Libmonster ID: UK-1402
Author(s) of the publication: G. M. SIDOROVA

History and historians-this is the main plot of the book by the Africanist and Orientalist, professor, Doctor of Historical Sciences A.M. Khazanov "I learned the craft of a historian from them "(Moscow, 2014, 132 p.). The fascinating story, which is hard to break away from, immerses you in the atmosphere of the 1950s, reminds you of the difficult years of perestroika in our country, introduces you to such prominent historians of science as A. A. Huber (1902-1971), B. F. Porshnev (1905-1971), I. S. Galkin (1898-1990) and many others. The author calls them "locomotives that pull the whole train" (p. 7), writes about them with warmth and gratitude for the acquired knowledge.

A. M. Khazanov uses the brushstroke of a mature master to draw pictures related to the unforgettable years of his youth, when he came to "conquer" Moscow and enter the History Department of the Lomonosov Moscow State University. It was at the university that he met people who left an indelible mark on his life, who shaped him as a scientist. The author writes not only about his teachers. On the pages of the book we also find the names of his students who have reached the top of science. S. A. Voronin (b. 1971), for example, he considers one of the most gifted and talented scientists, "with paradoxical thinking and able to break the usual stereotypes."

The book of A. M. Khazanov can be called a "memoir storeroom", which contains stories about the difficult life of scientists, replete with all sorts of collisions and vicissitudes of fate, who experienced the winds of change. One of these" victims of time " was Yu. V. Gankovsky (1921-2001), who spent his best years in the GULAG behind barbed wire. However, the heavy fate that fell on his life "did not break Yuri Vladimirovich and did not put on him the seal of bitterness and hatred for people." After being released from prison in 1956, he soon defended his PhD thesis and became the academic secretary of the Institute.

In each of his teachers, the author finds unrepeatable human qualities. Anatoly Mikhailovich writes about Porshnev, for example, that he was a model of the Russian intellectual, an outstanding scientist, a brilliant lecturer and an irresistibly charming person, had a great sense of humor and was an unusually witty person (p.14). Ravil Bukharaev (1951-2012) received an enviable rating. "Like the Phrygian king Midas, everything he touched turned to gold... He was a man in many ways mysterious and mysterious" (p.85). "I really like mysterious people. The tested ones are less interesting," writes A. M. Khazanov (p.84). A distinctive feature of A. S. Protopopov (b. 1922), one of the authors of the textbook "History of International Relations and Foreign Policy of Russia, 1968-2005", is the ability to "discover, love and nurture nugget talents" (p. 92). I. M. Reisner (1898-1958), the founder of Russian indology and journalism, he rightly called it " a lump, a colossal scientist." And so - about each of the people close to the author's heart. Thanks to the brilliant pen of A. M. Khazanov, the images of the characters described by him turned out to be bright, colorful and inimitable.

No less colorful picture is conveyed by the author, describing the years spent at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences/RAS, calling it a second home. For 54 years of working in this Temple of Science, he experienced a lot and changed his mind, nurtured a whole galaxy of Orientalists. The stereotypes of power in the country changed, and with them the stereotypes of thinking. The author recalls the years when in the works of Soviet Africanists ideological trends were strictly divided into bourgeois and socialist, and all the countries of the "third" world-into countries of capitalist and socialist orientation. The article quotes the bold statements of the talented diplomat and scientist, then director of the Institute of Oriental Studies M. S. Kapitsa (1921 - 1995) regarding the establishment of a new line of relations with the countries of the East and Africa.

In conclusion, the author suggests that respect for the Orientalist - a connoisseur of rare sources, languages and the history of the East, we have no or lost. The level of their salary, which reduces the prestige of scientists, also does not correspond. In this connection, I recall a well-known saying: "A learned person is one who has studied all his life, only to earn little later." Attention is drawn to the fact that the training of qualified personnel in this field requires much more time and effort than, for example, the training of specialists in European countries, and there is a call for the return of a worthy status of "a true worker of orientalism" (p. 131).

A. M. Khazanov's book is written in the memoir-journalistic genre, with numerous life sketches and comments on them, sometimes with irony, sometimes with sadness. The ability to talk about complex things in an accessible way, without cumbersome scientific formulations, makes the monograph particularly attractive and deserves the attention of both specialists and a wide range of readers. It will undoubtedly take its rightful place on the shelf of Russian historical and memoir literature.

G. M. SIDOROVA, Candidate of Historical Sciences Institute of Africa, Russian Academy of Sciences


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G. M. SIDOROVA, JOURNEY TO THE "LAND OF HISTORY" // London: British Digital Library (ELIBRARY.ORG.UK). Updated: 03.12.2023. URL: https://elibrary.org.uk/m/articles/view/JOURNEY-TO-THE-LAND-OF-HISTORY-2023-12-03 (date of access: 19.04.2024).

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