Ilya Andronov

The russian school of history during the transformation of the soviet regime (1925-1931)

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In Soviet Russia in 1924, an unstable equilibrium was established between the new government and the old intelligentsia. Scholars of modern Western history enjoyed a certain level of freedom in their choice of research themes and could publish abroad; those who demonstrated a favourable attitude towards official policy were granted a certain freedom of opinion and scientific debate was possible. However, the government exploited the authority of intellectuals to increase its own prestige and sweeten the Nation’s image abroad, presenting it as an idyllic place. This paper will demonstrate how this equilibrium was broken, how and why power shifted towards a use of violence and how, despite this, historians sought to carry out their work in such a precarious political situation. Relations with their foreign colleagues were first interrupted and then ceased all together and only lines of research imposed by the Party prevailed. Soviet historical science was excluded from European scientific dialogue and lost a large part of its appeal at international level. These events affected the natural process of generational change and young Marxist historians took over from their predecessors whose lives, on occasion, met with fatal consequences


  • Russian University
  • Historiography
  • Nikolaj Kareev
  • Sergej Platonov
  • Nikolaj Lukin


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