|About the Book|
OUTLINES OF RUSSIAN CULTUREBy PAUL MILIUKOVAUTHORS PREFACE SOME five and thirty years ago in the first book of mine to be published in the United States, I tried to give American readers a clearer understanding of Russia and of Russian problemsMoreOUTLINES OF RUSSIAN CULTUREBy PAUL MILIUKOVAUTHORS PREFACE SOME five and thirty years ago in the first book of mine to be published in the United States, I tried to give American readers a clearer understanding of Russia and of Russian problems through an analysis of the long evolution that had produced them. In the present book my method remains the same but how profoundly have things changed in Russia since 1905 The crisis that I then foretold has really come, and with it real revolution. The avowed aim of the victors in the revolution was the obliteration of all of Russias bourgeois past and the found ing of a Russia that would be a fatherland for the toiling masses of the whole world. Lwas not alone in believing that the habitua course of such attempts would be followed again, and that the high ideals and early successes would be greatly modified by the conditions that Ruias past had brought forth. Indeed, in rn second American bookjpublished in 1928 as the new regime reached the end of its first decade, I presented the trend in that light. The today of 1328 Was far from the tomorrow pre dicted in 1918. Actuality hadforced such substantial concessions that the result held few extraordinary revelations. But there was no admitted surrender. There were further exer tions, and the sacrifice of more millions of lives. Another dozen years has elapsed, and where are we now? The revolutionary cycle has apparently reached its predestined end. Under the new name of the Union of Soviet Socialist Re publics, Russia is still therea Russia even more centralized and ruled more severely than ever under the ancien rgimc but still Russia, The new Union is heir to all the evils o the old bureauc racy, evils that have been exaggerated while its few virtues have been eliminated. Far from international, Russian communism Russia and te Crisis 1905. has been restricted within its national borders and has followed a pattern that, whatever else it may be, is certainly not socialistic The only description, good or bad, that can be applied to Rus sian foreign policy is nationalistic imperialism. It was quite con sistent with this policy when the rulers of Russia issued orders that the communist manuals of history were to be rewritten to include the traditional structure of Russian history with the saints and heroes of the olden days. The link with the past was officially recognized. But it was only with the remote past, and between that past and the communist present there lay a period still inacceptable to the present rulers of Russiathe intermediate period of Russian bourgeois civilization. For the educated class that had made that civilization and had nurtured its growth in the last two or three centuries had been mercilessly destroyed in the storm, and as yet no other had taken its place. So the ascending spirals of evolution suffered a break, and the wit and wisdom of the old literature was not carried forward. The result was a lowering of the stand ards of culture. As in a geological cataclysm, lower strata were forced up to displace the higher.