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Nikolai Krementsov

Apologia: The Historian’s Craft

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“…habiendo y debiendo ser los historiadores puntuales, verdaderos y nonada apasionados, y que ni el interés ni el miedo, el rancor ni la afición, no les hagan torcer del camino de la verdad, cuya madre es la historia, émula del tiempo, depósito de las acciones, testigo de lo pasado, ejemplo y aviso de lo presente, advertencia de lo por venir.”
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, 1605

  • 1 Cited from the complete text of the first 1605 edition of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, El ingenio (...)

1As Miguel de Cervantes forcefully stated in his immortal book Don Quixote: “it is the job and duty of historians to be exact, truthful, and dispassionate.”1 Alas, the author of the first modern novel did not leave us a guide to exactly how historians were to fulfill this tall order. Generations of Clio’s worshipers have put considerable efforts into perfecting their craft and honing their tools to ascertain the accuracy of the histories they produce. Yet hardly any other area of scholarship exhibits such a penchant for perpetual “revision” of its products. The high passions history often engenders aside, the origins of its “inherent” revisionism rest on two basic elements of the historian’s craft: finding necessary sources and translating them, both literally and figuratively. As for many of my fellow historians, these two foundations of our profession generated numerous challenges in my work on the biography of Vasilii Florinskii’s Human Perfection and Degeneration. Understanding and meeting these challenges, therefore, became an integral part of my journey on Cervantes’s “path of truth” (camino de la verdad) to recover the forgotten history of the book, its author, publishers, and readers.

The Historian as Detective

  • 2 Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time (London: Peter Davis, 1951). All the subsequent quotations are (...)
  • 3 For a recent analysis of the relations between More’s account and Shakespeare’s drama, see Douglas (...)

2The historian’s craft is very much akin to that of a detective. No one has demonstrated this simple fact more skillfully and more convincingly than the British writer Elizabeth MacKintosh in her novel The Daughter of Time published in 1951 under the penname Josephine Tey.2 The novel’s main character, Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant, is confined to a hospital bed as the result of an accident he has suffered in the line of duty. Out of boredom, the inspector decides to investigate an old “cold case.” The case he picks is not an ordinary one. It had provided the plot for William Shakespeare’s famous tragedy: King Richard III’s alleged murder of his nephews, Edward, Prince of Wales, and Richard, Duke of York. With the help of a “research assistant” who does all the legwork in searching for the necessary materials in London’s libraries, the inspector eventually discovers that Shakespeare’s dramatic version of the events surrounding “the mysterious disappearance of the boys from the Tower” has very little to do with historical reality, for it is based on a biased account produced many years after the alleged murder by none other than “St. Thomas More.”3 “I’ll never again believe anything I read in a history book, as long as I live,” the inspector concludes in disgust. To his dismay, Grant also learns that More’s and Shakespeare’s portrayals of Richard III as a murderer, in spite of persistent doubts about the accuracy of both expressed by many historians, have been perpetuated in school textbooks and public consciousness. Furthermore, he realizes that numerous historical events exist in public memory only in the form of “a dramatic story with not a word of truth in it.” He names this aberration of historical memory “Tonypandy,” after the first example of such particular distortion of historic truth he had encountered.

  • 4 See, for instance, Robin W. Winks, ed., The Historian as Detective: Essays on Evidence (New York: (...)

3By turning the professional detective Grant into a historian, Tey has vividly depicted the key part in the job of both: gathering all sorts of evidence, from material traces to witness testimonies, relevant to the event under investigation, be it a murder or a publication of a scientific text.4 Yet, despite the current popularity of TV shows about “cold cases,” a real-life detective rarely, if ever, investigates a crime that has previously been “solved” by another detective. The situation is just the opposite for a historian: only in truly exceptional cases, does s/he write about something that has not already been studied in one way or another by numerous colleagues past and present.

4As Inspector Grant quickly recognizes, in a historical investigation all relevant evidence falls into the two uneven and vastly different categories of primary and secondary sources. The former include anything and everything generated at the time and the place of the event by its active participants and passive observers. The latter consist of everything and anything created outside the time and the place of the event by individuals (including historians) who have no direct relation to that event. Unlike a detective who usually deals almost exclusively with primary sources, a historian always has to deal with both — and to distinguish carefully between — primary and secondary sources. As Inspector Grant learns in the course of his investigation of Richard III’s purported crime, who, when, how, for what purpose, and for which audience created a particular source are critical questions that a historian must ask and, whenever possible, answer.

5In my own research into the biography of Florinskii’s treatise, I had to wear the hats of both a detective and a historian. This book traverses more than 150 years of Russian history, along with the history of medicine, science, journalism, education, and eugenics. It touches upon numerous subjects, events, individuals, institutions, and ideas, nearly all of which and whom have been studied and sometimes hotly debated by several generations of historians. I have greatly benefited from the available secondary sources they produced.

