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R. G. Skrynnikov: The Historian and the World – the World of the Historian (An Attempt at Reconstruction)

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image of Canadian-American Slavic Studies

It is time to study the man himself and not just his work. This brief study would like to sketch out this problem. To understand Ruslan Skrynnikov and his work, we must have a clear picture of Soviet history writing. It is a peculiar feature of his life and career that he had to struggle for acceptance and recognition even within his own restricted world. Skrynnikov’s works of the 1960s were still framed by the determinative Engelsian conception of centralization. Ruslan Grigor’evich followed the mainstream path of Soviet medievalists until the fall of Soviet regime, though Soviet historiography would prove to be his Procrustean bed; in the 1990s he experimented with breaking free of it. We have no reason to ignore the scholarly ethos in Skrynnikov’s new books, and his efforts to discover democratic values in the Russian past. The scholarship of Ruslan Skrynnikov has assumed a permanent place in world historiography. A. S. Lappo-Danilevsky, B. A. Romanov, R. G. Skrynnikov: three generations, one school, The Petersburg-Leningrad school of Russian-Soviet historiography.

Affiliations: 1: The University of ELTE, Budapest, Hungary


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