A Short Manual on Searching Academic Literature in the Internet (in Russian)

Finally finished my short HOWTO on searching academic literature in the Internet.  The text is based mostly on my own experience: my main work at the Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences is to analyse the new publications on Soviet history, including foreign ones, and it would be really difficult to do this work without Internet as only a small part of Western research papers and monographs is available at Russian libraries.

Download the full text (PDF, 9.5 Mb, in Russian).

REVIEW ARTICLE: Contemporary historiography of the GULAG: new approaches (in Russian)

Published in Sotsial’nye i gumanitarnye nauki. Otechestvennaia i zarubezhnaia literatura. Seriia 5, Istoriia, no. 4 (Moscow, 2016), 112–129 (in Russian).

Continue reading ‘REVIEW ARTICLE: Contemporary historiography of the GULAG: new approaches (in Russian)’ »

A Map of Middle-earth

Dmitrii Godkin aka Arthoron and I have finally finished our map of Middle-earth.  Its current version looks like this (the picture is clickable):

map of Middle-earth in the Third Age

You can also download a PDF version here.  We used Inkscape to draw the map, I can send the source file in SVG format personally, if anybody is interested.  I don’t want to post it here in open access because it contains scans of several other maps by other authors.

A detailed rationale for the map is still available only in Russian, unfortunately, it can be seen in the Russian version of this post.  We presented the map at the Tolkien Seminar organized by the St. Petersburg Tolkien Society on 23 April, then the discussion went on in Arthoron’s blog.  The final version of the map which you can see above is drawn according to the results of those discussions.

Our main goal was to map all the geographical objects outside the West of Middle-earth, i.e. outside the territory shown on the well-known map of Middle-earth published in The Lord of the Rings and in Unfinished Tales.  We also tried to correct some calculations of Karen W. Fonstad because on her maps of Middle-earth as a whole the world looks very small, almost as small as Mars (see her The Atlas of Middle-earth (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1991), pp. VIII, XI, 4–5), although we know that J. R. R. Tolkien regarded his own fiction as a kind of mythological past of the Earth.

For our own calculations we used first of all map V  from the Ambarkanta which we superimposed on a map of the world in polyconical projection.  We also used map IV from the Ambarkanta and the map of Middle-earth by Pauline Baynes for additional information.  What was a result is mostly a product of our own imagination, but we did our best to prevent any contradictions between our fantasy and known Tolkien’s works.  That is why the eastern and southern parts of the map look rather schematic.  Several most important moments should be noted:

  1. We had to ‘sink’ the north-western part of Africa/Harad as if it went into the sea at the end of the First Age; otherwise the contours of Harad would contradict to the known maps of the West, especially to the map of Pauline Baynes.
  2. The Sea of Helkar is rather small on our map and is separated from the Sea of Rhûn that corresponds to the later texts, but contradicts to map V from the Ambarkanta.  We decided that map can be seen as a map of Middle-earth in ‘prehistoric’ times.  So on our map we marked the borders of the Sea of ‘Paleo-Helkar’ which correspond to the coastline of the Sea of Helkar on Tolkien’s map V.  Its contours are also quite similar to those of the Paratethys sea about 7–9 million years ago.
  3. We divided the Southland into two parts in order to make our map a bit different both from the real map of the world and from the map in Ambarkanta, as the geography of Middle-earth in the Third Age should have differed both from the First Age and from the today’s geography of the Earth.  In the real geological history of the Earth, Tolkien’s Southland corresponds to the continent that existed approximately 90–40 million years ago and then divided into Australia and Antarctica.  In Tolkien’s world, the Southland could divide in the days of the downfall of Númenor.
  4. Although we have drawn a coordinate grid on our map, our superimposition of the map of Middle-earth on a map of the world is an approximate one, especially as there are no exact maps for the eastern and southern parts of Tolkien’s world.  So our map cannot be used to calculate exact geographic coordinates for any places in Middle-earth.  It was probably Brandon Rhodes who made the most correct superimposition of the map of the West on a map of Europe (see http://rhodesmill.org/brandon/2009/google-earth-and-middle-earth/), but even his method raises doubts.

REVIEW ARTICLE: Soviet Jews in the Years of War and Holocaust: Newest Western Historiography (in Russian)

Published in Sotsial’nye i gumanitarnye nauki. Otechestvennaia i zarubezhnaia literatura. Seriia 5, Istoriia, no. 1 (Moscow, 2016), 107–126 (in Russian).

