Carrère d'Encausse, Hélène 1929-
CARRÈRE d'ENCAUSSE, Hélène 1929-
PERSONAL: Born July 6, 1929, in Paris, France; daughter of Georges Zourabichvili and Nathalie von Pelken; married Louis Carrère, 1952; children: one son, two daughters. Education: Educated at the Sorbonne, University of Paris.
ADDRESSES: Office—Académie Française, 23 quai Conti, 75006, Paris, France.
CAREER: Professor and Russian scholar. Sorbonne, University of Paris, Paris, France, professor; Institute d'Etudes Politiques, Paris, professor; Académie Française, member, 1990—, became permanent secretary (president), 1999; Member of the Royal Academy of Belgium and the European Parliament, became deputy, 1994; Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, director of research. Member of foundations and boards of directors, including East-West Institute for Security Studies; visiting professor at universities in the United States.
AWARDS, HONORS: Honorary degree, University of Montreal; Prix Aujourd'hui, 1978; Prix de la Fondation Louis Weiss, 1986; Legion of Honor, officer; Commander of the Order of Arts and Literature; awarded Order of Friendship, Russian Federation.
(With Stuart R. Schram) Le marxisme et l'Asie, 1853-1964, A. Colin (Paris, France), 1965, translation published as Marxism and Asia, Allen Lane (London, England), 1969.
Réforme et révolution chez les musulmans de l'empire russe, 1966, translation by Quintin Hoare published as Islam and the Russian Empire: Reform and Revolution in Central Asia, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1988.
L'URSS et la Chine devant les révolutions dans les sociétés pré-industrielles, A. Colin (Paris, France), 1970.
L'union soviétique de Lénine à Staline: 1917-1953, Volume 1: Lénine: la révolution et le pouvoir, Volume 2: Staline: l'ordre par la terreur, Éditions Richelieu (Paris, France), 1972, translation by Valence Ionescu published as A History of the Soviet Union, 1917-1953, Volume 1: Lenin: Revolution and Power, Volume 2: Stalin: Order through Terror, Longman (New York, NY), 1981-1982.
La politique soviétique au Moyen-Orient: 1955-1975, Presses de la Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques (Paris, France), 1975.
L'empire éclaté: la révolte des nations en URSS, Flammarion (Paris, France), 1978, translation by Martin Sokolinsky and Henry A. la Farge published as Decline of an Empire: The Soviet Socialist Republics in Revolt, Newsweek Books (New York, NY), 1979.
Le pouvoir confisqué: gouvernants et gouvernés en URSS, Flammarion (Paris, France), 1980, translation by George Holoch published as Confiscated Power: How Soviet Russia Really Works, Harper and Row (New York, NY), 1982.
Le grand frère: l'union soviétique et l'Europe soviétisée, Flammarion (Paris, France), 1983, translation by George Holoch published as Big Brother: The Soviet Union and Soviet Europe, Holmes and Meier (New York, NY), 1987.
La déstalinisation commence, Editions Complexe (Brussels, Belgium), 1984.
Ni paix, ni guerre: le nouvel empire soviétique, ou, du bon usage de la détente, Flammarion (Paris, France), 1986.
Le grand défi: bolcheviks et nations, 1917-1930, Flammarion (Paris, France), 1987, translation by Nancy Festinger published as The Great Challenge: Nationalities and the Bolshevik State, 1917-1930, Holmes and Meier (New York, NY), 1992.
Le malheur russe: essai sur le meurtre politique, Fayard (Paris, France), 1988, translation by Caroline Higgitt published as The Russian Syndrome: One Thousand Years of Political Murder, Holmes and Meier (New York, NY), 1992.
La gloire des nations ou la fin de l'empire soviétique, 1991, translation by Franklin Philip published as The End of the Soviet Empire: The Triumph of the Nations, Basic Books (New York, NY), 1993.
Victorieuse Russie, Fayard (Paris, France), 1992.
Nicolas II, la transition interrompue: une biographie politique, Fayard (Paris, France), 1996, translation by George Holoch published as Nicholas II: The Interrupted Transition, Holmes and Meier (New York, NY), 2000.
Lénine, Fayard (Paris, France), 1998, translation by George Holoch published as Lenin, Holmes and Meier (New York, NY), 2001.
La Russie inachevée, Fayard (Paris, France), 2000.
SIDELIGHTS: Hélène Carrère d'Encausse is a French professor, historian, and political scientist who in 1990 was elected to seat number fourteen out of forty of the Académie Française. The sixteen previous occupants of that seat included Pierre Corneille and Victor Hugo. In 1999 Carrère d'Encausse was named president of the academy, a position called permanent secretary by the French.
