Talk:Soviet historiography/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2


Good book: [1]. Biophys 03:51, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

More cons then pros?

While I welcome the idea of this article (thanks, it's a great idea to write articles about sources, now we can let our readers to decide what is reliable and what is not), the text is not ok. I wholeheartedly agree that the Soviet historiography of the Soviet Union is unreliable, but there were e.g. freaky historians unrelated to propaganda (Lev Gumilev), interesting Byzantine studies in the Soviet Union, some other things, and as such things are not represented here, the article looks just like an attempt to make a point and the point sounds much less credible (true though it is). Colchicum 18:17, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

I started the 'Usefulness for research' section to point out that Soviet historiography has its uses. The section may be renamed, and most certainly it should be expanded.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  18:57, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
It seems that Colchicum is right. Like any other area of Suppressed research in the Soviet Union, Soviet historiography included some valid scientific research and some outright pseudoscience, as Lysenkoism in biology. So, one should include some very clear and specific examples of widely recognized achivements by the Soviet historians, as well as examples of clear falsifications and call the falsificators by name - like Lysenko. Then, this article would be really informative and NPOV.Biophys 20:23, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
What are you talking about? "Wanting the strange"? Balance in article about Soviet Union/Russia started by Baltic editors with Piotrus's contribution? Article which values Rezun's opinion? Be thankful they're not basing this on Lysenko's (mathematician) theory. RJ CG 18:18, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Disagreement over the lead

It appears we have a disagreement over the lead ([2]). I think both versions are fine; perhaps we can agree on some compromise merged variant?-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  04:21, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Lead is supposed to be a quick summary of the topic, suitable for a Popups' preview, for example. Thus, it is important that the lead provide an overview in a concise, yet thorough and interlinked form. Accordingly, all relevant links should be kept; there is no need to compromise the lead by removing them.
The newly fashionable faux concerns of "OR" are quite misplaced, as everything in my lead is thoroughly covered in the full article. Irpen's complaint seems, instead, be based on his POV that Soviet research was "just like any normal research, except sometimes compromised". In case of historiography, this was emphatically not the case, and -- as I already pointed out -- it is already thoroughly covered by WP:RS. Digwuren 16:41, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Please explain what's wrong with the version of the lead that you keep changing contrary to several editors. Be specific and explain how the other version is better too. --Irpen 16:48, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't think that differences between the two versions were significant; I hope that my new version satisfies both parties.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  21:54, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Indeed, your rewritten version is better than what Irpen had pushed. 泥紅蓮凸凹箱 02:13, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
As a side note - Учитесь, дети, Сталина ценить (partial translation here). -- Sander Säde 15:55, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Better Russian sources about thiis story: [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]Biophys 19:04, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Piotrus' version is identical to mine with an addition of the tautologous statement that "Soviet historiography is the historiography produced in the Soviet Union". This is merely bad style and unsourced definition. I am removing it again. --Irpen 19:08, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Piotrus, why are you reinserting the tautology again? Please use talk. --Irpen 19:23, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
I don't care about what you call the tautology one way or another, but please don't remove the bolded title (Soviet historiography).-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  19:26, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

You guys are edit warring over whether to include Soviet historiography in the first sentence or not? That seems odd. Style seems to be that you include the article title in the very first sentence of the article. At least I always do it in my articles. For example, Antonio Bagioli, and Brown truss do. Sometimes I leave the disambig out, or add extra chars as in Christopher Columbus (whaleback) or use the alternate title as in Croton Dam (Michigan) but I had no idea this was at all controversial. Does someone have a ref to where our MOS says not to do this? Thanks. ++Lar: t/c 19:55, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

What history are we talking about?

Soviet historians published articles and books about: (a) history of the Soviet Union (and especially history of the CPSU), and (b) about everything else. It should be clearly stated that the current text of this article is about history of the Soviet period only. History of tsarist Russia and other fields have been also affected by censorship and propaganda (e.g. interpretation of "Ivan the Terrible" ruling), but to a significantly lesser degree.Biophys 15:02, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Would you have citations for that? Marxist ideology twisted a lot of research about non-Soviet era, too.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  15:54, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
No, I could not find anything to support or disprove such position. Maybe you can? Of course, such statements must be sourced. What I found was mostly about some Western misconceptions of Russian history fueled by the Soviet propaganda, which is probably irrelevant here.Biophys 19:04, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
The important thing is that often Soviet historiography was Soviet or Marxist only on the outside. Forewords were written in Soviet argot to by-pass censors. That part usually had little to do with actual content of the research, which had quotes from Marx inserted here and there just to make it look Marxistish. To focus only on this aspect of Soviet historiography is grossly unfair to many great historians who happened to live during Soviet era and their work. M0RD00R 20:22, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Interesting. Citation, please.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  22:16, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Dear Piotrus I'm afraid I have little precious to offer you. You know because no "right" google keyword combination will replace a visit to a library. I know some feel obliged to "write an encyclopedia" on subjects familiar to them only from google 15 minute "researches". But this strong urge to write, better be contained in favour of the good read of a book on relevant matter. In case of Soviet historiography, or better Soviet social and humanitarian sciences in general, works of Soviet historians, philosophers, linguists, etc. such as Aron Gurevich, Merab Mamardashvili, Aleksei Losev etc. would be a good start. Attempts to "write an encyclopedia" by persons not even familiar with those names seems like a bad joke at best to me. Regards. M0RD00R 23:11, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

M0RD00R, you are pointing correctly towards the universal problem that plaques many of the Piotrus articles. --Irpen 02:26, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Irpen, by vice of having made this personal attack towards Piotrus, you're in violation of NPA. 泥紅蓮凸凹箱 03:30, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Please review WP:NPA and explain how my entry violates it. It is merely an assessment on the mode of the user's contributions. I may be wrong in my assessment (I would not be alone in such mistake though) but being skeptical towards a part of one's work is not an attack on the person. --Irpen 04:25, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Let's suppose I admit a mistake, and go on "assessing" Ghirlandajo's (or your) contributions in such a manner next time the topic comes up on WP:AN/I (which will happen soon). What would happen next? 泥紅蓮凸凹箱 19:20, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Weasel and POV

The article's "Criticism" section works almost exclusively with weasel words or weasel-ish passive voice.

Further, it also presents a lot of criticisms of Soviet historiography as fact. It often presents its POV by being very vague and thus making it seem neutral. This really needs to be fixed. It also uses POV terms that should not be used per WP:WTA. Some examples:

  • "Many historians turned virtually into propagandists with academic credentials."
  • "Any non-conformist history had to be erased, and questioning of the official history was illegal." What law exactly forbade what?
  • "Similarly, the tragedies of enforced collectivisation, the wholesale deportations or massacres of small nationalities in the Caucasus or the disappearance of the Crimean Tatars are not recognized as facts worth of mention."
  • "Another major factors influencing its unreliability was that the Soviet interpretation of Marxism simply predetermined research done by historians."--Carabinieri 19:02, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
I believe those statements are referenced to academic literature. If any are not, don't hesitate to remove them. But certainly the criticism section is based on many academic works, and they use very similar tone and words. I would also note that the article has not been so far tagged as POVed or weaselish, despite being edited by several users who in the past has not hesitated to tag articles with such problems.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  19:11, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
The remark about "propagandists with academic credentials" comes from a WP:RS. I can vouch for it, for I added it after checking. Furthermore, it is exactly what Soviet historiography was actually about. 泥紅蓮凸凹箱 20:42, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Piotrus, neutrality and verifiability are different concepts and only by working together they can add up to good articles. You have repeatedly inserting POV-ish or irrelevant or tendentious stuff into Wikipedia claiming that its being sourced justfies its presence regardless of the issues. This article suffers from the same problems. If you insist that tagging is the only way to deal with such edits and just noting them at talk to your attention is not enough, fine, tags are added now. --Irpen 19:20, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

And you have repeatedly failed to present sources to support your arguments. You can't claim the article is biased if you fail to show any sources that present point of view different from that of the article. In simple words: if the article states x is white, you cannot claim it is POVed until you show that there are sources we ignore that claim it is black.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  19:28, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

