This issue of NZ is not a thematic one in a strict sense. Nevertheless, nearly all its articles are devoted to the different aspects of history and historiography. The first section - To Document a History in USSR - contains texts which illustrate the basic roles of three main pillars of so-called “Soviet historiography” including Soviet authorities, historians and readers. The dialogue of Nikolai Mitrokhin and Vsevolod Ivanov, high-ranking Communist “apparatchik”, uncovers the secret mechanics of CPSU control on historical science in USSR. Aleksandr Chudinov vividly describes how events of the French Revolution transcended the limits of historiography and became the marks of the biography of the Soviet historians. The prominent Russian historian Pavel Uvarov in his conversation with NZ editor Kirill Kobrin takes an attempt to define the general logic, something like “the essence of Sovietness” of the Soviet historiography. And Dina Hapaeva and Nikolai Koposov analyze how the Soviet falsification of the Russian history influences the historical consciousness of contemporary Russians.
The second and third sections of the issue are dedicated to the historical background and current status of republican idea. Its historical aspects are considered by Nikolai Rubinstein (“Machiavelli and Republicanism in Florence”), Aleksandr Troyanovsky (“Novgorod the Great: Material World of the Medieval Republic”), Victor Kaplun ( “To live as Horatius or to Die as Cato: the Tradition of Civic Republicanism in Russia”), Sergei Yarov ( “Was the Soviet Union a Republican State?”). Theoretical nuances of the formation, evolution and current functioning of republican institutions are discussed by Oleg Harkhordin ( “Can We Interpret Res publica in Material Terms?”), Evgeni Roschin ( “Throwing Lots as an Egalitarian Way of Election”), Vadim Volkov ( “Republic as a Security Contract”). The introductory article ( “Res publica: the Revival of Interest”) precedes the both sections.
The topic of republicanism is developed by Dilorom Akhmedzhanova in Case Study section. Her article “ Condominiums in Russia from the Point of Republican Theory” as well as the article “ Common and Social Phenomena of a Modern City” by Olga Kalacheva deal with various aspects of modern city existence - with the “order of things”, as Michel Foucault put it.
Igor Smirnov considers the historical and philosophical content of the notion “reaction” in Culture of Politics section, and Dmitri Golynko-Volfson analyzes the art-project “I believe” as a sign of radical re-conceptualization of religion and religious faith in contemporary art in Politics of Culture section.
Also the issue contains the columns of our permanent columnists: Aleksandr Kustarev, Evgeny Saburov, and Aleksei Levinson. It is concluded by reviews of the Russian intellectual magazines prepared by Vyacheslav Morozov and Petr Rezvyh, and New Books section which is more extensive than usual.