Carrère d'Encausse is the author of many volumes, primarily of Russian history. Most have been translated into English, some within years but others decades after initial publication, and most of these have been updated. Her books are appreciated not only by students of history and those who teach it, but also by a more general audience interested in the region and in the rise and fall of Communism and its influences in Eastern Europe.
Big Brother: The Soviet Union and Soviet Europe appeared in translation in 1987 and is divided into three sections. In the first, Carrère d'Encausse explains how Stalin's Soviet Union gained control in Eastern Europe following World War II. She then documents the ultimate futility of the resistance by the people of those countries during the thirty years following Stalin's death and concludes with an analysis of Gorbachev's reforms. History's Jack Lauber called the volume "an excellent analysis."
Tim McDaniel said in Contemporary Sociology that Carrère d'Encausse's The Great Challenge: Nationalities and the Bolshevik State, 1917-1930 "is a heroic effort. It seeks to understand the confrontation between the multiplicity of socialist approaches to ethnicity and nationality and the trying circumstances in which the Bolsheviks sought to create their classless society in the formative period of the Soviet Union."
"Above all," wrote Mark von Hagen in Slavic Review, "d'Encausse documents a distinct set of approaches that were characteristic of Lenin's ascendancy in the Party and state and that contrasted sharply with later policies adopted by Stalin."
Journal of Modern History's Timothy E. O'Connor said the volume "is a masterpiece and deserves to be read by students and scholars interested in not only Soviet history but also contemporary affairs in the former Soviet Union. This book benefits from an excellent translation and reads extremely well."
The Russian Syndrome: One Thousand Years of Political Murder is an essay of the part political murder played in Russian politics from the conquest of Kiev in 882 to 1988 and the Twenty-eighth Congress of the Communist Party. Originally published in French in 1988, it addresses the reign of Ivan the IV, known as Ivan the Terrible, who killed his son Dimitri in a fit of rage. Similarly, Peter the Great killed his son, Alexis, and Rasputin, who was murdered by Prince Yussopov in 1916, suffered poisoning and torture before being thrown into an icy river. The entire Romanov family was murdered in 1918 as a message from the new revolutionaries that the old regime was forever ended, an act later condoned by both Lenin and Stalin as being justified in the evolution of an ideal communist society. When Stalin died in 1953, physical murder was replaced by other forms of political annihilation, such as Khrushchev's denouncement of Stalin in 1956, and Khrushchev's own forced retirement.
Ole Berthelsen wrote in the Journal of Peace Research that the author "sees the post-Stalin era as a continuation of a modernization process which started before the Revolution. In this light, the terror under Stalin represents a unique period in Russian as well as Soviet history, an exception rather than a rule."
The End of the Soviet Empire: The Triumph of the Nations is a four-part volume in which Carrère d'Encausse presents her views on the causes of the Soviet Empire's demise. Glenn Chafetz commented in Political Science Quarterly that her thesis "is that the combination of glasnost and the Chernobyl nuclear accident spurred the long-suppressed but restive constituent nations of the USSR into rising up and destroying the communist glue that held the empire together." Since this book was published just before the final breakup in 1990-91, an epilogue has been added to this version to bring it up-to-date.
Stephen Blank wrote in Slavic Review that Carrère d'Encausse follows "the extent of the Russian Republic's galloping socio-economic crisis that led not only to the reversal of historic immigration patterns and refugee flows back into Russia, but also the breakdown of schools, family, and the economy. In the Russian case, a sense of demographic and socio-moral crisis was a particularly strong motivator of the intelligentsia's efforts to overthrow the system."
Elizabeth Jones Hemenway wrote in Russian Review that in Nicholas II: The Interrupted Transition, Carrère d'Encausse first "sets out to add subtlety and complexity to the traditional picture of Nicholas II as a weak, indecisive ruler; and, second, seeks to reconceptualize the history of twentieth-century Russia, arguing that we should see this period as one of progress and modernization that was (unjustly) interrupted for over seventy years by the 1917 revolutions and the Soviet state."
John Keep, who reviewed the volume in the Times Literary Supplement, wrote that it is Carrère d'Encausse's contention, "advanced with the elegance and skill one expects from a distinguished French Academician, that Nicholas had his own concept of what was required; moreover, that it may have been better suited to Russian realities, and to the people's outlook, than the institutional checks on the autocratic power loudly advocated by liberals and others."