No, Piotrus. The article may be biased even if it is sourced fully. I explained above how. Since you choose to revert war, I leave it to you to develop this soapbox. I will merely note this section at DYK proposal page for DYK admins to read it. Happy revert warring. --Irpen 19:32, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Whom do you believe -- my donkey, or your lying eyes? [8] 泥紅蓮凸凹箱 20:46, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
I see. No sources presented for bias - but since WP:IDONTLIKEIT, hence POVed.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  19:46, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Exactly. Unfortunately, it's quite a pattern for Irpen in many Soviet-related topics. 泥紅蓮凸凹箱 20:47, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Please, no "happy revert worring" here. Let's add more sourced content to make article more neutral and informative. I am going to contribute here as time allows. Others can do the same.Biophys 19:50, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

    • "certainly the criticism section is based on many academic works, and they use very similar tone and words" That's because academic works don't necessarily have the same neutrality standards as Wikipedia.
    • "I would also note that the article has not been so far tagged as POVed or weaselish, despite being edited by several users who in the past has not hesitated to tag articles with such problems." That's because I don't believe tagging articles is the best way to fix problems like this one. It usually offends the article's editors and makes discussions about an article less productive. But if you insist that discussions like this one must be accompanied by taggings, I won't hesitate to add a template or two to the top of this article.--Carabinieri 20:08, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Feel free to remove weasel words, I already got rid of a few (such as 'tragedy'). But to show problems with POV you need to show that there is other POV that we don't include (or issues due weight).-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  20:21, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I've tagged some of the most obvious POV and weasel statements in the first paragraph. I was unable to fix the weasel statements, because I just don't know who the "various critics" are. The main problem, however, with the section is that it uses really vague statements to present certain views, making them extremely hard to challenge. As a whole, the article is unbalanced, the criticism section makes up 2/3 of it.--Carabinieri 20:30, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
I rewrote the sentences. Various critics include dozens, if not hundreds, of authors who discussed Soviet historiography. I do agree the article sections look unbalanced, but apparently most of available material is simply critical of Soviet historiography. I - and apparently not a single other editor - where unable to find a single source which would be purely positive of it; even the current 'credibility' section reflects (per its source) the fact that the most positive sources simply state 'Soviet hist. is not that bad', not a single source states 'it is good'.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  20:41, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the article is unbalanced: it concentrates on the negative side of the national historiography, while most of the historians who worked under the Soviet regime were honest professionals (despite been conformists and avoiding forbidden themes). On the other hand I find three tags in a row to be excessive, I remove two of them Alex Bakharev 11:13, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Basically, I agree with both of you. Yes, it seems to be unbalanced. And yes, I could not find good sources at the positive side. It seems that Western sources are very critical of the Soviet historiography in general. Some of them claim that Soviet historiography produced Big lies. Others ("revisionists" like Getty) argue that a truth must be in the middle between the Soviet propaganda and studies by "anti-communists" like Conquest and Pipes (although Conquest and Pipes are mainstream historians). Others, like Bukovsky, say that the middl between the "enormous" Soviet lies and truth is ...lie.Biophys 17:30, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
With my complete support to expanding on the 'positivie' side, I wonder if the article is really unbalanced: as we have concluded, majority of sources are negative. Doesn't it stand to reason, thus, that the criticism section would and should be significant? In any case, I'd suggest expanding on scholars whose work is valued by Western historians (with positive reviews and such) to show that work of some Soviet historians is indeed held in high regard.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  17:35, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Are "the majority of sources that are negative" similar to those in the Western world (North America, Europe, English-speaking countries, the CIA etc. -- whatever) who failed to predict the "fall" of the Berlin Wall and the general crumbling of the Communist state? Or are you using a whole new set of sources that have been demonstrated to be more reliable? In any case, the passive voice = weasel. Remove the passive voice, remove statements like "many historians" etc. and you will be off to a more promising start. --Mattisse 22:57, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Piotrus, after reading books by two outstanding researches of Soviet history (Conquest and Pipes), I must admit that current version of this article is actually balanced. I will make a few changes though, which you are very welcome to correct if they are not good for any reason.Biophys 20:05, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Don't want to spoil the party, but I must say that the scope of historiography in Soviet Union didn't limit itself to years 1917-1953. I know how unbelievable it may sound, but there were medievalism, orientalism, and even Slavic studies in Soviet Union. Could you believe that. Istoriko-Filosofskaja Nauka anyone? [9]M0RD00R 06:00, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Actually just because template {{FUBAR}} does not exist (yet), totally disputed tag would fit better, because this article isn't about historiography, but rather about Soviet regime. M0RD00R 07:20, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

How about contacting User:Barbatus? Colchicum 00:07, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
I am not familiar with that editor. Could you leave him a message about our discussion here?-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  00:46, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, neither am I. But looking at the users we are familiar with, it seems a good sign. Colchicum 10:00, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Book cover: Copyright violation?

I don't know much about copyright law or Wikipedia's policy on the topic, but it's my understanding that fair use book (or film, video game, etc.) covers may only be used on the article about the book. The template {{Non-free book cover}} states that the use of the image is permitted "to illustrate an article discussing the book in question". If my understanding is correct, then Image:The Commissar Vanishes.jpeg should be removed, but I'll leave it up to others who know more about this to actually remove it.--Carabinieri 20:21, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

No, the actual fair use doctrine is not that stringent. Furthermore, this particular book cover is not an original work of art, but a compilation including several two-dimensional pieces of artwork by earlier unknown authors whose copyrights have expired, and these original pieces of artwork are relevent to this article. Finally, the book itself is discussed, too. 泥紅蓮凸凹箱 20:51, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Where is the book discussed? I could only find the footnote, which gives the book as a reference, and the image caption. According to WP:NFC, use of fair use cover art is only acceptable "for identification only in the context of critical commentary of that item (not for identification without critical commentary)". Wikipedia's fair use policy is generally stricter than the law, because the goal is to create a free encyclopedia. Therefore something being in accord with US law, does not mean it is necessarily allowed on Wikipedia.--Carabinieri 21:08, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Guys, all the four photographs on the book cover are {{PD-Russia}},so we have only have to find them and make a collage (or just put four photographs in a column) to make the image free. Otherwise the fair use book cover is not needed, the book itself is in no way as important to warrant the fair use claim. Please do not be lazy and find the photographs Alex Bakharev 11:18, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Good point. The only thing that's copyright there is the 'arrangement' and the title box. We could even cut the photos from the cover and they would be free (but missing corner chunks). Let's replace the cover here with the photos. The book cover can be used in article about the book itself and perhaps the author, but there is no need to use it here since we have PD photos.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  17:30, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Some points to be noted

While looking for the sources, I found a couple of things that perhaps should be mentioned here:

1. Teaching of history in the Soviet Union, based on the Soviet historiography;

2. Completely fabricated statistical data that were used by Soviet and some Western researchers, such as reports about huge economic successes.

3. Historical materialism, which was a basis for many Soviet studies. Some authors consider the "Historical materialism" as a dangerous pseudoscience, which led Gaidar and other reformers to wrongly believe that privatization of State property would automatically create a "capitalism" in Russia.

4. How Western researchers, and even those sponsored by the CIA, have been misled by the Soviet version of history.

I think all of that may be relevant hereBiophys 17:57, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

For 1., Marc Ferro's book The Use and Abuse of History: Or How the Past Is Taught to Children is perfect - it was, after all, its main subject. However, teaching doesn't really belong here - it should go to Education in the Soviet Union. The other points look like a good idea for expansion here.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  18:17, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

I've just got a crazy idea. How about writing about historiography? I understand that Bakhtin or Soviet school of Annales are not as fun as CIA but by strange coincidence article title has historiography in it, so maybe at some point in not so near future something should be written about this subject. M0RD00R 18:46, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
I found this interesting source: New Ideologies in Postcommunist Russian Textbooks by Elena Lisovskaya and Vyacheslav Karpov. Published in Comparative Education Review, Vol. 43, No. 4 (november 1999), pages 522–543.
This sentence is then matched with this reference (which I have not yet seen, so can't vouch for):
泥紅蓮凸凹箱 03:28, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
The article in CER is itself a valid source, I think. The fact is pretty obvious in any case... Alæxis¿question? 06:00, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Eastern Block historiography

Would it make sense to redirect (at least, temporarily) articles on historiography in Soviet satellites here? For the most part, practices in those countries were very similar.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  04:44, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

No. It won't. --Irpen 05:23, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes Piotrus, it is a good idea.--Molobo 08:54, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Falsification of historical events

