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A little corner of freedom [electronic resource] : Russian nature protection from Stalin to Gorbachëv /
Douglas R. Weiner.
imprint
Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, c1999.
description
xiv, 556 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0520213971 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, c1999.
isbn
0520213971 (cloth : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
7979852
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 451-527) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"The finest, most provocative, most scholarly, and most important study on Russia I have read in a long time. But it is much more significant than just a contribution to Russian studies; it is a major addition to the burgeoning field of environmental studies worldwide, one that adds whole new dimensions to our understanding of ecology and environmentalism."--Loren Graham, author ofScience and the Soviet Social Order
Flap Copy
"The finest, most provocative, most scholarly, and most important study on Russia I have read in a long time. But it is much more significant than just a contribution to Russian studies; it is a major addition to the burgeoning field of environmental studies worldwide, one that adds whole new dimensions to our understanding of ecology and environmentalism."--Loren Graham, author of Science and the Soviet Social Order
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1999-09:
Weiner provides a thorough, historical analysis of nature protection in Russia. In this sequel to his Models of Nature: Ecology, Conservation, and Cultural Revolution in Soviet Russia (CH, Oct'88), Weiner has completed an exhaustive study of the philosophical struggle to define, create, and maintain the former Soviet Union's unique, strict nature preserves (zapovedniki). Throughout the history, the author analyzes the actions and intentions of Soviet natural resource management agencies, nature protection societies, student activist groups, and the scientific community. He utilized government publications, conference proceedings, interviews, and recently available archival documents to describe the resolve of the scientific community (particularly field biologists and ecologists) to protect a corner of nature for scientific research. The most remarkable aspect of this study is the preponderance of evidence that some citizens actively opposed the Soviet regime's plans for development across decades--even during the dark days of Stalin. This well-written book is essential for those who are interested in the history and roots of Russian conservation and environmentalism, zapovedniki, and ". . . nature protection as a cultural institution functioning in very specific contexts of space, time and political economy. . . ." Graduate students through professionals. D. Ostergren; West Virginia University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 1999
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
While researching Russia's historical efforts to protect nature, Douglas Weiner unearthed unexpected findings: a trail of documents that raised fundamental questions about the Soviet political system. These surprising documents attested to the unlikely survival of a critical-minded, scientist-led movement through the Stalin years and beyond. It appeared that, within scientific societies, alternative visions of land use, resrouce exploitation, habitat protection, and development were sustained and even publicly advocated. In sharp contrast to known Soviet practices, these scientific societies prided themselves on their traditions of free elections, foreign contacts, and a pre-revolutionary heritage. Weiner portrays nature protection activists not as do-or-die resisters to the system, nor as inoffensive do-gooders. Rather, they took advantage of an unpoliced realm of speech and activity and of the patronage by middle-level Soviet officials to struggle for a softer path to development. In the process, they defended independent social and professional identities in the face of a system that sought to impose official models of behavior, ethics, and identity for all. Written in a lively style, this absorbing story tells for the first time how organized participation in nature protection provided an arena for affirming and perpetuating self-generated social identities in the USSR and preserving a counterculture whose legacy survives today.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements
Introduction
Environmental Activism and Social Identity
Archipelago of Freedom
The Road to "Liquidation": Conservation in the Postwar Years
Zapovedniki in Peril, 1948-1950
Liquidation: The Second Phase, 1950
The Deluge, 1951
In the Throes of Crisis: VOOP in Stalin's Last Years
Death and Purgatory
VOOP after Stalin: Survival and Decay
Resurrection
A Time to Build
A Time to Meet
More Trouble in Paradise: Crises of Zapovedniki in teh Krushchev Era
Student Movements: Catalysts for New Activism
Three Men in a Boat: VOOP in the early 1960s
Storm over Baikal
Science Doesn't Stand Still
Environmental Struggles in the Era of Stagnation
Enviromental Activism under Gorbachev
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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