Continue reading ‘REVIEW ARTICLE: Soviet Jews in the Years of War and Holocaust: Newest Western Historiography (in Russian)’ »

COLLECTION OF ABSTRACTS AND REVIEWS: The First World War: Contemporary Historiography (in Russian)

Первая мировая война: современная историография

Pervaia mirovaia voina: Sovremennaia istoriografiia: Sbornik obzorov i referatov, ed. by V. P. Liubin and M. M. Mints (Moscow: INION RAN, 2014).  In Russian.

In this collection, we tried to show the current condition of research on history of World War I.  The main part of literature we have used, form the monographs and collections of articles printed by several well-known publishing houses in 2013–14, by the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the conflict, including works on its military, political, social and cultural history, on such problems as memory about the war, propaganda, and national identity.  The main attention in the collection is paid to today’s historiographical debates.  Several national historic schools are represented, including such countries as Austria, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, France, and the United States.

The text of the collection (PDF, 3.2 Mb).

Contents

Preface

V. P. Liubin, ‘Western historians about World War I’ (Review article)

M. M. Mints, ‘Germany in the First World War: modern German historiography’ (Review article)

‘“Initial catastrophe”: the anniversary of the First World War as a reason for reinterpretation of the history of the 20th century’ (Joint abstract)

‘An investigation of Fritz Fischer on World War I and the European historiography’ (Joint abstract)

Abstract: V. V. Mironov, Avstro-vengerskaia armiia v Pervoi mirovoi voine: razrushenie oplota Gabsburgskoi monarkhii [Austro-Hungarian army in the First World War: the collapse of the stronghold of the Habsburg Monarchy]

‘1914–2014: An anniversary of the Great War in history. A view from France’ (Joint abstract)

Abstract: Christopher M. Clark, The sleepwalkers: how Europe went to war in 1914

Abstract: Heather Jones, ‘As the century approaches: the regeneration of First World War historiography’

Marco Pluviano, ‘Contemporary Italian historiography and the First World War’ (Review article)

Abstract: Emilio Gentile, Di colpi di pistola, dieci milioni di morti, la fine di un mondo: storia illustrata della Grande Guerra [Two pistol shoots, ten million killed, the end of the world: an illustrated history of the Great War]

Abstract: Celia Malone Kingsbury, For home and country: World War I propaganda on the home front

‘The history of the First World War in interpretation of Russian and foreign historians’ (Joint abstract)

‘The First World War in the eyes of its participants and our contemporaries’ (Joint abstract)

S. V. Bespalov, ‘Social-economic development of imperial Russia in the years of the First World War’ (Review article)

Abstract: Anthony Heywood, ‘Spark of revolution? Railway disorganisation, freight traffic and Tsarist Russia’s war effort, July 1914—March 1917’

Abstract: Andrzej Chwalba, Samobójstwo Europy: Wielka wojna 1914–1918 [European self-murder: the Great War 1914–18]

Abstract: V. A. Pyl’kin, Voennoplennye Avstro-Vengrii, Germanii i Osmanskoi imperii na Riazanskoi zemle v gody mirovoi voiny i revoliutsii [Prisoners of war from Austria-Hungary, Germany and the Ottoman Empire in the land of Riazan’ in the years of the world war and revolution]

L. N. Zhvanko, ‘The First World War and the refugees on the Eastern Front: new research (late 20th—early 21st century)’ (Review article)

Abstract: L. N. Zhvanko,  Бiженцi першої свiтової вiйни: український вимiр (1914–1918 рр.) [The refugees of World War I: Ukrainian reality (1914–18)]

Abstract: Peter Englund, Stridens skönhet och sorg: första världskriget i 212 korta kapitel [The beauty and the sorrow: an intimate history of the First World War]

Contributors

JOINT ABSTRACT: Image of the Enemy in Perception of Russians and Germans during the First World War (in Russian)

Published in Trudy po rossievedeniiu, ed. by Irina I. Glebova (Moscow, 2014), 5: 397–405 (in Russian).

Continue reading ‘JOINT ABSTRACT: Image of the Enemy in Perception of Russians and Germans during the First World War (in Russian)’ »

My Collection of Abstracts and Reviews on the USSR in World War II Has Been Published

My collection of abstracts and reviews on the USSR in World War II was published this spring (in Russian):

WW2-title

It was printed after the fire at our Institute; luckily the typography has survived.  Theoretically, the collection may be ordered here, but it looks like it’s not at stock yet.  Some of the materials were prepared by my colleagues from our Department of History.