Falsification about Katyn massacre was made by Soviet propoganda, Sovient historiography just kept silent. So we need another examples here. --Ioakinf 13:03, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Soviet historiography was subservient to Soviet propaganda. The initiative to falsify it didn't come from itself, but all the faults of it come from 'above' anyway. And the fact is that Katyn massacre was falsely presented in S. hist. - so it seems like a good example.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  17:53, 8 October 2007 (UTC)


I'll give you one example for you to better understand. If someone would have written an article on Holocaust denial, and apologetics, or white washing of crimes committed against Jews in Poland in Polish historiography, and called this article Polish historiography, even if all facts were true, this article would be unbalanced. Wouldn't it? M0RD00R 17:49, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Please discuss Soviet historiography, not Polish historiography. What do you find unbalanced in this article?-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  17:54, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
So if it is still not clear to you I'll elaborate.Just like not all Polish historiography is about whitewashing of crimes like Jedwabne pogrom, not all Soviet historiography was about whitewashing Stalin. Sadly this article reads more like an essay (badly written I must say) about Stalinism. There's little about historiography per se in it. M0RD00R 18:03, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
You are right btw. And you are wrong. Article is not unbalanced, it is INCOMPLETE. You should just add more to this. While the whitewashin is well known and notable it is no miracle that this got added here first. But you can continue adding new sections to this article. Suva Чего? 20:13, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
We might call article incomplete if there were little bit of white, little bit of gray, little bit more of black in it. But now it's all black, Stalin this, Brezhnev that, and nothing on freaking historiography, it's not just unbalanced, it's off-topic. M0RD00R 20:32, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
There is nothing unbalanced in the topic. Some facts are just bleak, I wouldn't imagine someone calling us to change Auschwitz article into "its' all black, change it to more gray". Just because somebody is angry at how history conflicts with his POV doesn't make the article unbalanced.--Molobo 22:10, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, pal but Soviet medievalists, Soviet orientalists, Soviet Slavists, etc. is not my POV. Sad but true even Non-Marxist historiography existed in Soviet Union, regrettably adherents of Soviet Annales circle are held to the highest esteem in the West, but luckily all this isn't, and lets cross our fingers will never be, mentioned here. M0RD00R 22:25, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
"Sorry, pal but Soviet medievalists, Soviet orientalists, Soviet Slavists, etc. is not my POV." It's sad to see so much knowledge failing victim to propaganda machine. Perhaps you should keep in mind that many of us here did read Soviet history books. I even have them at home as memory of those times. Soviet Slavists-well sure, the same ones who claimed about "eternal Slavic-Teutonic" struggle forgetting Russo-German alliances against the "fellow Slavs"(one of favourite propaganda phrases during Stalinist times), and Battle of Grunwald being fought by Russians  ? --Molobo 22:31, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
Really you can't blame anyone but yourself for your poor choice of the books that you apparently have read. You should definitely ask Suva to adjust your reading list. If you are so interested in darn-Soviet-wicked-Stalinist social and humanitarian sciences, such topic as darn-Soviet-wicked-Stalinist-Tartu school of semiotics, maybe would be any good for a fresh start. Hey Suva give a guy some Tartu made wicked semiotic propaganda to read. M0RD00R 22:49, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm. I expanded the section on statistical research. Perhaps you'd like to quote some Soviet statistics to back up your point? :) -- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  05:16, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't live in Tartu and I am not from Tartu, I have never been to University of Tartu. But I have lots of books and lots of old documents. As a sidejoke I will quote some statistics myself: Crime rate in Estonia year 1984. Murders: 0; Rapes: 0; Robbery: 0; Theft: 5... I don't know how this five got in, but the book says that there are about 5 thefts in estonia per year. Suva Чего? 05:42, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
P.S. I checked my book collection. Most of them are printed either in Tallinn or Moscow. Suva Чего? 08:02, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
Ahh, sorry to hear that. If I were you I'd leave that murder-rapes statistics in favour of "Trudy po znakovym systemam". Great stuff from Tartu. I mean bad, bad stuff, darn-Soviet-wicked-Stalinist-propaganda indeed. M0RD00R 22:07, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Unbalanced 2

Since several editors point out the article is unbalanced, I'd like to ask them to present reliable sources that describe the positive sides of Soviet historiography: i.e. how and when it can be considered reliable.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  22:07, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Of course its unbalanced since it claims that Soviet historiography was "defined as historic scholarship produced in the Soviet Union". That is an unbalanced opinion indeed. In fact one could call Soviet historiography historic scholarship really only after the the perestroika period. Before that there were 3 main periods: the Stalinist period, the Khrushchev period and finally the Brezhnev era. The first true Soviet Historian was Roy Medvedev. The author of Let History Judge. [10] His works were of course banned in the USSR and he was purged from the Communist Party. It would be also important to point out that in order to work as historian , even as a history teacher in USSR one had to be a member of the communist party. I'll fix up the header of the article, hope you can take it from there. thanks--Termer 06:08, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Every aspect of Soviet historiography is covered now in the header, there shouldn't be any reasons for tagging the article any more. Please improve the article in case anything still might feel unbalanced. Simply tagging it without putting any effort into the article can't be tolerated I think. --Termer 07:14, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Sadly it has little about historiography as such. Tag stays. M0RD00R 07:26, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
Sadly you are yet to present a single source to support your POV.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  13:57, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
Sadly, you persist with refusal to admit that the concept of sourcing, although related, is a separate one from the concept of neutrality and the distortion of the scope. These have to be addressed in their own right as explained at this talk. --Irpen 15:41, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
Are the any non-neutral sentences? Tag them or list them here and they will be fixed. You however seem to fail to understand that WP:IDONTLIKEIT doesn't mean the article is non-neutral or unbalanced; you are required to present sources that show this 'other balance' perspective which are not used in the article and describe the viewpoint which is missing before you can claim the article is unbalanced. -- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  16:05, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Please Irpen, feel free to address the issues in the article. Sometimes I'm getting a feeling that you act like some sort of supervisor on WP that doesn't need to put any effort into articles, only goes around and directs others. the same goes to actions of M0RD00R in this article. Please note that I'm going to remove the tag every day until you guys start working with the article instead of just tagging it. Thanks!--Termer 16:05, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

It is nearly impossible for me to address the issues in the article. My good faithed edits to articles that certain editors put high on their priorities list get reverted all too often and I am all tired of these revert wars. As it was explained the article is unbalanced because it concentrates exclusively on the negative aspects of the Soviet historiography completely ignoring that there were many scholars with unquestionable integrity who worked in the USSR as well. Any work that claims to address the issue of the Soviet historiography as a whole should address those aspects as well. The editors used sources devoted to the subjects totally different from the subject of this article, cherry picked quotes and compiled a synthesis that is aimed to prove that the entire Soviet historiography was an unworthy crap. The article uses only one source (Topolski) whose main subject is the subject of this article and even that short work (I read it) concentrates exclusively on the influence of Marxism. It is fine to write an article about the influence of Marxism in S.H. but it cannot be called an article that adequately covers the Soviet Historiography as a whole.
In fact, Piotrus is familiar with the approach he is using himself in this article. At Talk:Khmelnytsky Uprising one may read a fascinating discussion when an editor was pushing the material from non-dedicated sources into the article on a specific subject thus making the article unbalanced even if sourced. Same problem is here. The author of the article has to find a set of academic sources that address the Soviet historiography as a whole and proceed from there rather than pick quotes from sources whose main subject is Soviet atrocities as such sources would inevitably mention (truthfully) that this info was suppressed in the USSR. Although true, these issues, or the issues of the Marxism, do not present the complete picture. The incomplete and distorted picture due to the choice of sources that concentrate exclusively on the negative aspects is unbalanced. Please address these issues and stop edit warring. --Irpen 00:49, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
what I don't see are any sourced facts supporting your opinions Irpen. Also, please read the articles you tag. The one here is not based on one source. That seems to have become a pattern of yours tagging articles without even reading these [11] like your claim regarding Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia. Also, in case any of your good faith edits were based on sourced facts and were removed, that would be WP:Vandalism and should have been properly reported. In case not sourced opinions were removed , done in good faith or not wouldn't matter here. Adding opinions that have not been sourced can and will be challenged by any editor any time. Exactly like the tag up here. Since it's not backed up by any sources, it's going to be challenged and removed by any editor any time. Thanks!--Termer 03:40, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Irpen, I'd be happy to review the reverts; if well-referenced information was removed, or POV inserted, this is something we need to deal with, per Tremer. You are right that the article needs expansion; hence the tag - but as we have yet to find a source showing the 'good side' of Soviet historiography, we cannot say about the article being unbalanced. All the sources we have found state - more or less - that Soviet historiography had many problems. Of course, they do note it is not 'crap', and it is useful - I believe so does our article. If you can present sources that will allow us to expand, for example, on the strength of Soviet historiography, its reliable scholars, or such - please, share them with us here and we will do so.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  04:11, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

My good-faithed and sourced edits are often reverted by no one but Piotrus himself who is certainly well aware of that and will claim that his reverts of my edits that sometimes take me hours are also "good faithed" but this besides the point.

