Ideologies of Race: Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union in Global Context

David Rainbow

Language: English

Published: Oct 17, 2019


Is the concept of "race" applicable to Russia and the Soviet Union? Citing the idea of Russian exceptionalism, many would argue that in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, while nationalities mattered, race did not. Others insist that race mattered no less in Russia than it did for European neighbours and countries overseas. These conflicting notions have made it difficult to understand rising racial tensions in Russian and Eurasian societies in recent years. A collection of new studies that reevaluate the meaning of race in Russia and the Soviet Union, Ideologies of Race brings together historians, literary scholars, and anthropologists of Russia, the Soviet Union, Western Europe, the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America. The essays shift the principle question from whether race meant the same thing in the region as it did in the "classic" racialized regimes such as Nazi Germany and the United States, to how race worked in Russia and the Soviet Union during various periods in time. Approaching race as an ideology, this book illuminates the complicated and sometimes contradictory intersection between ideas about race and racializing practices. An essential reminder of the tensions and biases that have had a direct and lasting impact on Russia, Ideologies of Race yields crucial insights into the global history of race and its ongoing effects in the contemporary world.