The Socialist Way of Life in Siberia presents the dramatic late twentieth century transformation in the everyday lives of the Buryats, a Mongolian people who live in Siberian Russia. The book challenges the common perception that the process of modernization during the later Soviet period created national assertiveness rather than assimilation or support for the state. The author examines the central question of "being a Buryat" and "being a successful Buryat" in the socio-political structures of the Tsarist Russian Empire, later during Socialism and in present-day Russia. The Buryats and especially the intellectual elite of the Buryats are treated as a group which - due to their historical and cultural roots and capability (determined also historically) became an integral and efficient part of the Russian administrative and cultural life.By 1991, the Buryats were overrepresented in nearly every profession in their autonomous republic despite the fact that they made up only around 25 percent of its population..
Melissa Chakars is assistant professor Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia
Notes on Transliteration and Translation Acknowledgements Introduction: Modernization and Soviet Success Institutions and the Culture of Progress Buryat Exceptionalism and Advancement Outline of Chapter Chapter One: The Buryats of Siberia: From Imperial Russia to the Soviet State The Mongols of Siberia and Russian Expansion Buddhism in Buryatia The Buryats and the Imperial Government Buryat Intellectual and Political Activity The Civil War and the Competition over Siberi Autonomy and Korenizatsiia Chapter Two: Stalinism in Buryatia Collectivization and the End of Nomadism Terrorizing and Purging the Buryat Elite Territorial Changes to Divide the Buryats Laying the Foundations for a New Culture Industrial Immigrants Chapter Three: The New BuryatsThe Postwar Buryat Migration Buryat Professionals Buryat Women Political Leadership Chapter Four: Education for Change Building Soviet Education in Eastern Siberia Buryat National SchoolsTeaching Progress and the Friendship of NationsTeachers and Parents Education and High Culture for Young and Old Alike Chapter Five: Buryat Literature for a New Society Producing High Culture through LiteratureGeser: The Story of a National Epic Getting it Right: Censorship and Acceptable NarrativesThe Decline of Buryat Language Publishing and Literature Chapter Six: A Means to Modernity: Newspapers, Radio, and TelevisionThe Local Press in Buryat and RussianThe Development of Broadcast MediaRadio and Television Programming Chapter Seven: Reform, But What Kind?Glasnost and the Buryat National Movement, 1986-1989The Competition Heats Up, 1990 The Buryats and the End of the USSR, 1991 Conclusion Bibliography