I found another four jobs to apply to today. So I started tackling the cover letter in a serious manner. I have more on it in the post down below. I did not make any progress on how to address my lack of teaching experience. The only possible way out of this catch-22 I can see is if I get a post-doc which has a teaching component. I found one today, but I suspect the ideological black list problem even greater with these positions. My understanding is that the selection of post-docs is even more subjective than assistant professors.
I finally got some work done on one of the encyclopedia articles. I wrote half of the article on Ukraine. I will finish it up in the next couple of days and e-mail it to the editor. After that I will have two left to write. These short general articles are pretty easy to write.
I wrote up to page 70 in Catherine's Grandchildren. Although for a while I thought I was not going to be able to get the file open on my other lap top. That would have meant the loss of 13 pages of text, a week's worth of pretending to work. Fortunately, I did get it to open and did save it to a floppy disk. I think I am also going to load it onto this laptop and save a copy in my e-mail. I hate it when technology conspires against me. Like academia I have no understanding how it works so I am completely at its mercy.
What I did write today on Catherine's Grandchildren, however, was quite interesting. The Volga German ASSR had its own limited foreign policy. Part of this consisted of economic and cultural exchanges with Weimar Germany. But, a more interesting part was its active encouragement of recent emigrants to return. In a strange replay of Catherine II's original recruitment of German settlers to the Volga, the Volga German ASSR offerred free land to returning emigres. They also had agents in Germany and the US working on persuading recent refugees to return just as the Russian Empire had touts in Central Europe. It does not appear that they persuaded many people to return. Russian-German migration out of the USSR greatly exceeded return migration during the 1920s. Still it is a fascinating little episode. One of the few cases in which a national territory in the USSR received permission from Moscow to conduct its own foreign operations.