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Human Rights and Empire

We Are Pleased to Announce the Publication of the Book The Rights of the Individual and Empire, with an Introduction and Commentary by Oleg Budnitskii.

Human Rights and Empire

The publishing house Political Encyclopedia has just released a book comprised of the correspondence between V.A. Maklakov and M.A. Aldanov, which was prepared by the director of the Center Oleg Budnitskii.
 
The volume contains the correspondence that passed between Vasilii Maklakov (1869-1957) and Mark Aldanov (1886-1957). Maklakov was a lawyer, a member of the Constitutional Democrats’ Central Committee, a deputy of 2-4 State Dumas, the ambassador of the Provisional Government in France, and finally the head of the Office of Russian Refugee Affairs in Paris. During the period between 1929 and 1957, Aldanov was one of the most popular Russian émigré writers in the world. Their correspondence is kept in the archives of the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, as well as in the Bakhmeteff Archive at Columbia University. This correspondence bears witness to the debates that took place among Russian immigrants regarding questions about their relationship to Soviet power, the activities of the Vlasovites and the general problems of collaborationism, the work of different post-war, political emigrant organizations, and the activities of the most prominent Russians living in emigration, including I.A. Bunin, A.F. Kerenskii, S.P. Mel’gunov, B.I. Nikolaevskii, and many others. Maklakov and Aldanov frequently discussed the problem of the relationship between the rights of the individual and the state. This discussion about “individual rights and empire,” was a debate about the randomness and logic of history, and as such it acquired the characteristics of a particular genre of historical fiction. The correspondence is valuable not only as a superb primary source of Russian twentieth century political thought, but also as a primary source of the history and culture of Russian emigration and the history of Russian literature. The correspondence is a shining example of the epistolary genre. The publication will be useful to teachers and researchers of twentieth century literature, to their students, and will also be of interest to a much broader circle of readers.