvii, 496 p. - The Wilder House Series in Politics, History, and Culture .

The Soviet Union was the first of Europe's multiethnic states to confront the rising tide of nationalism by systematically promoting the national consciousness of its ethnic minorities and establishing for them many of the institutional forms characteristic of the modern nation-state. In the 1920s, the Bolshevik government, seeking to defuse nationalist sentiment, created tens of thousands of national territories. It trained new national leaders, established national languages, and financed the production of national-language cultural products.
This was a massive and fascinating historical experiment in governing a multiethnic state. Terry Martin provides a comprehensive survey and interpretation, based on newly available archival sources, of the Soviet management of the nationalities question. He traces the conflicts and tensions created by the geographic definition of national territories, the establishment of dozens of official national languages, and the world's first mass "affirmative action" programs.


Minorities - Soviet Union
Nationalism and socialism - Soviet Union

947.0842 / M2A3

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