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A Circle of Friends

Romanian Revolutionaries and Political Exile, 1840-1859


Angela Jianu

Angela Jianu explores the lives and activities of a group of Romanian revolutionaries exiled in Paris, London and the Middle East in the aftermath of the insurrections of 1848. Drawing largely on diaries, memoirs and private correspondence, A Circle of Friends is a social history of political exile, presenting the personal life dramas of the protagonists within the wider context of the European post-revolutionary turmoil of the 1850s. Exile and political repression allied this group not only to their Hungarian and Polish peers, but also to French republicans, English radicals and Italian freedom-fighters. Their story reveals the existence of transnational networks of left-wing, radical and republican movements in mid-nineteenth-century Europe against the background of nation-building projects in East-Central Europe.

Reformulating Russia

The Cultural and Intellectual Historiography of Russian First-Wave Émigré Writers


Kåre Johan Mjør

Georgii Fedotov’s Saints of Ancient Russia, Georgii Florovskii’s The Ways of Russian Theology, Nikolai Berdiaev’s The Russian Idea and Vasilii Zenkovskii’s History of Russian Philosophy—these are among the most well-known and widely-read historical studies of Russian thought and culture. Having left their homeland after the Bolshevik Revolution, these four authors aimed to present their readers with a common past and thus with a common identity, and their historical works emerged out of the need for reorientation in a post-revolutionary, émigré situation. At the same time, they were to elaborate highly contrasting versions of the Russian past. By means of in-depth narrative and contextual analyses, Reformulating Russia provides a detailed examination of the visions of Russia contained in these four works.


Victor Spinei

The author of the present volume aims to investigate the relationships between Romanians and nomadic Turkic groups (Pechenegs, Uzes, Cumans) in the southern half of Moldavia, north of the Danube Delta, between the tenth century and the great Mongol invasion of 1241-1242. The Carpathian-Danubian area particularly favoured the development of sedentary life, throughout the millennia, but, at various times, nomadic pastoralists of the steppes also found this area favourable to their own way of life. Due to the basic features of its landscape, the above-mentioned area, which includes a vast plain, became the main political stage of the Romanian ethnic space, a stage on which local communities had to cope with the pressures of successive intrusions of nomadic Turks, attracted by the rich pastures north of the Lower Danube.
Contacts of the Romanians and of the Turkic nomads with Byzantium, Kievan Rus’, Bulgaria and Hungary are also investigated. The conclusions of the volume are based on an analysis of both written sources (narrative, diplomatic, cartographic) and archaeological finds.


Petr Charvát

The emergence of the Bohemian state is a long-discussed topic with many obscure points. Though significant progress has been reached in recent decades, the interpretations proposed are far from satisfactory. Important new information is still awaiting inclusion in explanatory schemes. In addition to that, treatises on the origins of Bohemian state have frequently failed to take account of studies of scholars from abroad. Taking account of all this, the author proposes a fresh look on some of the essential data provided by history, archaeology, art history and cultural or social anthropology. What emerges is a nuanced perspective of the rising of one of central Europe´s first states, attempting to avoid the pitfalls to which traditional research has been falling, with emphasis on a broad scope of vision taking account of research results reached far and wide.

The Middle Ages between the Eastern Alps and the Northern Adriatic

Select Papers on Slovene Historiography and Medieval History


Peter Štih

The book deals with the Slovene historiography and history of the Slovene and neighbouring territories in the Middle Ages. It is the first work of its kind published in English. It thus makes the medieval history of this part of Europe and some of its fundamental problems accessible to the widest range of researchers. It contains 18 papers which comply with modern methodological approaches and current trends in historiography and it puts the validity and usefulness of these methods to the test in the case of “Slovene” material and examples. The first part of the book critically examines Slovene historiography, which largely viewed the Middle Ages from a national angle. The second part is dedicated to early medieval history, focussing on issues of Slavic ethnogeneses, society, and political structures. The third part addresses chapters from the history of the Church, the nobility, and the formation of Länder, and also discusses the famous enthronement of the Carinthian dukes.

