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    #1

    Return Something To Its Central Place In Soviet History

    A book review for the book "The Soviet Tragedy" by Martin Malia reads:


    The Soviet Tragedy is an essential coda to the literature of Soviet studies...Insofar as [he] returns the power of ideology to its central place in Soviet history, Malia has made an enormous contribution. He has written the history of a utopian illusion and the tragic consequences it had for the people of the Soviet Union and the world.
    I understand (sort of!?) the phrase "a central place in Soviet history". But I don't quite get how the author Malia proactively "returns the power of ideology to its central place in Soviet history," since Malia is not a participant of that Soviet history, but a mere author. If someone, lets say John Doe, did something awesome in the past in America, then the sentence:

    John Doe has a central place in American history.
    makes sense to me.
    Last edited by learningspirit; 11-Mar-2015 at 20:08.

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    #2

    Re: Return Something To Its Central Place In Soviet History

    Malia only needs to influence something to happen so that that something returns to its central place in Soviet History. Malia doesn't need to be in it but what she could affect it.

    ***Not a teacher***
    Last edited by +Technist Warp-; 11-Mar-2015 at 13:51. Reason: Correction...

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    #3

    Re: Return Something To Its Central Place In Soviet History

    Malia has helped put ideology back in people's understanding of Soviet history. As Malia is a historian it does not matter how close he or she was to the events; it's about a historian's understanding and not a person's proximity.

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    #4

    Re: Return Something To Its Central Place In Soviet History

    The point being that presumably a lot of history has been written about the Soviet Union discussing many of its other facets. This work brings the central fact (its ideology) back to the forefront of historical discussion.

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    #5

    Re: Return Something To Its Central Place In Soviet History

    So, would this rewrite:

    ...Insofar as [he] returns the power of ideology to its central place in the study of Soviet history, Malia has made an enormous contribution....
    be better?

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    #6

    Re: Return Something To Its Central Place In Soviet History

    No. It's about ideology being central to Soviet history, not just being central to its study.

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    #7

    Re: Return Something To Its Central Place In Soviet History

    But how does an author make ideology central to Soviet history after the fact, if ideology, by itself, was not central to Soviet history when that history happened?

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    #8

    Re: Return Something To Its Central Place In Soviet History

    It was central to the Soviet Union. That's the point.

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    #9

    Re: Return Something To Its Central Place In Soviet History

    Quote Originally Posted by +Technist Warp- View Post
    Malia doesn't need to be in it but what she could affect it.
    Martin Malia is almost certainly a man. If his name was Martina, he'd probably be a woman.

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    #10

    Re: Return Something To Its Central Place In Soviet History

    Quote Originally Posted by learningspirit View Post
    But how does an author make ideology central to Soviet history after the fact, if ideology, by itself, was not central to Soviet history when that history happened?
    It was central to Soviet history. The reviewer obviously thinks that the role of ideology has gone missing from some histories. Malia has returned it. He's not making it central; he's returning it the place it always had in history (according to the reviewer).
    An important thing about history is that it doesn't really mean what happened; it means an account of what happened. This is Malia's history of the Soviet Union. Somone else's would be different. They could all be true, as far as the truth of history is concerned.

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