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Regular version of the site

Tragedy of the Parliamentary Democracy in the 20th cent.: January Anniversaries in the Richard Stites Memorial Historical Library

The Centre for Historical Research and the HSE in St Petersburg Bachelor's Programme 'History' carry on the joint students' project on promoting the Richard Stites Memorial Historical Library

January review, covering the 100th anniversary of the dissolution of the Russian Constituent Assembly and the 75th anniversary of the Nazi seizure of power in Germany, by Sergei Baigushev & Daniil Korchagin:

Всероссийское учредительное собрание. Одесса, 1918 (Репринт 1991)
Signature: 947.08 В85

A real treasure from the personal library of Richard Stites ' is a unique book of  1918, which called "Russian constituent Assembly". It is not only a monument of history, but also a storehouse of knowledge about the socio-political hostility and struggle of the participants. The book tells about the constituent Assembly from within, about all of its intricacies, peculiarities, and most importantly – about the political strife between the different parties. A feature of the book is that it was written by contemporaries and participants of the constituent Assembly, which explains the literal transmission of each replica and the reaction of participants. It should be noted that "Russian constituent Assembly" is responsible for many issues associated with failure and complete failure of the activities of the meeting.

Jesse D. Clarkson. A History of Russia. New York, 1961.
Signature: 947 C59

“History of Russia” by Jesse Clarkson is a new look at the historical chronology and interpretation of the main Russian historical facts.  An important element of his book is informative.  Clarkson was able to explore all the uniqueness of the history of Russia, not missing out on important events.  It should be noted that the book has unique narrative and descriptive elements, and the view of the American scholar gives the book a cultural uniqueness.  It is especially interesting to read the history of Clarkson in comparison with Russian books about the history of Russia.  This will allow you to gather the puzzle piece of the unique history of Russia as accurately as possible.


Martin McCauley. The Soviet Union Since 1917. Longman history of Russia, 2006.
Signature: 947.08 M12

"The Soviet Union since 1917" by Martin McCauley is a great historical work about the rise of the communist regime in Russia.  The author has reflected all aspects of the history of Russia since 1917, adding interesting personal comments.  The book features a unique view of the author on communism in Russia. He compares it with other regimes and expresses his personal opinion, based on the historical and cultural peculiarities of his worldview.  It is worth noting that the author passed the history of the founding meeting of 1918 particularly well and interestingly and he does not criticize the incapacity of the state body, but expresses the reasons for his failure.


Michael T. Florinsky. Russia: A Short History. New York, 1964.
Signature: 947 F69

"Russia. A Brief History" of Michael Florinsky is a perfect example of how to survey the unique history of Russia in 6 chapters.  It is worth noting that Florinsky was able to avoid inconsistencies and accurately reflect the specifics of Russian history.  This book can serve not only as an excellent source of knowledge, but also as a tool for writing a scientific work on the history of Russia.  Particularly interesting Michel writes about the history of the constituent assembly and its cultural and social characteristics.


January 30, 1933, the German president Paul von Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler as Reichskanzler. Ever since that day is considered to be the moment that the Nazis took over the power. That day was the turning point not only in the German history, but in the global history as well.



Мифы и заблуждения в изучении истории национализма. Сб. ст. под. ред. А. Семенова, И. Герасимова, М. Могильнер. М.: Новое издательство, 2010.

The study of nationalism for more than two hundred years, and, as usual, around this concept arose a lot of errors, myths and all that can distort it.  In this book, the anthology presents works on the theory of nationalism and imperialism, their types, purpose, application. Also, there are six most popular prejudices about nationalism, which, according to the author, are very well criticized, which turns out to be true, since in every article,  and very thoroughly understands every delusion, and they are superimposed on real examples that differ, as from the most well-known, such as Nazi Germany, and not very well known, for example, like India,  the arguments are even more convincing. It should also be noted that everything is written in a fairly understandable language, and this "selection" of scientific papers can be understood by almost everyone. It is   very useful and interesting book for those who seriously decided to tackle this topic or simply learn more about it.




Margarette Buber-Neuman. Under Two Dictators: Prisoner of Stalin and Hitler. Pimlico, 2009.
Signature: 365 B92

This book is an autobiography and a clear example that politics is a dirty business, and ordinary citizens have always been pawns in the games of the powerful.  The author and, in combination, the main heroine of this work, Margaret Buber - Newman, was a German citizen, an activist who did not support Nazi policies, which forced her to flee the country when Hitler became German Chancellor in 1933.  Salvation, she thought, was in the USSR, but on arrival she was sent to a Soviet concentration camp, where she spent almost 6 years, but the allied treaty with the Nazi Germany returned her to her homeland, but already to a German camp. Her story abounds with details, feelings, fear, the whole spectrum of feelings of an abandoned person, betrayed by both,their country and those whom it was thought possible to hope for.  Very strong artistic and historical work, which also gives a historical picture of the political situation in Europe of that time.


Willibald Steinmetz. Political Languages in the Age of Extremes. London, 2012.
Signature: -

This book tells about different types of political and legal practices in the countries of the 20th century, including the USSR, Nazi Germany, Austria, and Britain.  It is not enough to have power, it must also be retained and guarded, as is clearly shown in the work of the German historian and political scientist Willibald Steinmetz.  He analyzes the system of justice, propaganda, and using not just naked facts, but by citing and analyzing the actual precedents that existed: criminal trials, strikes, courts, and so on. Everything went from lawful methods to forgery, bribery, fraudulent documents, threats, violence.  This book is quite a visual and useful manual, both for the historian and for the lawyer.

Nationalism in the Eastern Europe, ed. by Peter F. Sugar and Ivo J. Lederer. Seattle, 1969.
Signature: 320 N26

This book contains 7 independent essays by various authors on the development of the policy of nationalism in the states of Eastern Europe in the early 20th century.  These works are written, with a lot of details in them, so that even a person who is not particularly interested in history, could find them useful for themselves.  Many aspects are touched upon, such as social life,, internal and external economy, including those countries  that were in the "vanguard" of nationalism: fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, describes how  the success of this policy direction in these countries was provoked  "explosion" of the corresponding moods and all that is needed if the reader wants to know more about the different types of this ideology.