Laboratory of Socialist Development: Cold War Politics and Decolonization in Soviet Tajikistan
Published by: Cornell University Press
Imprint: Cornell University Press
Published: November 2021
Imprint: Cornell University Press
Page Count: 336 Pages
Illustrations: 16 b&w halftones
Dimensions: 5.90 x 8.90
336 Pages, 5.90 x 8.90 x 0.90 in, 16 b&w halftones
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Artemy Kalinovsky?s Laboratory of Socialist Development investigates the Soviet effort to make promises of decolonization a reality by looking at the politics and practices of economic development in central Asia between World War II and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Focusing on the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic, Kalinovsky places the Soviet development of central Asia in a global context.
Connecting high politics and intellectual debates with the life histories and experiences of peasants, workers, scholars, and engineers, Laboratory of Socialist Development shows how these men and women negotiated Soviet economic and cultural projects in the decades following Stalin?s death. Kalinovsky?s book investigates how people experienced new cities, the transformation of rural life, and the building of the world?s tallest dam. Kalinovsky connects these local and individual moments to the broader context of the Cold War, shedding new light on how paradigms of development change over time. Throughout the book, he offers comparisons with experiences in countries such as India, Iran, and Afghanistan, and considers the role of intermediaries who went to those countries as part of the Soviet effort to spread its vision of modernity to the postcolonial world.
Laboratory of Socialist Development offers a new way to think about the post-war Soviet Union, the relationship between Moscow and its internal periphery, and the interaction between Cold War politics and domestic development. Kalinovsky?s innovative research pushes readers to consider the similarities between socialist development and its more familiar capitalist version.
"Laboratory of Socialist Development grapples with how universal ideas were negotiated locally and ultimately reshaped. Throughout the book, Kalinovsky demonstrates how the modernizing paradigm changed, as large-scale investment failed to yield the hoped for result for both European and Soviet modernizers, who sought to recreate European style modernity in the Third World and Central Asia."Europe Now
"Laboratory of Socialist Development leaves a certain nostaliga for the more hopeful times of the Soviet 1960s and early 1970s. The book's mediations are wide-ranging and fascinating."Russian Review
"This book is not only highly informative to readers familiar with the Soviet realm, but its references to 'modernisation' and 'development' projects around the world also make the book relevant to readers not familiar with the context of Tajikistan. Kalinovsky offers a very rich and multidimensional account of the way in which Tajikistan was developed under Soviet rule."Inner Asia
"A pleasure to read, and it has given me the rare opportunity to write a review in which praise does not have to be accompanied by criticism. Scholars in several different fields will likewise read this book with profit."Central Asian Affairs
"A towering achievement. It is by far the best existing study of the Soviet approach to development at home."H-Diplo
"Historians in many fields will appreciate the strength of this book for Kalinovsky's respect for oral histories and memoirs, his close attention to international and domestic political intrigues, and his concern with the less closely studied latter half of the Soviet era in Central Asia... This is a book I would be pleased to assign in any level of undergraduate and graduate history class."American Historical Review
"Its major merit [is] to inscribe Central Asian and Soviet history into the broader post-war and post-colonial history of development. It will provide inspiration and food for thought for further considerations about what socialist development was... Besides, the book provides the first coherent political, social, and intellectual history of Soviet Tajikistan and is thus an important contribution to Central Asian studies."Slavic Review
- Davis Center Book Prize in Political and Social Studies
- Ed A. Hewett Book Prize