Richard Pipes and Marc Raeff were two of the most prolific and influential historians of Russia that America ever produced. They met at Harvard in 1946 and went on, for most of the following six decades, to debate history, share ideas, comment on each other's work, and inspire one another intellectually. In
Pillars of the Profession: The Correspondence of Richard Pipes and Marc Raeff, Jonathan Daly presents the 158 letters these scholars and friends exchanged from 1948 until 2007. Thoughtful introductory and concluding essays, detailed annotations, a wealth of photographs and other illustrations, a chronology of major events, and four maps make this volume an important addition to Russian historiography.
Focusing on the role of arts in the construction of national identity, Suzanne Pourchier-Plasseraud has chosen to study the case of a country lacking an ancient state history of its own, Latvia. This book analyses the part played by the visual arts in transmuting the cultural concept of a nation, advocated by a small intelligentsia, into a widespread claim for independence. By the end of the 19th century, fretting under Russian political domination and German economic and cultural supremacy, the Latvians turned back to their own language, culture and folklore, with a special interest for their
dainas, their timeless common heritage rooted into a mythical golden age. Latvian artists thus found themselves entrusted with the mission of creating a national iconographic representation and a specifically Latvian art, freed from Russian and German influences. The author shows how the links between the cultural and political spheres evolved between 1905 and 1940, including during the period of authoritarian government preceding WWII. An enlightening contribution to understanding how art and history can be turned into social and political instruments, this book reaches far beyond the Latvian case to a European and even global scope.