6Yet, I could not help but notice the paucity of secondary literature on many important subjects, institutions, and individuals in nineteenth-century Russian history, which hindered substantially my work on this book. To give just a few almost random examples, there is still no fully-fledged scholarly biography in any language of the Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich Romanov, the younger brother of Emperor Alexander II and the main architect of the Great Reforms. Neither has the life story of Russian Word’s founder Count Grigorii Kushelev-Bezborodko attracted much attention, despite the fact that he left his footprints in almost every area of nineteenth-century Russian literature, arts, philanthropy, education, and even chess. Compared to the enormous body of historical works on Russian literature, the history of Russian science and medicine remains considerably understudied, with numerous individuals, practices, and institutions still awaiting careful historical investigation.

7I have also noticed that much of the Soviet-era historical literature suffers from a dogmatic “Marxist” approach to its various subjects, but nevertheless contains a wealth of factual material, some of which I have happily utilized in my own work. By contrast, much of the pre-1990s western historical literature, especially dealing with the Soviet period, offers a variety of useful analytical schemes and tools, but often contains factual mistakes deriving from lack of access to primary sources. Moreover, this literature not infrequently exhibits a marked Cold War “us versus them” mentality in assessing various events of Soviet history. All told, it was simply impossible to reference all of the historical literature I consulted, and, aside from a few direct quotations, I have kept such references to a bare minimum, only pointing out what I found to be the most relevant and illuminating works. I have also avoided engaging in polemics with divergent interpretations of many events, ranging from the Crimean War to the Bolshevik Revolution to Gorbachev’s perestroika to the recent rise of rampant nationalism in Putin’s Russia, which in one way or another affected the lives of my actors.

  • 5 I am profoundly grateful to its publisher Valerii Puzyrev for supplying with a copy from his perso (...)

8The principal foundation of this book is a large array of both archival and published materials related to its main subject: a series of essays entitled “Human Perfection and Degeneration,” written by Vasilii Florinskii, and published successively by Grigorii Blagosvetlov in 1865 and 1866, Mikhail Volotskoi in 1926, Valerii Puzyrev in 1995, and Vladimir Avdeev in 2012. Although I faced considerable difficulty in acquiring a copy of the 1995 edition of Florinskii’s treatise (it is absent from all the major libraries in both Moscow and St. Petersburg),5 as one could easily imagine, the foremost challenges arose in finding materials related to its author and its first two publishers.

Vasilii Florinskii

9Luckily for me, in addition to more than 300 published works, ranging from short newspaper notes to voluminous textbooks and monographs, Florinskii left a substantial archival footprint. Materials pertaining to his education and professional career are scattered throughout a number of Russian archives, libraries, and museums that hold the documents of particular institutions he attended as a student or worked for in the course of his career, such as Perm Theological Seminary, the Imperial Medical-Surgical Academy, the War Ministry, the Ministry of People’s Enlightenment, as well as Kazan and Tomsk universities.

  • 6 On the remarkable story of the accidental discovery of this collection, I. Efremova, “Tsennaia nak (...)
  • 7 See NMRT, V. M. Florinskii’s collection, No 117959.
  • 8 See, for instance, “Florinskii, Vasilii Markovich,” in L. F. Zmeev, Russkie vrachipisateli (SPb.: (...)

10More important, a large collection of Florinskii’s personal papers has miraculously survived not only his continuous movements through the vast expanses of the Russian Empire — from Perm to St. Petersburg to Kazan to Tomsk and back to St. Petersburg — but also the social turmoil, wars, and revolutions that plagued his homeland from the mid-nineteenth through the twenty-first century. Accidentally discovered in 1938,6 this collection is currently housed at the National Museum of the Tatarstan Republic in Kazan and includes nearly 5,000 items.7 Yet in this entire collection I found only one (!) document directly related to his 1865 essays: an undated letter from Pavel Iakobii that Florinskii received some time in the 1880s. Although towards the end of his life Florinskii began to include the 1866 book (but not its journal version) in the list of his publications,8 this collection contains no preparatory notes, drafts, manuscripts, indeed, not a single piece of paper that in any way could illuminate his actual work on this lengthy treatise. Nor does it contain any trace of Florinskii’s dealings with its editor and publisher. I found no financial records, correspondence, page proofs, indeed no mention of Russian Word or Deed, Blagosvetlov (the de facto editor and publisher of both), Nikolai Blagoveshchenskii (the de jure editor of Russian Word), or Nikolai Shul’gin (the de jure publisher of Deed).

  • 9 See NMRT, #49, O. Florinskaia.

11Furthermore, this collection includes very few documents dating from before 1870, the period of Florinskii’s life most relevant to my project: about thirty letters Florinskii sent to his parents and siblings between 1853 and 1863, several notebooks he kept while attending the IMSA and during his European tour of 1861-1863, and a few photographs. Judging by available materials, Florinskii was very close to his parents and siblings. His own family — his wife Maria and their children, Olga and Sergei — was also a very important part of his life. Yet aside from a few photographs, they are all but invisible in his papers. After her husband’s death, Maria Florinskaia took certain steps to preserve his legacy by publishing a portion of his memoirs and a large volume of his selected works. Alas, neither contains a word about Human Perfection and Degeneration. Furthermore, she does not seem to have written any personal reminiscences about her husband and the thirty-plus years of their life together.9

  • 10 For a sample of this correspondence, see Iastrebov, Sto neizvestnykh pisem. All of the 100 letters (...)

