From Ruins to Reconstruction: Urban Identity in Soviet Sevastopol after World War II by Karl D. QuallsFrom Ruins to Reconstruction: Urban Identity in Soviet Sevastopol after World War II by Karl D. Qualls

From Ruins to Reconstruction: Urban Identity in Soviet Sevastopol after World War II

byKarl D. Qualls

Hardcover | October 2, 2009

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Sevastopol, located in present-day Ukraine but still home to the Russian Black Sea Fleet and revered by Russians for its role in the Crimean War, was utterly destroyed by German forces during World War II. In From Ruins to Reconstruction, Karl D. Qualls tells the complex story of the city's rebuilding. Based on extensive research in archives in both Moscow and Sevastopol, architectural plans and drawings, interviews, and his own extensive experience in Sevastopol, Qualls tells a unique story in which the periphery "bests" the Stalinist center: the city's experience shows that local officials had considerable room to maneuver even during the peak years of Stalinist control.Qualls first paints a vivid portrait of the ruined city and the sufferings of its surviving inhabitants. He then turns to Moscow's plans to remake the ancient city on the heroic socialist model prized by Stalin and visited upon most other postwar Soviet cities and towns. In Sevastopol, however, the architects and city planners sent out from the center "went native," deviating from Moscow's blueprints to collaborate with local officials and residents, who seized control of the planning process and rebuilt the city in a manner that celebrated its distinctive historical identity. When completed, postwar Sevastopol resembled a nineteenth-century Russian city, with tree-lined boulevards; wide walkways; and buildings, street names, and memorials to its heroism in wars both long past and recent. Though visually Russian (and still containing a majority Russian-speaking population), Sevastopol was in 1954 joined to Ukraine, which in 1991 became an independent state. In his concluding chapter, Qualls explores how the "Russianness" of the city and the presence of the Russian fleet affect relations between Ukraine, Russia, and the West.

Karl D. Qualls is Associate Professor of History at Dickinson College.
Title:From Ruins to Reconstruction: Urban Identity in Soviet Sevastopol after World War IIFormat:HardcoverDimensions:232 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.94 inPublished:October 2, 2009Publisher:Cornell University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801447623

ISBN - 13:9780801447624

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Rebuilding as an Urban Identification Project
1. Wartime Destruction and Historical Identification
2. Local Victory over Moscow: Planning for the Future
3. Accommodation: Bringing Life to the Rubble
4. Agitation: Rewriting the Urban Biography in Stone
5. Persistence and Resilience of Local Identification
Selected Bibliography

Editorial Reviews

"The rebuilding of Sevastopol involved negotiation between a central vision and on-the-spot realities and aspirations. Karl D. Qualls reveals in detail not only the contest of authority over the design and execution of the rebuilding project but also the difficulties encountered in the shortage of workers and materials. Qualls demonstrates that the inhabitants preferred to show a historic heroic, military, naval, and emphatically Russian face to the world, rather than a strictly Soviet facade. It is this very Russian city, housing both the Russian and the Ukrainian Black Sea fleets that is a source of friction between Russia and Ukraine today. In exploring important issues of image and identity, Qualls has made admirable use of archives, newsreels, films, and interviews." - Patricia Herlihy, Brown University, author of The Alcoholic Empire