Initially we were going to show the current situation in historiography, but so many publications have appeared in recent years that we had to limit our work to a relatively small set of the most interesting works standing out for their subjects or research methods.  As a result, most of materials in the collection are based on works of Western historians who still much more often use different methodological innovations than their Russian colleagues.  Yet there are also abstracts of several Russian books that deal with some insufficiently explored aspects of the history of the Soviet Union in the Second World War.  We used almost no works on history of military operations or of the Red Army as, in spite of their importance, they are not so interesting from the viewpoint of methodology.  Instead, we devoted special attention to publications that deal with ‘non-military’ subjects, that investigate a human dimension of the Second World War, its long-term consequences and historical context.

As the work at the collection has shown, there was little change in the situation with stocking the library funds by foreign literature in Moscow since I was preparing my previous collection Nachalo Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny: sovremennaia istoriografiia [The beginning of the Great Fatherland War: recent historiography].  Even the biggest libraries can only buy rather a few books in comparison with the Soviet period, many books are available only at one of the libraries in one copy.  Along with the library of the Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences, we used books from the Russian State Library (‘Lenin Library’) and the library of the German Historical Institute in Moscow, and also a lot of books, electronic copies of which had been published illegally in the Internet.  Piratical libraries continue to collect new literature—luckily for researchers, although to growing displeasure of the publishers’ community which can’t however offer any acceptable alternative.  Michael David-Fox (Georgetown University) has brought us a copy of the book The Holocaust in the East that he had edited with Peter Holquist and Alexander Martin.  Fortunately, the book was at my colleague’s home when the fire began at the institute.  Everything else that had been at our department is at the dump now along with remains of the roof :-(

The contents of the abstract collection:

  • Foreword
  • Preddverie i nachalo Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny: Problemy sovremennoi istoriografii i istochnikovedeniia [The eve and the beginning of the Great Fatherland War: Problems of recent historiography and source criticism] (Abstract)
  • David M. Glantz about the Red Army in World War II (Joint abstract)
  • A. B. Orishev, V avguste 1941 [In August 1941] (Abstract)
  • The Blockade of Leningrad (Joint abstract)
  • Karel C. Berkhoff, Motherland in Danger: Soviet Propaganda during World War II (Abstract)
  • D. D. Frolov, Sovetsko-finskii plen, 1939–1944: Po obe storony koliuchei provoloki [Soviet-Finnish Captivity, 1939–1944: On Either Side of the Barbed Wire] (Abstract)
  • Jörn Hasenclever, Wehrmacht und Besatzungspolitik in der Sowjetunion: Die Befehlshaber der rückwärtigen Heeresgebiete, 1941–1943 [Wehrmacht and the Occupation Policy in the Soviet Union: The Commanders of the Army Groups’ Back Areas] (Abstract)
  • Igor’ G. Ermolov, Tri goda bez Stalina: Okkupatsiia: Sovetskie grazhdane mezhdu natsistami i bol’shevikami, 1941–1944 [Three years without Stalin: Occupation: The Soviet citizens between the Nazis and the Bolsheviks, 1941–1944] (Abstract)
  • Bogdan Musial, Sowjetische Partisanen, 1941–1944: Mythos und Wirklichkeit [The Soviet partisans, 1941–1944: Myths and Reality] (Abstract)
  • Evacuation and the Rear (Joint abstract)
  • V. N. Krasnov, I. V. Krasnov, Lend-liz dl’a SSSR, 1941–1945 [Lend-lease for the USSR, 1941–1945] (Abstract)
  • Irina V. Bystrova, Potselui cherez okean: ‘Bol’shaia troika’ v svete lichnykh kontaktov (1941–1945 gg.) [A kiss across the ocean: the Big Three in the light of personal contacts, 1941–45] (Abstract)
  • Anna Krylova, Soviet Women in Combat: A History of Violence on the Eastern Front (Abstract)
  • Soviet Jews in the Years of War and Holocaust (Joint abstract)
  • A. Iu. Bezugol’nyi, N. F. Bugai, E. F. Krinko, Gortsy Severnogo Kavkaza v Velikoi Otechestvennoi voine 1941–1945: problemy istorii, istoriografii i istochnikovedeniia [Mountain-dwellers of the Northern Caucasus in the Great Fatherland War 1941–1945: problems of history, historiography and source criticism] (Abstract)
  • Warlands: Population Resettlement and State Reconstruction in the Soviet–East European Borderlands, 1945–50, ed. Peter Gatrell and Nick Baron (Abstract)
  • The Veterans of World War II in the Soviet Union (Joint abstract)
  • The Significance of World War II for the History of the Soviet Union and the Post-Soviet States (Joint abstract)
  • Notes on Contributors

