Libmonster ID: MD-1019
Author(s) of the publication: Yu. V. KHODYREVA

Moscow: Publishing house "XXI vek-Soglasie", 2000. 380 p.

According to some historians and political scientists, many of the world's problems are ending The twentieth century is linked to the legacy of colonialism. Therefore, the book by E. A. Glushchenko, dedicated to the colonial figures and features of colonialism in England and Russia at the end of the XIX century in Africa and Asia, seems quite relevant and modern.

Thanks to the original idea of combining four picturesque portraits of the brightest colonial figures of Russia and England in one work, as well as the harmonious style, the book is quite complex, replete with factual data, and reads easily like a novel.

The author drew on various historical documents, memoirs, diaries, magazine and newspaper articles, and scientific monographs. Of particular value are archival materials from Rods' House and Public Record Office (UK).

page 212


A sufficient number of biographical materials about F. Lugard and F. Although often influenced by the ideals of the time, the author's work was greatly facilitated. However, the objectivity with which he presents the activities and portraits of Englishmen to the reader allows us to take a fresh look at well-known and repeatedly described events.

The main conclusions about the colonial methods of Russia and England are located at the beginning of the book (pp. 11-19). This technique, in my opinion, allowed the author to concisely state his thoughts and avoid the hard work that might be required if these ideas were presented directly in the course of the story.

No matter what the work is about, E. A. Glushchenko avoids one-sided assessments. Thus, speaking about the inevitability of colonialism as a phenomenon, explaining it by the eternal desire of man to attack and subdue the weaker, the author gives a deep philosophical analysis of historical events. For example, he concludes that Europeans and Americans are the heirs of the Roman Empire. Although Rome is usually associated with the brutality that is usually characteristic of a colonization breakthrough, the author speaks about the huge cultural potential of this process (Roman law, Christianity, etc.) (pp. 7-8). Concluding his argument with Berdyaev's thought that " imperialism, no matter how base its motives and bad its methods, still leads beyond the borders of a closed existence... unites East and West" (p. 14), the author emphasizes that the idea of globalization, popular at the very end XX century, not new.

The four characters whose images inspired the author were practically contemporaries, although they acted at different times and on different continents: Kaufman and Skobelev in the 60-80s of the XIX century. - in Asia, Lugard in the late XIX-early XX century-in Africa, Robert at the same time - in Asia and Africa.

In my opinion, the portraits of Russian officers turned out to be bright in the book. Their devotion to the fatherland, for whose honor they risked their lives in the wild steppes of Central Asia, gives them a special romanticism, and the personal tragedies in the lives of each of them deepen the impression of their heroism and desperate efforts to annex Samarkand, Khiva, and Bukhara to the Russian Empire. Most interesting in the image of E. A. Glushchenko is the young General Skobelev. Such details as the attitude of his contemporaries, in particular Pobedonostsev and Dostoevsky, the difference in the reception given to him in Moscow and St. Petersburg, the court intrigues directed against him, not only complement the image of Skobelev, but also increase the scale of the historical space of the work, and the mysterious death of the hero makes you think about the secret mechanisms of politics.

Much more schematic are the images of English colonial figures. So, the High Commissioner of Northern Nigeria Lugard looks like a sober-minded, practical, but cynical person. His decisive actions to annex the emirates of Sokoto, Bure, and Iolu, despite government directives, characterize him as an ambitious, talented military man with a strong will. However, if we talk about his attitude towards Africans and understanding of his own role in the territory entrusted to him, we can conclude that he turned out to be an idealist and a rather simple-minded person. As for Roberts, his actions in Afghanistan and Ethiopia during the British intervention in 1861, and then in South Africa during the Boer War, earned him a reputation as the savior of the honor of the empire.

Ye. A. Glushchenko presented the heroes, whose characters and destinies have a lot in common. They are united by loyalty to their state, initiative, offensive spirit, the ability to insist on their own, to force the central departments of metropolitan areas to adopt their own action plan, often putting them in front of an already fait accompli. The author's comments about disrespect for the exploits of brave Russian officers in Russia are all the stronger in comparison with the respect for the memory of their subjects in England.

The advantage of this work is the comparison of the colonial methods of Russia and England. Until recently, it was not customary to call the Russian Empire a colonial power, although the methods of expanding its possessions are similar to colonial seizures. According to the author, there are no works in pre-revolutionary Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet literature that even partially compare the methods of colonization used by European powers.

Thus, the lack of research on the problem of the colonial policy of European states, as well as the odious and often absurd conclusions of some Soviet historians who ignore historical facts (p.11, 206), distinguish this work from others written on this topic. A fresh look at the history of England's conquest of Asia and Africa, and Russia's conquest of Central Asia, makes Glushchenko's book interesting for both orientalists and Africanists.

 


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Yu. V. KHODYREVA, Е.А. ГЛУЩЕНКО. СТРОИТЕЛИ ИМПЕРИЙ. ПОРТРЕТЫ КОЛОНИАЛЬНЫХ ДЕЯТЕЛЕЙ // Chisinau: Library of Moldova (LIBRARY.MD). Updated: 29.06.2024. URL: https://library.md/m/articles/view/Е-А-ГЛУЩЕНКО-СТРОИТЕЛИ-ИМПЕРИЙ-ПОРТРЕТЫ-КОЛОНИАЛЬНЫХ-ДЕЯТЕЛЕЙ (date of access: 17.07.2024).

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