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Un mare sovietolog: Lectia lui Adam Ulam (1922-2000)

de Vladimir Tismaneanu     Contributors.ro
Joi, 5 aprilie 2012, 10:27 Actualitate | Opinii


Vladimir Tismaneanu
Foto: AGERPRES

Sovietologia a avut momentele ei de glorie. Atunci cand Occidentul parea incapabil sa ia masura comportamentului expansionist al Kremlinului, un numar de intelectuali au diagnosticat cu precizie fenomenul totalitar, au demonstrat ca bolsevismul isi are radacinile deopotriva in traditia rusa si in aceea a marxismului. Vreme de decenii profesor la Harvard, nascut in Polonia in 1922, Adam Ulam a murit 2000. Este interesanta prezenta istoricilor originari din Polonia in studiile sovietice: Adam Ulam, Richard Pipes, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Leo Labedz, Seweryn Bialer. De-a lungul anilor, li s-a reprosat chiar o anumita “rusofobie”. In fapt, cartile lor au fost si raman exemplare prin onestitate, rigoare si echilibru. Daca vrem sa intelegem cum gandeste Putin, intuitiile sovietologiei clasice raman o sursa si o resursa demne de tot respectul.

Adam Ulam fost un istoric si un politolog de prim rang, dar avea unele bizarerii, inclusiv la nivelul interpretarilor unor fapte notorii. Intre altele, era printre putinii care sustineau ca nu avem probe suficiente care sa demonstreze ca Stalin a fost implicat in asasinarea lui Serghei Mironovici Kirov pe 1 decembrie 1934. Din opera lui Ulam, dainuie cartile despre Tito si Cominform, biografia lui Stalin, volumul sintetic despre comunisti, cele despre relatiile sovieto-americane. Am scris in anii 80 cateva eseuri despre Ulam care s-au transmis la “Europa Libera”. Pe tema criminalitatii regimului bolsevic , eu unul prefer cartile lui Richard Pipes si Robert C. Tucker, precum si contributiile unor Martin Amis, Alain Besancon, Robert Conquest, Aleksandr Iakovlev, Martin Malia, Leonard Shapiro, Boris Souvarine, Bertram Wolfe. Azi nu mai exista dubii ca Lenin a fost direct responsabil de inceputul Gulagului. La vremea cand Ulam si-a scris cartea despre bolsevici, nu devenisera accesibile multe probe din arhive. Tocmai de aceea recomand cartea lui Pipes, “The Unknown Lenin”. Ca perspectiva generala, Ulam nu s-s inselat: a definit sistemul sovietic drept fundamental ilegitim, anti-uman, liberticid. A favorizat istoria politica, nu l-a interesat prea mult cea sociala (from below). La incetarea din viata a lui Adam Ulam, profesorul Timothy Colton a citit un omagiu semnat, intre altii, de Samuel Huntington, Martin Malia si Richard Pipes. Iata un fragment cat se poate de revelator:

Ulam was hard to pigeonhole intellectually, and he took some pleasure from this fact and from his independence of all orthodoxies and parties. Despite his abhorrence of Communist regimes, he counseled patience and adherence to Western values as the best way to contain them and bring about their dissolution. His writings emphasized historical and civilizational context while also insisting on the significance, and occasional perversity, of personalities. He meted out praise sparingly; his criticisms were more often couched in coolly ironic than in hotly dismissive tones. Ulam resisted the trend in the social sciences toward hypothesis-testing, and over the years took his distance from the Government Department. He was more in his element in non-departmental venues, principally Eliot House, the Signet Society, the long table at the Faculty Club, and the Russian Research Center — seeing in them, one suspects, qualities of the convivial Polish coffeehouses recollected so fondly in his memoir “Understanding the Cold War: A Historian’s Personal Reflections” (rev. ed., Transaction Publishers, 2002). The Russian Research Center was his real intellectual home. A charter member since its founding in 1948, he directed it with distinction for sixteen years. Ulam had deep friendships in and beyond the Harvard community. He maintained, however, an inner reserve which undoubtedly owed much to the tragedy of the Ulams of Lwów — a topic on which he was nearly silent until its appearance in his memoir. He never returned to Poland or Ukraine, and made but one brief visit to Russia. Indeed, he made a point of minimizing all travel. Even on campus, he sent research assistants to Widener rather than browse the shelves because, as he told colleagues, he feared their riches would distract him from his latest writing project.


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