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Microstorie letterarie. Modelli e prospettive di ricerca in area slava (a cura di Emilio Mari e Mikhail Velizhev)

V. 16 (2023): Microstorie letterarie. Modelli e prospettive di ricerca in area slava

Niels Bohr by Daniil Danin and Changes in the “Rules of the Game” in the Editorial Office of Lives of Remarkable People Series (1969-1978)



This paper presents a microhistorical investigation of the conflict that arose in the editorial office of the series of biographies Lives of Remarkable People (Zhizn’ Zamechatel’nykh Liudei) during preparation for the publication of Daniil Danin’s book Niels Bohr (1978). Based on Danin’s extensive correspondence with the editors, the paper reconstructs the stages of the conflict between 1969 and 1978, including the nature of editorial claims and the author’s disagreements. The publication conflict regarding Niels Bohr allows the author to examine the shifting ideological agenda and evolving perceptions of working relationships within the editorial office of the series during the transitional period between the Thaw and Stagnation eras in Soviet history. Microhistorical optics also shed light on the less apparent involvement of the USSR Writers’ Union functionaries in resolving this conflict and the attitudes towards modern science and scientists among conservative circles of the Soviet intelligentsia in the 1970s, marking the evolution of late Soviet culture and society.