The complex relations between the Soviet Union and the Soviet states of the Caucasus that were formerly parts of the Ottoman and Persian empires offer examples of complex cultural and political relations of antagonism and appropriation that go beyond simple binaries of resistance or nationalist anti‐eurocentrism. Though their work is little known except to scholars in Slavic Studies, in the years following the Russian Revolution of 1917 Soviet Orientologists laid the foundations for the critique of Western Orientalism that would be introduced to the West many years later in 1978 by Edward W. Said. The Soviet critique of the imperialist foundations of Eurocentric culture and academic knowledge formed the basis for the huge World Literature publishing project pioneered by Maxim Gorky, an initiative which has been largely disregarded—both historically and theoretically—in the Western rediscovery of World Literature in the era of globalization. Similarly, Western postcolonial scholars have only recently begun to acknowledge the creative, cultural and political affiliations of Global South writers to internationalist organizations such as the Afro‐Asian Writers Association which was supported by the Soviet Union in the Cold War period and the importance of publications such as Lotus magazine. The books reviewed here demonstrate the degree to which histories of “postcolonialism” and the late Western critique of Orientalism have now been rewritten to acknowledge their sources in earlier critiques by Soviet scholars in the first half of the twentieth century.

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