Andy BrunoJan 30, 2018
The Nature of Soviet Power
An Arctic Environmental History
Cambridge University Press 2016
What can be learned about the Soviet Union by viewing it through an environmental lens? What would an environmental history teach us about power in the Soviet system? What lessons can be drawn from the environmental experience of Soviet communism? These are just some of the questions motivating historian Andy Bruno's book, The Nature of Soviet Power: An Arctic Environmental History (Cambridge University Press, 2016). The book is the first to consider nature and the environment as actor and participant, rather than passive subject, in Soviet history. It traces the history of economically driven environmental change on the northern Kola Peninsula, covering the construction of railroads, phosphate mining, reindeer farming, nickel and copper smelting, and energy industries, from the Imperial period to the post-Soviet era. The Nature of Soviet Power shows how nature shaped, and was shaped by, the Soviet system, and sees Soviet environmental history as part of the global pursuit for unending economic growth amongst modern states.