12Altogether Florinskii’s personal papers include nearly 3,000 letters, only about fifty of them are written by him and nearly all of those are addressed to his or his wife’s family members. All others are written to Florinskii and thus represent just one side of his extensive professional correspondence with colleagues and superiors. I did find a few of Florinskii’s letters among the personal papers of their various addressees, but all of them turned out to be typical business correspondence and contained no information directly relevant to this project. Moreover, the bulk of this correspondence is dated after 1879 and related to his involvement with establishing Tomsk University.10

  • 11 See NMRT, ##99, 204, 205.

13In the 1880s, Florinskii began writing his memoirs that covered three distinct periods of his life. The first part, titled “Thoughts and Recollections of my Childhood and Education,” was written in 1882; the second, titled “The Foreign Trip of 1861[-63],” he wrote in 1880-1881; and the last one, titled “Notes and Recollections. 1875-80,” was penned on and off from 1881 to 1892.11 In compiling these memoirs Florinskii seems to have largely relied on his memory, though he also used certain documents many of which have since been lost. These memoirs contain a treasure trove of information, but none of them even mentions Human Perfection and Degeneration. Furthermore, in his reminiscences, Florinskii completely left out the dozen years of his life, from 1863 to 1875, during which he had worked at the IMSA and had written his treatise.

  • 12 See, V. Florinskii, “Tri pory zhizni,” NMRT, #203.
  • 13 See NMRT, #260.
  • 14 See V. Florinskii, “Zametki i vospominaniia,” Russkaia starina, 1906, 125(1): 75-109; 125(2): 288- (...)

14These memoirs, of course, must be taken with a grain of salt, and not only because human memory is notoriously unreliable. Unlike diaries, which record their author’s impressions of and thoughts about events, peoples, ideas, etc. at the very time s/he encounters them, memoirs, as a rule, reflect the attitudes, thoughts, and values of a much older person, who looks back at their own earlier life from the vantage point of the time, experiences, position, worldview, and so on, much different from those of the younger self. For instance, there is little doubt in my mind that Florinskii heavily romanticized the account of his early life and education, omitting all the hardship and loneliness he undoubtedly experienced. Similarly, his recollections of the 1861-1863 trip to Europe were certainly colored by the mid-1870s conflict with his “German” colleagues, which eventually led to his resignation from the IMSA. Furthermore, along with the memoirs, he wrote an autobiographical novel, Three Stages of Life, and writing this fictionalized account probably influenced his reminiscences.12 It is unclear whether Florinskii ever planned to publish his memoirs or the novel. In the mid-1890s, contemplating the possibility of producing a multi-volume edition of his Selected Works, he initially included “the diaries of my foreign trip” in its contents, but then crossed the entry out.13 In any case, the entire project never went beyond the planning stage. Moreover, none of his memoirs were published during Florinskii’s lifetime. Only after his death, did Florinskii’s wife publish the last part of his reminiscences devoted to the creation of Tomsk University.14

  • 15 See Chistovich, Dnevniki, 1855-1880.

15In employing Florinskii’s memoirs in the present work, I have sought to verify the information they provide through other sources. Alas, aside from certain events of his career and public engagements, this proved no easy task. Surprisingly, despite his easy-going character, Florinskii does not seem to have made any close friends at any point of his life, though in his later years he did make a few enemies. Equally surprising, despite his nearly thirty-year-long teaching career, he did not have any students who worked closely with him in any of the scholarly fields that held his interest. This perhaps explains, at least in part, the virtually total absence of any memoirs by, diaries of, and correspondence among his contemporaries, which even mention his name, to say nothing of providing more detailed accounts of his life and work. Even the massive unpublished diaries of his long-time supporter, IMSA professor Iakov Chistovich, contain only passing mentions of Florinskii’s name, mostly in relation to his involvement in the 1874-1875 “territorial” conflict (described in Chapter 4) between the War Ministry and the Ministry of People’s Enlightenment over the administrative control of the IMSA.15

16In all of the available materials, I also uncovered very little information on one of the most important aspects of Florinskii’s life — his religious beliefs and his relationship to the Orthodox Church. Switching from theology to gynecology required the former seminarian to deal somehow with the two very different — Christian and scientific — views of the human body, human reproduction, human evolution, and, ultimately, human destiny. His publications indicate that to the end of his days he believed in God and considered religion the foundation of morality. His treatise also demonstrates that he was quite critical of certain rules and regulations imposed by the church on the life of his compatriots. But neither in his published works, nor in his private diaries, memoirs, and correspondence did he even once address the obvious contradictions between scientific and religious views in relation to the key subjects of his chosen profession.

  • 16 See, for instance, A. [M. T. Alekseev], “Florinskii, