Author: V. MINAYEV, D. SHELESTOV
M., ROSSPEN., 1999, 454 pp.
THE BOOK UNDER REVIEW was written by the famous Russian historian Academician Yu.A. Polyakov. It includes a number of articles written and published in different years on crucial problem of Russian history, reminiscences about some significant events, memoirs about several historians. Such combination in its totality gives an interesting and peculiar picture of our historical science for the last years.
The author regards the struggle of centrifugal and centripetal forces as the pivot of Russian history. He shows that throughout centuries Russia has been a "multi-centered, superconglomerate" country that inevitably engendered the appearance of different (primarily national) forces having sometimes opposite goals. The author examines the struggle of tendencies as applied to different periods "determining the adequate changes in the placing of acting forces" which exerted "great, sometimes decisive influence on the whole life of Russia".
In the section "The State and Demography in the USSR" Polyakov characterizes the forms of the influence of the Soviet state on demographic processes. The level of this influence has sharply grown since the beginning of the 30s. The speeded up industrial construction led to the cardinal change of the ratio of urban and rural population. The collectivization also greatly influenced the demographic situation.
Polyakov draws an important conclusion: "the deportation of considerable masses of people became a serious factor of the demographic situation by itself". Unfortunately, the author regards this problem only till 1939. One should agree with him that the "political repressions of the 30s due to their scale greatly influenced the demographic situation".
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