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Stratum Plus. 2000. № 5

N. Knight (South Orange, USA)

«Salvage Biography» and Useable Pasts: Russian Ethnographers Confront the Legacy of Terror

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Pages: 519-525

This is a review of the book Repressirovannye etnografy, compiled and edited by D. D. Tumarkin (Moscow: «Vostochnaia literatura»  PAN, 1999, 341 p.). The articles of the reviewed volume are well researched and contain a wealth of valuable information stretching over an entire century from the 1870s to the 1970s. As a whole, the volume is a major contribution to the history of Russian ethnography and will be of value more broadly to anyone interested in intellectual history and the intersection of scholarship, ideology and the Soviet state. Though the main focus is not the persecution itself, but rather on the individuals as ethnographers-their educations, professional careers, ideas, interests and contributions to the field.
 Such an orientation is no coincidence. Underlying the volume, fundamentally, are questions of continuity and scholarly identity: how are present-day Russian ethnographers to come to terms with their troubled past? 

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