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Empire of Nations

Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet Union
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When the Bolsheviks seized power in 1917, they set themselves the task of building socialism in the vast landscape of the former Russian Empire, a territory populated by hundreds of different peoples belonging to a multitude of linguistic, religious, and ethnic groups. Before 1917, the Bolsheviks had called for the national self-determination of all peoples and had condemned all forms of colonization as exploitative. After attaining power, however, they began to express concern that it would not be possible for Soviet Russia to survive without the cotton of Turkestan and the oil of the Caucasus. In an effort to reconcile their anti-imperialist position with their desire to hold on to as much territory as possible, the Bolsheviks integrated the national idea into the administrative-territorial structure of the new Soviet state.
IntroductionPart One. Empire, Nation, and the Scientific State1. Toward a Revolutionary Alliance2. The National Idea versus Economic ExpediencyPart Two. Cultural Technologies of Rule and the Nature of Soviet Power3. The 1926 Census and the Conceptual Conquest of Lands and Peoples4. Border-Making and the Formation of Soviet National Identities5. Transforming "The Peoples of the USSR": Ethnographic Exhibits and the Evolutionary TimelinePart Three. The Nazi Threat and the Acceleration of the Bolshevik Revolution6. State-Sponsored Evolutionism and the Struggle against German Biological Determinism7. Ethnographic Knowledge and TerrorEpilogueAppendixesBibliographyIndex

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