I never ever "not read" what I edit.

When I start articles, I first make sure appropriate sources exist. Not just sources which are "relevant" but sources that cover the topic in a way that an encyclopedic article may be based on them. Some editors, however, start articles to turn the Wikipedia into a battleground, to make a WP:POINT, to grind an ax, etc. Such articles are, as a rule, impossible to improve as assured by the combination of their title, scope and original direction set for such article. As I explained above, this article is not based on sources whose subject is Soviet historiography as a whole except one source that is also not devoted to the entire subject but to just one aspect of it (Marxism in S.H.). I am not aware of sources where the Soviet historiography is studied in detail. Perhaps they are not written but then we are not allowed to have an article on this. Perhaps they exist, but it is the task of the writers of this article to identify them and make sure that the article is primarily based on such sources. This is not the case here. The article's sources are mostly devoted to a narrow issue of Soviet historiography, that it was often false and that Marxism influenced it. True. So write Marxism in Soviet historiography based on such sources. But if you want an article on the topic as a whole, find sources that study the subject as a whole. Sources devoted to Katyn, October Revolution or Stalinist crimes can be used to reference some specific examples but not as an article's backbone.

Currently, the article is based on a narrow set of sources devoted to all sorts of topics except the Soviet historiography. The article correctly illuminates some flaws of the Soviet historiography but covering exclusively its black aspects, not the whole topic. As such it is unbalanced. The tag should not be removed. --Irpen 05:12, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Irpen, rather than invoking terms like "battleground", "WP:POINT", "grind an ax" and other casual allegations of poor wikiquette, which according to a recent ArbCom case is considered harmful, how about doing something constructive and provide a wider list of sources you consider would bring balance to this article. I'll even start the list for you below. Martintg 05:24, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, notability factor also counts. I have lot's of soviet era books, and many of them are about history or have some history in them. And none of them can be read without having atleast one direct lie on every page. That is notable. Soviet union used it's historiography for political reasons, and mostly ONLY for political reasons. Probably there are some "white aspects", but I don't have any idea which would be those. If some lines in the history books are correct, then what makes it notable anyway? I guess we can write in the article "OTOH, atleast 60% of the text in soviet era history books is factually correct or near correct." But I am not that sure it helps anything.
If there are some white aspects it should be brought out, some sources would be highly appreciated. Suva Чего? 05:33, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Martin and Suva, if you care to read my entry above, your questions are well answered. --Irpen 05:42, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't think there is any other kind of Soviet Historiography other than one based on marxist ideas of using history for political reasons. There were some dissidents persecuted by gov in later years, which are also mentioned in article. But as said, I haven't seen any sources to prove that the soviet historiography had anything else notable other than using historiography for propaganda. Suva Чего? 05:56, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
O RLY?[12]. But hey, that's just Jacques Le Goff. Another victim of darn-Soviet-wicked-Stalinist-Annales school propaganda. M0RD00R 08:25, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
That is medieval history. Soviet historiography dealt (mostly) with second half of 19th and 20th century. Lots of historians in Soviet Union specialized to medieval or earlier history precisely because they didn't want to be forced to rewrite and falsify their work. --
Sander Säde 09:47, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Hmm medieval history in not a part of historiography? I'm surprised and shocked again by breakthrough theories produced by this superb article, and it's talk page, that is filled from the bottom to the top by masterpieces of the historiosophical thought.
P.S. And BTW technically Soviet historiography dealt (mostly) with second half of 19th and 20th century. Lots of historians in Soviet Union specialized to medieval or earlier history is an oxymoron. M0RD00R 10:04, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Sigh. I think I've said all I have to say to you - except that perhaps you should read what oxymoron is before you use that word again, as you seem to be as unfamiliar with it as with Soviet historiography. -- Sander Säde 10:17, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
If you guys can provide refs for the Soviet historians specializing in non-modern history and their works on those periods being considered of higher reliability - perhaps as reliable as Western ones - this should certainly go into the article. But letm me stress WP:V - please provide source and WP:CITE them.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  17:43, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry to see, not that you Irpen don't read articles you tag like shown by the examples above. You haven't read the post's that have been addressed to you on this talk page. Once more, even though I appreciate your personal opinions, please refer to any source to back them up. In case you feel it would be too much for you to add these possible sourced facts to the article, anybody here I'm sure would be willing to do it for you. --Termer 06:39, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Termer, your mere repetition of the same stuff does not earn you any points. The article is not based on the sources about the Soviet historiography. The primary responsibility to find such sources and make sure the article that claims to be about S.H. overall is based on such sources rests with the article's authors. They failed to do that as I stated above. I cannot and should not have to disprove stuff that is based on randomly picked and off-topic references in the first place. If you care to respond again, please make sure your response addresses the concerns I outlined above rather than repeats same wild accusations about me not reading, etc. --Irpen 14:36, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

As far as I'm concerned, the article is in perfect balance therefore as long as you haven't provided any factual evidence, I'm sorry to say, all your points remain personal opinions. Regarding you not reading, please feel free to correct yourself and point out that the article is based on more than one source not like you claimed and for example the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia [13] never covered the period 1945-1991 like you suggested. After putting these things straight I would have reason to believe that you in fact have read the articles.--Termer 15:23, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

unbalanced RFC

in addition to {{Expand}}? Are references showing a different point of view allegedly not covered in the articles necessary to show that the article is unbalanced? !! time=19:15, 19 October 2007 (UTC)}}

Is the article unbalanced enough to merit the {{unbalanced}} in addition to {{Expand}}? Are references showing a different point of view allegedly not covered in the articles necessary to show that the article is unbalanced?

Actually template {{Coatrack}} would be more suitable in this case. I mean as a generous compromise offer, since every single section is asking for {{Cleanup-rewrite}}, {{Off-topic}}, {{Expert}}, {{OR}}, {{Synthesis}} and so on. In the ideal world it would ended long time ago in the AfD garbage bag. This article simply does not provide the goods. Sadly historiography is one of those subjects there google simply is not enough. It requires academic background. You can bash Stalinism with google easily, it is a no brainer, but few google-boys' attempts to synthesize intelligible text about historiography per se, proved to be out-right catastrophic even to their own surprise. M0RD00R 20:43, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Than nominate this for AfD. The article has quite a few academic refs. Other than personally attacking your opponents, I have yet to see you use a single academic refs in defense of your position here. We are aware of your attitude to this article, as for the few weeks you have been doing nothing but tag warring on it. This section invites neutral contributors who have not participated in the discussion yet to comment; please wait for their comments.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  20:59, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Well for me random list of google books and academic refs is not the same thing. Of course it's way better source than Wiki talk pages, or even Wiki talk pages misunderstood badly, but still it's WP:COAT at its finest. M0RD00R 21:45, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

I'd still throw my few cents in here. If I was one of those who'd claim that the article is unbalanced, I'd point to archeology for example and say that see, archeology in Soviet historiography never really was based on the Marxist formulas and therefore the article is off. Considering this, I'd rename the article and call it Soviet political historiography that would balance the content and the title much better I think. (Just paying tribute to Mikhail Gerasimov with this)--Termer 08:31, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Actually, even Soviet archeology was affected to certain extent by Marxist view on human development, see (several pages are visible, including conclusion that follows).-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  17:50, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Here is my suggestion. For now, use {{NPOV}}, and find sources that present other POV's. Since the article sems to have an anti-marxist POV, add content that has a pro-marxist POV. Yahel Guhan 20:53, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

