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History Today
Vol. 39, no. 9 (September 1989), p. 26-34


Eastern Europe and Russia are the subject of much scrutiny at present as questions of power, identity and political structures are pursued at breath-taking speed. 'History Today' contributes a commentary on these events this autumn by asking two leading Russian historians - one now resident in the US, the other a recently-elected member of the Soviet Union's new Parliament - to look at their historical context. In the first of these article Alexander Khazdan, senior research associate at Dumbarton Oaks, Washington D.C., considers the influence of totalitarianism and meritocracy in the Byzantine empire - and its relationship to the growth of the Russian and other successor states in the east