Nationalism from the Left

The Bulgarian Communist Party during the Second World War and the Early Post-War Years


Yannis Sygkelos

'Nationalism from the Left' analyses the case of the BCP as a Marxist institution which increasingly adopted and adapted nationalism; it contributes to the examination of the relatively underresearched field of communist national propaganda, as only in the last decade, have researchers become interested in this topic. It explains the reasons for this and provides evidence of the Party’s nationalism across a number of spheres of political life: domestic and foreign policy, school text books, historiography, festivities and symbols. Thus, the Marxist nationalist discourse of the BCP was all-encompassing. In contrast to many works on national communist parties, 'Nationalism from the Left' identifies many international parallels and presents an historical introduction to the reconciliation of Marxism and nationalism.

The Birth of a Stereotype

Polish Rulers and their Country in German Writings c. 1000 A.D.


Andrzej Pleszczynski

In early Medieval Western Europe intellectuals were used to indicate the external location of Slavic countries, as though outside civilization, with the term ‘the North’. The problem did not only concern nomenclature. The stereotype associated with ‘the North’ pointed at the obvious cold weather, but also the primeval nature of the land and people. This study shows the detailed image of Poland created by German authors in the earliest period of existence of the Piast state (963-1034). An important aim of this work was also to identify the wider context of written opinions. Another purpose was to gather information illustrating actions taken by the Polish rulers aimed at creating an image of themselves as civilized men and true Christians.

Lenin Rediscovered

What Is to Be Done? in Context


Lars T. Lih

Lenin’s What is to Be Done? (1902) has long been seen as the founding document of a 'party of a new type'. For some, it provided a model of ‘vanguard party’ that was the essence of Bolshevism, for others it manifested Lenin’s élitist and manipulatory attitude towards the workers.
This substantial new commentary, based on contemporary Russian- and German-language sources, provides hitherto unavailable contextual information that undermines these views and shows how Lenin's argument rests squarely on an optimistic confidence in the workers' revolutionary inclinations and on his admiration of German Social Democracy in particular. Lenin's outlook cannot be understood, Lih claims here, outside the context of international Social Democracy, the disputes within Russian Social Democracy and the institutions of the revolutionary underground.
The new translation focuses attention on hard-to-translate key terms. This study raises new and unsettling questions about the legacy of Marx, Bolshevism as a historical force, and the course of Soviet history, but, most of all, it will revolutionise the conventional interpretations of Lenin.

The Battle of Kulikovo Refought

“The First National Feat”


Kati M.J. Parppei

The battle of Kulikovo, fought between Muscovite and Tatar troops in 1380, has been considered as a crucial turning point in the national history of Russia. In The Battle of Kulikovo Refought Kati Parppei examines the layers of contemporary meanings attached to the event from the Middle Ages to the present, following the formation and establishment of the collective images and perceptions concerning the battle.

By utilizing a diverse set of sources she shows that the present image of the medieval battle was created in retrospect from the 15th century onwards by interpolating, interpreting and simplifying. The narrative themes emphasizing internal unity have been applicable to practically any political situation over the centuries, especially to ones involving external threat.


Andrew Savchenko

Belarus is known as “the last dictatorship of Europe”, yet its president enjoys public support. Its economy remains largely Soviet, yet exhibits high growth rates. Belarus styles itself as a European country yet clings to Russia as the only ally. The book explains these paradoxes by delving into history of Belarusian national institutions, including civil society, and the state.

The book starts with an analysis of Belarusian national development from the time of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania to the short-lived Belarusian People’s Republic of 1918. The discussion turns to the crucial interwar period, when all national institutions of modern Belarus had taken shape. Belarus’s surprising ability to cope with post-Soviet economic and geopolitical changes is discussed in the final chapter.