It's grate differences between history of XXth century, which was falcificated in Soviet Union, and Soviet archeology, which was 'affected to certain extent by Marxist view on human development'. Marxist theory and direct falsifications - absolutly different things. --Ioakinf 21:05, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Mistakes in examples

'The Kronstadt rebellion, for example, was one of many events that, according to Soviet historiography, simply never happened' - history of Kronstadt rebellion was falsified, but not suppressed. On the other hand Katyn massacre just never happened in Soviet historiography. Moreover, it was substitute for tragedy of one of Belorussian village - Khatyn massacre, and never even mentioned in USSR. --Ioakinf 13:45, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Marc Ferro quite clearly stated that in parts of Soviet historiography; there was no Kronstadt rebellion. This is what the ref states; as far as I know, Soviet historiography never denied the mass murder of Poles at Katyn - they only changed the perpetrator from the Soviets to the Nazis. The theory about Khatyn being a substitute for Katyn is interesting, but its more of a propaganda issue than historiography.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  13:57, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
It means only that Marc Ferro is not reliable source. References about Kronstadt rebellion in Soviet historiography: Soviet historical encyclopaedia, v.8 (1965) - big article about Kronstadt antisoviet revolt; Kliment Voroshilov "Из истории подавления кронштадского мятежа" (About history of suppression of Kronstadt revolt), Военно-ист.журнал, 1961,№3 and etc. 'Soviet historiography never denied the mass murder of Poles at Katyn' - it's true, because Soviet historiography never mentioned word "Katyn" at all - you cant't find this name in Soviet encyclopaedias, books and magazines. I don't like Soviet historiography at all, but we should be precise. --Ioakinf 05:11, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Interesting points Ioakinf! please provide sources according to WP:Verifiability and the facts in the article should be straightened up indeed in case verified. Thanks!--Termer 15:28, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

References about Katyn are already provded.--Molobo 21:45, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Well, it might be me but it seems, Ioakinf claims something different than the sources in the article say.Ioakinf says the Soviets never mentioned Katyn. Thats why I asked for the sources that could verify the opposing claims. At the same time I went after the Soviet encyclopedias and something came up that seems to mention Katyn in connection with Poland. The article seems to be from the year 1973. So guys who are better at reading Russian, please take a look at this if it is a Soviet publication from 1973 and what exactly does it say about Katyn and Poland.[14]In case it is what it looks like than Ioakinf has been mistaken abut his/her claims: Soviet historiography never mentioned word "Katyn"--Termer 08:06, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

PS. the text where I see Katyn and Poland mentioned that seems to base on Soviet sources from 1973 and 1978 is following: Выдвигаемый при поддержке англичан вопрос о расстрелах польских военнослужащих в Катынском лесу под Смоленском Кремль рассматривал как шантаж с целью заставить Москву пойти на территориальные уступки.

Тегеран -Ялта — Потсдам. Сборник документов. М., 1973; Советский Союз на международных конференциях периода Великой Отечественной войны 1941-1945 гг. М., 1978;
--Termer 08:12, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Reverting "per talk"

I think it's quite stupid in this case. It would look like there is some sort of consensus on talk, but there isn't. Using this excuse is quite lame. Suva Чего? 20:38, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

From the ground up, this article is inappropriate

Historiography is not "history." It is the philosophy behind how one goes about approaching history. Thus, "Soviet history was wrong here or here or here" is irrelevant. If this article lived up to its name, its contents would be solely about articles published within the Soviet Union about how one should approach history. It should not be the history written, but the writing about how one writes history. Thus, it should be about, for example, the early approach (again approach) to how one writes history under Lenin, then how that developed, then how the official Stalinist view came to be, who enunciated it, how it was questions and refined, and then the period of Khrushchev, then Brezhnev, then the rest. In other words, an article about Soviet historiography would be an article about the discussions of historical theory which were conducted by those persons who were Soviets.

This would, therefore, exclude "criticisms" from outside. The truth or falsehood of our topics is most emphatically not our concern. You can think that the history so-generated was great, poor, horrible, or visionary. It simply does not matter. That is not what an article on "historiography" would be about. Anyone wanting to poke the corpse of Lenin with a stick should go elsewhere to do so. Anyone wanting to reaffix a halo to Stalin should go elsewhere. Neither has anything to do with historiography.

However, because this article has become the usual hobbyist's battleground for people playing soldier over dead horses, the article as it is written now is about 1-2 degrees from worthless. If any of the contributors was trained in history in the Soviet era and took multiple classes in historiography, please step forward. If anyone needs a citation to a dozen or so definitions of "historiography," I can provide them. Scholarship means being dispassionate. That means calmly noting what the theories of history were, how they developed, how they responded to innovation (e.g. the various new branches of thought in Marxism in the west, as well as the oddball Soviet Marxists who were deprecated), and how they managed to gain academic monopoly. Anything else is beginning off the rails and destined for a ditch. Geogre 20:48, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Welcome to the encyclopedia written by amateurs, I guess :) Yes, it would be great to have a Sovietologist or professional historian in this debate. But as is usually the case - we don't. So we have to do with whoever takes interest in the subject, I am afraid.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  21:39, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

The debate? There really isn't one. No kidding: this particular article is a "debate" to the degree that school children shoving each other in the chest is a debate. The article, as I was just saying, shouldn't be a debate in any form. Wikipedia isn't about debates. It's about reporting. Geogre 09:12, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Geogre, you ought to review Wikipedia's own article on Historiography before informing us of your own personal view of what you think it should be. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Historiography is about "the writing of history, especially the writing of history based on the critical examination of sources, the selection of particulars from the authentic materials in those sources, and the synthesis of those particulars into a narrative that will stand the test of critical methods." Therefore it is entirely correct that this article includes "criticisms from the outside", particularly if it is verified in reliable published sources. Martintg 01:07, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps you should not try to play such silly games, too. American Heritage Collegiate Dictionary and Wordsmyth are both online, so here are their definitions for you: Wordsmyth and American Heritage. Now, not online, there is remarkable uniformity on the matter: usage #1 is "theories and methods", and usage #2 is your EB def, and usage #3 is "history." These reflect: #1 the usage of historians, #2 the usage of pedagogy, and #3 common misapplication. They also reflect, in their order, frequency of citation. Thus, being precious and claiming that an excerpt of the #2 definition licenses a great pile of goo, where cold warriors get to shout at each other, is not only folly, but it is also folly committed precisely against the common editing good. The fact, not opinion, remains: this article should be performing neither rehabilitation nor vilification of Soviet historians. It should either be renamed or rewritten. Geogre 09:12, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I'd also like to thank Geogre for the lecture and first of all point out that I or anybody else can't step forward because WP editing policies are tied to citing published sources, not WP:OR therefore even though I more ore less fit the description above (other than taking classes I've given some, even though long time ago), it's irrelevant in the context.

Also I'd like to know according to who Historiography is the philosophy.... and the discussions of historical theory? I'd need to second Martintg on that one and point out: Historiography comes from Greek -graphy "to write", there is nothing more to it other than a body of historical literature.

Now, the suggestion exclude "criticisms" from outside seems to be in conflict with WP:NPOV. And finally , the current article starts up with published dispassionate etc. citations on Soviet historiography by Sheila Fitzpatrick that have been ended up labeled inappropriate from the ground up. And what was this poking Lenin with a stick and halo to Stalin all about anyway? I've said that many times but it seems it's not going to hurt: Please feel free to improve the article according to any source out there, please do not label or tag articles according to your personal opinions. Thanks!--Termer 03:00, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

