Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Richard V. Burks

Second Advisor

Alfred H. Kelly

Third Advisor

Christopher H. Johnson


Ever since the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, Soviet leaders have viewed the field of history as the most political of the social sciences. Soviet historiography, as a result, has been conditioned by political events; and Marxist-Leninist ideology, also affected by politics, has been used as its philosophical justification.

The flexibility of Soviet ideology has created an almost insurmountable obstacle for the historian. The ra­ tionale behind historical scholarship has been and still is utility, with the historian being used as a tool in support of ideological or political platforms proposed by the Party. As an employee of the state, the historian has found it practically impossible to work independently of party policy or to circumvent it; and just precisely what party policy might be at any given moment has presented even more complex problems.

Since this dissertation deals with the career of E.V. Tarle who died in 1955, suffice it to say that despite the "thaw” and the policy of de-Stalinization during the Khrushchev period, the historian to the present day is a servant of the state. He is told what to write by the party and any deviation leads to severe censure.