REPORT: The Hunting of the Books: How to Search the Foreign Academic Literature in the Internet (in Russian)

My report at Veskon-2015 convent on Tolkien studies and role playing games in Moscow, with an overview of three instruments for searching the academic literature in the Internet (LibGen, Sci-Hub, Academia.edu).  It can be useful not only for specialists on Tolkien, but for any other students as well, whatever problems they are interested in. Continue reading ‘REPORT: The Hunting of the Books: How to Search the Foreign Academic Literature in the Internet (in Russian)’ »

Finished a New Collecion of Abstracts on the Soviet Union in World War II

Yesterday sent a new collection of abstracts on the Soviet Union in the Second World War, Velikaia Otechestvennaia voina v sovremennoi istoriografii [The Great Fatherland War in recent historical writing] to our publishing department, they are to print it in spring.  The chronological borders are not strict, there are materials on the Winter War and on the postwar period as well.  The sources are mostly in English and German, but several Russian monographs are also used.  I decided not to use any publications on the history of the armed forces and of military operation (with little exception).  Hope the result will be good—at least the books I used were very interesting.  The contents will be like this:

  • Foreword
  • Preddverie i nachalo Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny: Problemy sovremennoi istoriografii i istochnikovedeniia [The eve and the beginning of the Great Fatherland War: Problems of recent historiography and source criticism] (Abstract)
  • David M. Glantz about the Red Army in World War II (Joint abstract)
  • A. B. Orishev, V avguste 1941 [In August 1941] (Abstract)
  • The Blockade of Leningrad (Joint abstract)
  • Karel C. Berkhoff, Motherland in Danger: Soviet Propaganda during World War II (Abstract)
  • D. D. Frolov, Sovetsko-finskii plen, 1939–1944: Po obe storony koliuchei provoloki [Soviet-Finnish Captivity, 1939–1944: On Either Side of the Barbed Wire] (Abstract)
  • Jörn Hasenclever, Wehrmacht und Besatzungspolitik in der Sowjetunion: Die Befehlshaber der rückwärtigen Heeresgebiete, 1941–1943 [Wehrmacht and the Occupation Policy in the Soviet Union: The Commanders of the Army Groups’ Back Areas] (Abstract)
  • Igor’ G. Ermolov, Tri goda bez Stalina: Okkupatsiia: Sovetskie grazhdane mezhdu natsistami i bol’shevikami, 1941–1944 [Three years without Stalin: Occupation: The Soviet citizens between the Nazis and the Bolsheviks, 1941–1944] (Abstract)
  • Bogdan Musial, Sowjetische Partisanen, 1941–1944: Mythos und Wirklichkeit [The Soviet partisans, 1941–1944: Myths and Reality] (Abstract)
  • Evacuation and the Rear (Joint abstract)
  • V. N. Krasnov, I. V. Krasnov, Lend-liz dl’a SSSR, 1941–1945 [Lend-lease for the USSR, 1941–1945] (Abstract)
  • Irina V. Bystrova, Potselui cherez okean: ‘Bol’shaia troika’ v svete lichnykh kontaktov (1941–1945 gg.) [A kiss across the ocean: the Big Three in the light of personal contacts, 1941–45] (Abstract)
  • Anna Krylova, Soviet Women in Combat: A History of Violence on the Eastern Front (Abstract)
  • Soviet Jews in the Years of War and Holocaust (Joint abstract)
  • A. Iu. Bezugol’nyi, N. F. Bugai, E. F. Krinko, Gortsy Severnogo Kavkaza v Velikoi Otechestvennoi voine 1941–1945: problemy istorii, istoriografii i istochnikovedeniia [Mountain-dwellers of the Northern Caucasus in the Great Fatherland War 1941–1945: problems of history, historiography and source criticism] (Abstract)
  • Warlands: Population Resettlement and State Reconstruction in the Soviet—East European Borderlands, 1945–50, ed. Peter Gatrell and Nick Baron (Abstract)
  • The Veterans of World War II in the Soviet Union (Joint abstract)
  • The Significance of World War II for the History of the Soviet Union and the Post-Soviet States (Joint abstract)
  • Notes on Contributors

REVIEW ARTICLE: Soviet Cosmonautics in Contemporary Western Historiography (in Russian)

Published in Nauka v SSSR: Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia istoriografiia: Sbornik obzorov i referatov [Science in the USSR: Contemporary foreign historiography: A collection of reviews and abstracts], ed. Ol’ga V. Bol’shakova (Moscow, 2014), 145–166.

The text of the review article (2.9 MB, in Russian)