British Historian Paul Dukes on the Regions of Russia in the Context of its History

British Historian Paul Dukes on the Regions of Russia in the Context of its History

Elena V. Alekseeva
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The article is devoted to the study of the history of Russia’s northern and eastern regions by Paul Dukes (1934–2021), a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Professor Emeritus at the University of Aberdeen. Based on the British historian’s scholarly publications and his travelogue sharing his personal impressions of Russian hinterland, the article presents his understanding of the specifics of the Russian North, the Urals, and the Far East in the history of Russia. It has been shown that the British historian made a significant contribution to English-language historiography by creating an image of the regions that are peripheral but nonetheless very significant for Russia and the world. He worked in the genre of analytical narrative and his scholarship was based upon the works of Russian, Soviet, and Western historians, historical documents, and his own impressions. Historicism, objectivism, broad outlook, comparativism, and the ability to adjust his research optics to micro- and macromodes depending on the tasks and specifics of the study were typical traits of the style of Paul Dukes’ writing. The image of the Russian North was shaped by the personal impressions of the British traveler; as an outside observer, he captured the details and circumstances of the post-Soviet period, which, however, did not spoil the warmth of perception of traditional values and hospitability of the northerners. Path-breaking in the English-language historiography, his monograph on the history of the Urals from the early Russian colonization to the present day reveals to the foreign reader the significance of the largest metallurgical region for the development of Russia and the world. Manchuria in Russian and Soviet history is considered in the context of intense international rivalry.
Elena V. Alekseeva
Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor of RAS, Leading Researcher in the Center for Methodology and Historiography
Institute of History and Archeology of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ekaterinburg, Russia
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Paul Dukes, history of Russia, empire, modernity, regions, Russian North, Urals, Far East, modernization
For citation:
Alekseeva, E.V. “British Historian Paul Dukes on the Regions of Russia in the Context of its History.” Historia Provinciae – the Journal of Regional History, vol. 7, no. 2 (2023): 576–610,

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