So, one more person ignores the fact that I said that I should be happy to provide references to what "historiography" means to assume that, since all of you find nothing to do but shout, I must be doing the same. Well, there are two open, online definitions, but they are found also in Merriam-Webster 11th ed., which is the most recent edition, and many others. Furthermore, you are all welcome to stop citing Wiktionary and Wikipedia to "prove" that you should be allowed to keep whacking each other with sticks, show some interest in editing appropriately, and go to the OED to find out where "historiography" actually enters the language. (It comes from Greek? Really? How simply shocking! Those darned Greeks probably didn't like Stalinist history, either, and they probably should be accused of cooperating with the Nazis in WW2. None of you referring to Fichte, I see. Well, don't accidentally learn things.) As for the ludicrous suggestion that NPOV is somehow a "criticisms" section, this is not only illogical but not Wikipedia practice. If your topic were "Soviet history," then you would logically weave in limitations and successes, political interference and usage by the state, and all the rest. These would be woven in and not set out as a "criticisms" section, as "criticisms" are as graceless as an "in popular culture" heading. Neutral point of view does not mean a combat of points of view. A neutral point of view means that one's attitude is, exactly as I said above, dispassionate, uninvolved, disinterested. However, this article is not "Soviet history": it is "Soviet HISTORIOGRAPHY," and it begins wrong, continues poorly, concludes wrongly, and hosts all of ... you people, still trying to show how upset you are with each other and dead ancestors. I don't care about how dull that is, but the article is absolutely wrong. Geogre 09:12, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Then you better write to Yuri Afanasyev, Rector of the Russian State University for the Humanities, for his critical description of Soviet historiography seems at odds with your view on what it should be. [15] Martintg 11:07, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Well, NPOV simply says where multiple or conflicting perspectives exist within a topic each should be presented fairly. I wish I could thank you Geogre for the lecture this time but there was nothing new. also, it seems you never got the message and I have to repeat myself. Please Geogre, I don't really care about your opinions but please feel free to improve the article according to any source out there. Thanks--Termer 16:12, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

That is utterly chowder headed. I can improve the article one way: deletion. Inasmuch as I now see that what we have here is yet another batch of thawed out cold war thugs trying to hurl feces at each other, rather than adhering to sense or reason, it confirms the opinion I had tried for forestall: there is no chance that any of you will work to make the article about its own subject, will cease using the article to violate WP:BATTLEGROUND, and will not give ground to English usage or Wikipedia practices. That means that, indeed, the answer would be to rip it down and protect it or delete it. Geogre 12:23, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm getting a feeling that the only one who is emotional about the subject is you Geogre. Please feel free to nominate the article for deletion, it's better to do something about what bothers you instead of upsetting and provoking other editors with such emotional opinions like yours on the talk page. There is no WP:BATTLEGROUND here, the only one who has made personal remarks is you Geogre, by referring to some kind of dead relatives. Please avoid such personal remarks in the future.
You got one thing right though, Soviet (political) Historiography has nothing to do with history. And if you think the fact should not be mentioned in the article, I'm not with you. Other than that, the article needs improvement and anybody who thinks can do it should feel free to go ahead. --Termer 16:16, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't know if this argument is already settled, but the OED defines historiography as "The writing of history; written history." This is also the sense in which I've general seen academics use the term. Using "historiography" to mean "the philosophy of history" is quite rare, in my experience, and the OED doesn't mention that use. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cobbett (talkcontribs) 00:03, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Beginning of the article

The term Soviet historiography is quite unclear. So we should rename this article (for example History (science) in USSR) or formulate definition of this term in first sentence. If smb don't agree with proposed definition, please change it, but don't delete. --Ioakinf 20:58, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

"History (practice) in USSR" might be better if you really object to "historiography". But then we wind up with those nasty parentheses in the title. If the term is unclear, then I think the opening section simply needs to be tightened up to resolve any ambiguities. It looks to have a bit too much detail (as in, not enough on the topic definition, too many examples of evolution of symptoms). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Vecrumba (talkcontribs) 19:52, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
In fact, the term is not ambiguous, but it simply isn't followed in the article whatsoever. Historiography is not "history" or "histories." It is a theory. In other words, an article on Soviet historiography would be about the evolution and thinking of how history was considered and written during the Soviet era. It would not be, therefore, anything about how good, bad, or indifferent such histories were. If one wishes to make the subject match the content that these BATTLEGROUND editors are writing, the title and topic might be, "Soviet historians (sins and glories)." Geogre 12:28, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Please do not provoke the situation further Geogre. Or less that is your intention, to make a content dispute into WP:BATTLEGROUND here. I'd slow down with such provoking remarks. Thanks!--Termer 16:30, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Unbalanced 3

Per plenty of concerns outlined at #unbalanced, #Unbalanced 2, #unbalanced RFC and #From the ground up, this article is inappropriate there is no way in hell to justify the removal of the warning tag. I am restoring it. Please do not remove it just because you don't agree with the above concerns. --Irpen 23:45, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Plenty of concerns raised, but not much substance beyond that, I'm afraid. No new sources presented for alternative views in order to determine what the balance should be. We are left to scratch our heads because while you "raise concerns", you don't provide any concrete sources to back your "concerns". Martintg 00:52, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
No new sources? I gave three old sources...sources that all of you should have consulted. In fact, I suspect that some of you have and have cherry picked to allow this morass to deepen. Geogre 09:16, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Did you? I must have missed them, and scanning the edit history I don't see them either. Did you post them under a different identity? Martintg 10:58, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
However, as pointed out above multiple times, the article does not use any sources about historiography save one. As such, it is not based on appropriate sources at all! --Irpen 01:21, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

The statement is factually incorrect, the whole opening section, the header is based on the overview of the Soviet historiography by Sheila Fitzpatrick and BTW. the relevant ref says so or points to the source.--Termer 03:04, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

But that one source about historiography you speak of is infinitely more than the zero sources you have brought to the table. Martintg 01:40, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
The one source is only about one aspect, the Marxism in Soviet historiography. If the article was indeed Marxism in Soviet historiography this would have been indeed OK to base it primarily on that source. But claiming that the article based on such source covers the entire S.H. is inappropriate. If the sources don't exist, I cannot find them for you and Piotrus. If they do, you had to find them before starting this article. --Irpen 01:47, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Since the Soviet Union was nominally a Marxist-Leninist state, I don't think it is inappropropriate to mention the influence of Marxism in Soviet historiography. Obviously it's not the only aspect, Stalinism was also a major factor too, but then that's why there is an "expand" template on the article. To bad you won't come to the party in regard to sources, but never mind. Here is an interesting quote from Yuri Afanasyev, Rector of the Russian State University for the Humanities: "History textbooks overflowed with the dry remains of the ideas of Lenin-Stalin and, to a slightly lesser degree, of Marx-Engels. Paradoxically, history became an exact science; its formulas and hypotheses became axiomatic, no longer requiring evidence." [16]. Martintg 02:04, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

It is OK to mention this aspect in the S.H. article. It is not OK to write such a broad-subject article using just a single on topic source and having that source devoted to just one aspect of the issue. I suggest you and Piotrus now hit the library to find the sources that cover the subject of the article dear to your heart while, honestly, I am not sure such sources were written but I hope they were. You can also email to the original author of this masterpiece and ask him whether he had any sources in mind to use in the article in the future. Because when he started the article, he did not use a single on-topic source. --Irpen 02:21, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

What I don't understand is that while you obviously have no sources yourself, how then do you know the article is "unbalanced", is it just intuition that leads you to this view? Martintg 02:37, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
It is truthiness - "to know intuitively or "from the gut" without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts." -- Sander Säde 03:24, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Well said :( -- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  03:46, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

As shown by my evidence above at 03:04, 22 October 2007 (UTC) Irpen has yet to familiarize him/herself with the sources and the content of the article. therefore I regret this but I have to agree with Sander Säde--Termer 04:20, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I am not going to dignify the posts above where well reasoned objections are answered with a new series of attacks by repeating my response. Every side observer who commented on this article noted its problems. Care to address them and try to find a better thing to do that than continuing with this barrage of meaningless attacks on the editors. I suggest for the umpteenth time to the authors of this article to find sources devoted to the S.H. and bring them in. If no one is interested or if such sources don't exist, I am afraid the problems cannot be addressed in a constructive way. --Irpen 17:21, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Please note Irpen that there are no authors on WP. The idea is in conflict with WP:OWN and WP:Copyrights. Therefore please feel free to improve the article instead of suggesting it to the editors who can't see the problems and have provided refs for the citations in the article. Also, I'm sorry to hear that you feel attacked. Please consider backing up your opinions with any sources out there to avoid possibilities for such interpretations. In case you'd cite any sources it would be impossible to present anything here as an attack against your opinions. Thanks!--Termer 17:32, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Sigh, I did not become the author of this article because I have not found any sources on S.H. in general. The article is not based on such sources either as explained multiple times. I see no point in the article which lacks sources on topic but obviously you and Piotrus and one permabanned user who worked on this article's development had something in mind. So, I am requesting that you and whoever tries to defend this article and claim that it is policy compliant find the sources on topic and improve the article based on them. I cannot do it. I did not see the sources on Soviet historiography yet. Neither did anyone judging from the reference's list which has sources on anything but the S.H. except one and that source's subject is just one aspect of the S.H. Since you defend the article in its current form, it is your responsibility to bring sources that support it and not just random quotes that can all be referenced but sources on the subject where the topic of the article is studied. --Irpen 19:03, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Catching up on all of the above...

