About the author: Dr. Daniel Rancour-Laferriere is Professor of Russian an Director of the Russian Program at the University of California in Davis. He is the author of numerous books and articles on Russian culture, most recently The Slave Soul of Russia: Moral Masochism and the Cult of Suffering (New York University Press, 1995) and Tolstoy on the Couch: Misogyny, Masochism and the Absent Mother (MacMillan, 1998).2000 0-7734-7671-7
Ethnic Russians, like any other nation, constitute what Benedict Anderson terms an ‘imagined community.’ How do Russians ‘imagine’ Russia, now and for the past three centuries? This study sheds new light on this and other ‘cursed’ questions of Russian history (nationalism, anti-Semitism, Orthodox Christianity and ethnic ‘others’; Russian nationalists’ reaction to NATO actions in Kosovo). Recent empirical work by the Russian ethnopsychologists Leokadiia Drobizheva and Zinaida Sikevich is brought to bear on the topic of ethnic conflict in today’s Russia. Russian identity itself is viewed in the light of Donald Winnicott’s concept of ‘transitional object.’ Conversations with Russian psychoanalysts are presented.
“The book is divided into two parts, each rich in insight and information: ‘The Russian Self’ (who the Russians think they are); and ‘The Russian Other’ (what they think concerning non-Russians). Readers interested in the excesses of Russian nationalism will not be disappointed, but essentially this fascinating book is optimistic. . . . the more readers already know about Russia, the more Rancour-Laferriere will reward them; so this book is especially appropriate for advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and professors.” – CHOICE
“. . . a scrupulous and fearless inquiry into on of the most painful problems of contemporary Russia – Russian nationalism. . . . Meticulously researched, highly original in approach, it makes a significant contribution to the field of Russian studies. It is an important books for anyone who is interested in political and cultural life of today’s Russia. I could see a whole score of specialists in other fields – ethnic studies, political science, cultural history, literature, sociology, cultural anthropology, etc, - who will benefit from this fine and penetrating study.” – Dr. Emil A. Draitser
“Always provocative and thoroughly grounded in the latest scholarship of a variety of disciplines (including sociology, history, literary study, political science, and applied psychoanalysis), Rancour-Laferriere’s book is must reading for anyone studying or teaching about Russia. . . . A provocative interdisciplinary book with bold theses and persuasive arguments. It is bound to alter your perspective on the complex subject of Russian nationalism. . . . The topics include ethnic identity, nationalism, national awareness, religious identity and related issues such as anti-Semitism, Eurasianism, ethnic hatred, expansionism, ethnic paranoia, and xenophobia. The effectiveness of this study is further underscored by the author’s successful effort to utilize a variety of relevant disciplines.” – Dr. George Gutsche