Sunday, August 06, 2006

Chechens and Navajos

One thing that the magic of Google book search lets you do is find citations to yourself. For more than two years now I have been trying to keep a current list of all the publications that cite my work. I wish I could say I came up with the idea, but it was suggested to me by Mari-Ann Kelam. The list has grown to several pages. Today it just grew by two more entries.

My first book, The Stalinist Penal System will be 10 years old next year. It is still, however, cited fairly frequently in scholarly literature. I just found a citation for it from two years ago. Emma Gilligan, Defending Human Rights in Russia: Sergei Kovalyov, Dissident and Human Rights Commissioner, 1969-96 (London: Routledge, 2004) has an end note to my book. I think the fact that my work is still cited after so many years is a really good sign.

My second book, Ethnic Cleansing in the USSR, 1937-1949 (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1999) seems to get cited more frequently. I recently found a very interesting book that cites my chapter on the Chechens and Ingush extensively. The book is Margaret Ziolkowski, Alien Visions: The Chechens and Navajos in Russian and American Literature (University of Delware Press, 2005). This book quotes me at least half a dozen times. I am not exactly sure of the exact number since out of the three pages of end notes with citations to my book Google only lets me view two of them. These two pages cite my book five times. Aside from the fact this book cites me, I think the concept of comparing Soviet and American victims of ethnic cleansing is fascinating.

Both the ethnic cleansing of the Navajos and the Chechens took place during "Good Wars" at the hands of the "Good Guys." The Union Army marched the Navajos to Bosque Redondo during the Civil War and the USSR deported the Chechens to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan while fighting against Nazi Germany in the course of World War II. Since the victors write history there is of course very little published on either of these atrocities compared to Southern slavery and the Holocaust. I am quite sure that Ziolkowski's book is the first lengthy study comparing one of Stalin's national deportations with the earlier removal of Native Americans from their homelands. I like the research premise so I am going to try and find a copy of the book. When I do I will put a review of it up here.

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