Putin's Russia and the Falsification of History: Reasserting Control over the Past (Paperback)
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This book provides a bold examination of the political use of history in contemporary Russia. Anton Weiss-Wendt argues that history is yet another discipline misappropriated by the Kremlin for the purpose of rallying the population. He explains how, since the pro-democracy protests in 2011-12, the Russian government has hamstrung independent research and aligned state institutions in the promotion of militant patriotism. The entire state machinery has been mobilized to construe a single, glorious historical narrative with the focus on Soviet victory over Nazi Germany.
Putin's Russia and the Falsification of History examines the intricate networks in Russia that engage in "historymaking." Whether it is the Holocaust or Soviet mass terror, Tsars or Stalin, the regime promotes a syncretic interpretation of Russian history that supports the notion of a strong state and authoritarian rule. That interpretation finds its way into new monuments, exhibitions, and quasi-professional associations. In addition to administrative measures of control, the Russian state has been using the penal code to censor critical perspectives on history, typically advanced by individuals who also happen to call for a political change in Russia.
This powerful book shows how history is increasingly becoming an element of political technology in Russia, with the systematic destruction of independent institutions setting the very future of History as an academic discipline in Russia in doubt.
About the Author
Anton Weiss-Wendt is Research Professor at the Norwegian Center for Holocaust and Minority Studies, Norway. His recent publications include A Rhetorical Crime: Genocide in the Geopolitical Discourse of the Cold War (2018) and The Soviet Union and the Gutting of the UN Genocide Convention (2017).