Northern Illinois University Press

From Empire to Eurasia

Politics, Scholarship, and Ideology in Russian Eurasianism, 1920's–1930's

Sergey Glebov

"Through careful and insightful analysis of the lives and ideas of these Eurasianists, Glebov provides new perspectives on the Russian, European, and Asian influences that informed their thinking, how they argued over concepts, and how they dealt with the continuing existence of the Soviet state and, ultimately, fell apart. . . . Highly recommended." —CHOICE

“This book is a long-awaited culmination of several years of articles and, most recently, a Russianlanguage collection of annotated documents on the history of one of the most fascinating intellectual movements to emerge from the Russian postrevolutionary emigration. The tragic conclusion to Glebov’s story reads like a genuine tale of espionage.”—Mark von Hagen, coeditor of The Empire and Nationalism at War

The Eurasianist movement was launched in the 1920s by a group of young Russian émigrés who had recently emerged from years of fighting and destruction. Drawing on the cultural fermentation of Russian modernism in the arts and literature, as well as in politics and scholarship, the movement sought to reimagine the former imperial space in the wake of Europe’s Great War. Eurasianists argued that as an heir to the nomadic empires of the steppes, Russia should follow a non-European path of development.

In the context of rising Nazi and Soviet powers, the Eurasianists rejected liberal democracy and sought alternatives to Communism and capitalism. Deeply connected to the Russian cultural and scholarly milieus, Eurasianism played a role in the articulation of the structuralist paradigm in interwar Europe. However, the movement was not as homogenous as its name may suggest. Its founders disagreed on a range of issues and argued bitterly about what weight should be accorded to one or another idea in their overall conception of Eurasia.

In this first English language history of the Eurasianist movement based on extensive archival research, Sergey Glebov offers a historically grounded critique of the concept of Eurasia by interrogating the context in which it was first used to describe the former Russian Empire. This definitive study will appeal to students and scholars of Russian and European history and culture.

May 2017,6x9, 238 pp., 2 illus.
ISBN 978-0-87580-750-8
$45.00s Cloth

October 2017,6x9, 238 pp., 2 illus.
ISBN 978-0-87580-781-2
$35.00s Paper

Sergey Glebov is associate professor of history at Smith College and Amherst College. He received his MA from Central European University and his PhD from Rutgers University. He is a founding editor of Ab Imperio: Studies of New Imperial History and Nationalism in the Post-Soviet Space.

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-750-8
Cloth $45.00
ISBN: 978-0-87580-781-2
Paper $35.00