Choice reviewer D. A. Meier noted that the czar "emerges with strongly held convictions of his obligations as autocrat though plagued by the realization of Russia's need to modernize. … Overall, this work presents an intriguing reassessment of Russian history and the role of great persons."
Carrère d'Encausse's Lenin, written after the fall of the communist bloc, is her assessment of Lenin's contributions. Slavoj Žižek wrote in the London Review of Books that Carrère d'Encausse "rightly emphasises that his genius lay in his ability to move beyond the typical narrative of the revolution, in which a brief, ecstatic explosion of utopian energy is followed by a sobering morning after. Lenin possessed the strength to prolong the utopian moment."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, June, 1971, Roger E. Kanet, review of L'URSS et la Chine devant les révolutions dans les sociétés pré-industrielles, pp. 746-747.
American Political Science Review, June, 1985, Roger E. Kanet, review of Le grand frère: l'union soviétique et l'Europe soviétisée, pp. 575-576; December, 1988, Scott McElwain, review of Big Brother: The Soviet Union and Soviet Europe, pp. 1414-1415.
Booklist, April 15, 2000, Jay Freeman, review of Nicholas II: The Interrupted Transition, p. 1519.
Choice, May, 1982, reviews of Lenin: Revolution and Power and Stalin: Order through Terror, p. 1308; September, 1992, D. J. Dunn, review of The Great Challenge: Nationalities and the Bolshevik State, 1917-1930, p. 193; November, 2000, D. A. Meier, review of Nicholas II, pp. 587-588.
Contemporary Sociology, July, 1993, Tim McDaniel, review of The Great Challenge, pp. 512-514, Rogers Brubaker, review of The End of the Soviet Empire: The Triumph of the Nations, pp. 514-516.
History, summer, 1988, Jack M. Lauber, review of Big Brother, p. 179.
Journal of Asian Studies, May, 1971, Leon Goure, review of L'URSS et la Chine devant les révolutions dans les sociétés pré-industrielles, pp. 670-671.
Journal of Modern History, December, 1994, Timothy E. O'Connor, review of The Great Challenge, pp. 895-896.
Journal of Peace Research, August, 1991, Stein Tonnesson, review of La gloire des nations ou la fin de l'empire soviétique, pp. 333-334; February, 1995, Ole Berthelsen, review of The Russian Syndrome: One Thousand Years of Political Murder, p. 123.
London Review of Books, Slavoj Žižek, review of Lenin, pp. 13-15.
National Review, March 4, 1983, Ellen Wilson, review of Confiscated Power: How Soviet Russia Really Works, pp. 265-266.
Partisan Review, spring, 1985, Paul Hollander, review of Confiscated Power, pp. 120-132.
Political Science Quarterly, summer, 1993, Glenn Chafetz, review of The End of the Soviet Empire, p. 358.
Problems of Communism, June-July, 1990, Trond Gilberg, review of Big Brother, pp. 99-103.
Russian Politics and Law, July-August, 2000, Arkadii Vaksberg, "A Change of Epochs in Russia" (interview), pp. 76-81.
Russian Review, July, 1990, David MacKenzie, review of Islam and the Russian Empire: Reform and Revolution in Central Asia, pp. 339-340; October, 1994, Ralph T. Fisher, review of The Russian Syndrome, pp. 575-576; October, 2001, Elizabeth Jones Hemenway, review of Nicholas II, pp. 655-656.
Slavic Review, spring, 1991, Keith Hitchins, review of Islam and the Russian Empire, pp. 195-197; spring, 1994, Mark Von Hagen, review of The Great Challenge, pp. 234-236; fall, 1995, Richard Hellie, review of The Russian Syndrome, pp. 762-763; winter, 1995, Stephen Blank, review of The End of the Soviet Empire, pp. 1134-1135.
Slavonic and East European Review, January, 1990, Stephen White, review of Big Brother, p. 177.
Times Literary Supplement, March 5, 1970, review of Marxism and Asia, p. 246; June 19, 1981, Violet Conolly, review of Le pouvoir confisqué: gouvernants et gouvernés en URSS, pp. 705-706; April 21, 1989, John Keep, review of Islam and the Russian Empire, p. 415; January 4, 1991, Alec Nove, review of La gloire des nations ou la fin de l'empire soviétique, p. 8; October 20, 2000, John Keep, review of Nicholas II, p. 27.
Washington Post Book World, Jerry F. Hough, review of Confiscated Power, pp. 9-10.*
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