  • "Historiography" precisely would mean the science employed by Soviet historians; that it includes the manufacture of internally consistent propaganda which is (largely) false; this does open the article to discussing (reputable) outside assessments of the verity or falsehood of Soviet historical accounts, to introduce such materials is not editors being "amateur historians" who don't understand the scope of the topic as reflected by the title.
  • "Soviet historical propaganda" would be an alternative title, as the Soviets themselves used "propaganda" to describe their accounts of history applied to the purpose of serving politics. However, I can hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth now. At any rate, it's important to note what is true in Soviet accounts of history and what is false--within specific historical contexts--so one can communicate an understanding of how Soviet propaganda (their use of the word) mixed both fact and fiction to arrive at a cohesive result. Historiography is still the better word, I think.
  • There's no issue with the title and thrust of the content. I have plenty of reputable sources that are devoted to the practice of propaganda by the Soviets. That those sources don't use the word "historiography" in the title is immaterial. Any reputable scholarly materials which examine Soviet propaganda are 100% applicable. PētersV 19:22, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

P.S. One cannot keep contending that an article reputably sourced is biased anyway. In fairness, it's not absolutely necessary to produce reputable sources which contend the opposite, therefore indicating that accounts based on existing sources are biased. It goes back to the oft-repeated notion of "cherry-picking." If a source has been cherry-picked, please feel free to discuss how that source has been misrepresented. When arguing over Transnistria I either went to the library to pull full academic articles or I simply ordered the books being cited (got rather expensive!). It's not constructive to allege bias and then just leave it there.
  The best that can be done is to represent a reputable source fairly. If that has been done and one still doesn't like the result, then, indeed, the only option is to locate a countering reputable source if one wishes to contend "bias." PētersV 20:04, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Irpen Sigh? first of all no need to play drama queen I'd say. The second. Why do you insist demanding it from the editors who fail to see the problem with the article that they should fix it for you, I'm not getting it. In case you see any problems, please fix it. Please let me know if I could make it more clear than that. Thanks--Termer 20:12, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
PS. did this really sound like I was "defending the article in its current form"? It is my bad that I haven't happened to come across any sources that would have an alternative take on the subject. In case you have, please help us out here to make the article balanced as you'd imagine it would need to be. Thanks!--Termer 20:12, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

P.P.S. (NOT! to the one directly above--edit conflict) If the issue of "bias" is that there is insufficient coverage of (official) Soviet historical accounts which cannot be rightfully called propagandist (here, meaning somewhere between highly slanted and simply false), that is, which are simply factual, that can certainly be added by any motivated editor. Where Soviets did/and didn't manufacture history can then become a natural part of the article. PētersV 20:17, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Some new sources (for balance)

I've found an additional source which I will work into the article in coming days:

  • Helmut Neubauer, Analysis of Soviet Historiography (Soviet World History), Osteuropa, Vol 11, No 2, Stuttgart 1961. Full text translation here:[17] Martintg 22:21, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
    • Certainly nice, albeit 1961 means its a bit obsolete. What about Thaden's "Marxist historicism and the crises of soviet historiography" (2003)? Unfortunately this one doesn't seem to have a copy I can access, even in my university system. On the bright side I downloaded Kuzio's "HISTORY, MEMORY AND NATION BUILDING IN THE POST-SOVIET COLONIAL SPACE" (2002), I will see if there is anything useful in it.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  17:07, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
      • If a source, say 1960, examines WWII and aftermath Soviet propaganda and compares with reputably verified factual events, then the "dating" of that source is immaterial. The only limitation is that any conclusions cannot be automatically applied to Soviet materials produced later, even if those materials are completely in line with earlier materials, that's WP:SYNTH. Only the similarity in content of Soviet materials (not projecting similarity in purpose or intent) can be noted. PētersV 17:53, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:The Commissar Vanishes.jpeg

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BetacommandBot 20:09, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Rationale added by Alexia. Martintg 02:05, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Purpose of the article explained?

As one of active editors of this article said "One cannot keep contending that an article reputably sourced is biased anyway. In fairness, it's not absolutely necessary to produce reputable sources which contend the opposite". I.e. we don't need to prove that Soviet source is wrong, we can discount it because it does not confirm our POVs. I have no crystal ball to see the future, but I can safely forecast that in short time this article, which is excercise in POV-influenced SYNC-ing, liberally peppered with OR, worthy of schoolbok on those concepts will be used to discount every source which does not present Arais commando as a bunch of stellar patriots with unblmished reputation. RJ CG 14:23, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Arais? -- Sander Säde 14:42, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
My bad :( Thank you for correction. Arajs Kommando, of course. RJ CG 15:24, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
Ah, ty. Hadn't heard of him or those commandos. However, if there is POV in the article, why don't you fix it by introducing sources refuting the POV claims in the article? -- Sander Säde 15:28, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
Trying to improve this article would be similar to trying to improve an article on Flat Earth. Initial push behind the main concept is so biased, it can't be salvaged. I can see myself working on article dealing with biases of Cold War sources in general, though. Both sides produced rather impressive examples of distortions (although I agree that Soviets beaten West in this competition pretty badly). An article concentrating exclusively on sins of one side can not be "improved". RJ CG 15:40, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

The pre-perestroika Soviet historiography was more or less thrown into garbage bin by the Soviet historians themselves. So what exactly are you talking about by referring to the cold war and flat earth here, RJ CG? There was a term introduced during the Glasnost era by Soviet historians, so called "White-Spots" of the Soviet history. It means after Glasnost started in Soviet Union, only then were Soviet historians able to start patching the Soviet history together. Until then the Soviet Historiography wasn't anything more than a collection of Sci-Fi literature at best. Thats the way the Soviet historians looked at the Soviet historiography written until the Gasnost era, thats the way Yuri Afanasyev, Rector of the Russian State University for the Humanities looks at it [18]. In case you have sources that have any alternative POV-s to the subject, please do not hesitate to come up with these. Thanks --Termer 17:36, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

(Edit conflict with Termer's above, response to RJ CG). Yes, there were Nazi occupations, propaganda, atrocities too (and misrepresentations thereof). Considering the wailing and gnashing of teeth over Soviet and Nazi occupations being bundled into one article (e.g., occupation of Latvia) and charges of "equating," this separation is merely a response. Is RJ CG suggesting with his introduction of Arajs that we should have a combined Soviet and Nazi hisotriography article?
  There is no point in contending that an article about Soviet historiography is a priori pointlessly POV beyond hope. The topic is what it is, and it is reputably sourced as a topic. If there is concern that reputable sources are being-cherry picked making the article POV, please introduce other reputable sources--or improve fairness of representation of cherry-picked sources--for a balanced picture. As the E.E. ArbCom decision indicated, neither articles nor discussions thereof will be tolerated as venues for warring personal contentions.
  Accordingly, I will assume good faith that RJ CG is not provocation trolling to get a contentiousness replacement for Digwuren. PētersV 17:47, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

P.S. Neither Ezergailis, nor I, nor any other Latvian has any problem with condemning Arajs for who they were and what they did. That Arajs has been used to condemn the later Waffen SS, organized after the Holocaust and to fight the Red Army, as "Nazis" is--come to think of it--Soviet historiography.
   Re: "One cannot keep contending that an article reputably sourced is biased anyway. In fairness, it's not absolutely necessary to produce reputable sources which contend the opposite". I.e. we don't need to prove that Soviet source is wrong, we can discount it because it does not confirm our POVs. I have no crystal ball to see the future, but I can safely forecast that in short time this article, which is excercise in POV-influenced SYNC-ing, liberally peppered with OR, worthy of schoolbok on those concepts will be used to discount every source which does not present Arais commando as a bunch of stellar patriots with unblmished reputation. The "i.e." misrepresents what I said. Point A: One cannot simply contend an article citing source X is biased without producing a basis citing a reputable source. Point B. It is not necessary to produce a reputable countering source Y per se (though the best possibility)...BECAUSE... Point C. One has the option to go back to source X and represent it more fairly/completely if it has indeed been cherry-picked.
   Article contents and discussions thereof must, and are, based on what is found in reputable sources--what I surmise as the contention that this article exists only because it chooses to ignore non-compliant POVs (implying there are reputable sources which present such POVs that are being intentionally ignored) is RJ CG's personal contention; moreover, if drawn from my prior statement, a complete misrepresentation of my position. PētersV 18:10, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

