A review of The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939
by Terry Martin
by Marek Jan Chodakiewicz
A representative of Sheila Fitzpatrick’s revisionist school and a Canadian of Mennonite German colonist-Russian/Ukrainian roots, Terry Martin, in his well-researched and pioneering The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939 (Ithaca, NY, and London: Cornell University Press, 2001), covers the saga of the Soviet nationalities policy under Stalin until the Second World War. He is interested in affirmative action policy (polozhite’l naia deiatel’nost, pokrovitel’stevennaia politika, pp. 16-17). This was a gigantic social engineering scheme that, while privileging the minorities, entailed reverse discrimination of the Russians.