P.P.S. RJ CG's misrepresentation is made possible only by taking the beginning of what I said out of context. I was, in fact, attempting to make the comment on an earlier discussion that those who dispute what they consider anti-Soviet nationalist bias do not have to bring alternate (reputable) sources; if a source has been cherry-picked in citation to create said alleged anti-Soviet nationalist bias, they can go back to cite the original source more completely and fairly. I was, in fact, making it easier for my so-called opposition by indicating that one does not need to bring new sources to the table, a more thorough examination of an existing source is equally relevant.
  I try to make it easier on the "opposition" (generally speaking I might include RJ CG) and all I get for my trouble is to be quoted out of context and attacked as having said something completely different from what was actually stated. PētersV 18:26, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

PētersV, don't you see an irony yourself, discussing the very concept of the reputable source on the talk page of an article which:
  • Trying to pose as a scientific entry on particular concept (Soviet historiography) but has no links to the main article on the subject (historiography).
  • Cites among it's "reputable sources" V. Suvorov
  • Cites publicistic books by American jorno as proof of scientific "concept"
I can only repeat, this article is POV-pushing "Flat Earth Theory" and can not be improved in it's present form. It needs to be re-written from the ground up.RJ CG 20:52, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Thats all fine RJ CG, I'm sure everybody is familiar with your opinion already and got the message. What hasn't changed though: I'm one of those who is still waiting patiently for any alternative sources that would back up your opinion and show that the Earth is spherical indeed.--Termer 22:24, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

To RJ CG, anything dealing with Soviet recounting of history qualifies for historiography, the word does not have to be in the title of the book/article cited. Your contention (and I believe Irpen's earlier, was it?) that the article is unreferenced with regard to "historiography" is baseless. BTW, I do hope to get to the library to print out some of the JSTOR references to start including those.
  You haven't refuted any references cited, you merely denigrate them instead of editorially dealing with anything they actually say. You've brought nothing to the table except your repeated cries of "hopelessly POV." Contribute something. You're certainly capable. PētersV 00:32, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
"anything dealing with Soviet recounting of history qualifies for historiography" And two sources I was explicitly referred to are (1) Non-scientific book by American journalist David Satter and (2) Fiction book by Russian writer V. Suvorov (whose very name became synonim of "Conspiracy theorist" in Russian and spawned word "rezunovshina" "резуновщина" in Russian as short for "pseudo-historical delirium"). And you are trying to claim that those fall under description of the "reliable source" in Wikipedia? OK, that does not amuse me but proves my point that article in current form is nothing more than badly written piece of junk science, violating just about every concept of Wikipedia in regards to NPOV, SYNTH and reliable sources and serving no other purpose but to advance revisionist POV of very minor but vocal group of Wikipedians.RJ CG 13:36, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
RJ CG, First, I was simply making the point that "historiography" does not need to be in the title for a source to be applicable. The contention that no sources regarding historiography have been cited because the word is not in the titles of the sources is specious at best.
   Second, I was not engaging you in debate on the quality of the two particular sources you mentioned. I was simply commenting on your method of discussing, sorry, dismissing, sources, that is to denigrate them while offering no reputable evidence for your low opinion of them.
   There is nothing to keep you from expanding the article. I already mentioned it would be quite useful to understand where Soviet accounts were accurate; where they shaded, stretched and spun; and where they simply manufactured history which never happened.
   You've been spending a lot of time lately jumping to my conclusions for me (rather erroneously I might add) and finding those conclusions somewhat upsetting (not amusing). You might consider taking what I write at face value rather than inferring what you believe I implied according to some über-nationalistic xenophobic plot. Perhaps you have mistaken me for one of your (alleged) very minor but very vocal group of Wikipedians whose only purpose is to advance revisionist POV?
   When I have a chance I'll make sure to add some references to the article which do have the word "historiography" in the title. Hopefully that will reduce your editorial angst over the lack of "historiography" in the titles of references cited so far. But it will be a week or so before I make it to the library. PētersV 04:26, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Pre-revolutionary Russia as 4th most developed country in the world

Among supposedly refuted "Myths of Soviet historiography" it says (#2) "Russia had already been fourth to fifth among industrial economies before World War I." Since we're talking about the age of empires, it is relatively easy to name most developed ones at this time. USA, British Empire, Germany, France. Which one Russia left to bite the dust to get into 4th place? As old Russian poem says "it could be funny if it wouldn't look so sad". RJ CG 13:36, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Can't comment on the above directly, only that if I take Soviet accounts of pre-revolutionary (meaning 1905) Russian production of coal, converting poods to metric tons, it's almost an exact match for the volume of coal being produced by the state of West Virginia during the same time frame. PētersV 04:30, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Should we delete Conquests`s claims then? They are so contrary to common sense that only his agitator background can explain their appearance. (talk) 02:20, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
If Vecrumba can provide any sources which disprove Conquest's assertion, this can be reflected in the article. Note that coal production is only one of many factors, and the difference between 1st and 4th most developed countries can be significant.Biophys (talk) 04:21, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
I would tend to agree with Conquest. Just looking at industrialization in the Baltics, we had the Tallinn shipyards, the Salamandra factory in Riga--the largest manufacturer of metal files in the world, the massive Provodnik Rubber Works,...
   To the trend in development of industry, Baltic industry was fed to a significant degree by raw materials from outside Russia (cheaper by ship than shipping materials from the interior). Ships arrived in the Baltics to take Russian good abroad (28% of all Russia's exports passed through Latvia alone); they brought raw materials for Baltic industry as ballast. Most of Baltic industrial production was sent to the interior. At the turn of the 20th century, however, Russia had already embarked on significant development of industry in the interior close to the sources of raw materials.
   There was already very significant industry before the revolution, and there's no reason to doubt that strong growth would have continued on its own. —PētersV (talk) 05:17, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Old flame is burning again? Well, that's no wonder. Conquest's "fourth" looks so unnatural that anyone remotely familiar with the period (it was "The Age of Empires", so not too many players to muddy the water) can't help but wonder. Surprisingly, it wasn't easy for me to dig data on the Russian 1913 GDP. Most sources from Google Search deals with GDP per capita (although GDP can be easily obtained from this number too). All of them (see [ this], for example) tend to rate Russian Empire at par with China in terms of GDP per capita and treat Russian pre-WWI economic spurt as extremely volatile and unsustainable (which makes Conquest's claim "Russia could have been better off" even more problematic, but I'm not going to concentrate on musings of one who made tainting of Communism his lifelong task). All in all, I'm sorely tempted to qualify "Russia being fourth" claim with "according to Conquest" warning, as we normally do with questionnable single-source claims.RJ CG (talk) 14:19, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Russian industrial production, raw materials, 1890-1900
The late Edgars Andersons, a distinguished historian (not just by Baltic standards) did fairly extensive research on economics in the Baltics. As indicated, industry was already developing in Russia closer to natural resources. Industrial development was also being fueled by foreign investment, which disappeared with the Revolution. You can only nationalize something once to get the one-benefit, the down side being that after that you're completely on your own. I don't read Conquest as being questionable at all regarding potential industrial development had the Soviets not taken control.
   Some figures on production of raw materials for industry ramping up in Russia in the 1890's here (Soviet source published in Latvian, but should be easy enough), figures in millions of poods (16.38 kg./36.11 lb.). "Čuguns" is pig-iron, "nafta" is naphtha, and "ogles" is coal. Output of these materials roughly doubled to tripled in the decade of 1890 to 1900, with growth in output accelerating. —PētersV (talk) 14:17, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
P.S. I'd also add that the pick and axe as the primary method of mining for coal was only first mechanized (mining in general, not Russia specifically) around 1880. —PētersV (talk) 16:53, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
P.P.S. Graph provided based on some work in progress that I'm doing elsewhere. —PētersV (talk) 17:21, 30 July 2008 (UTC)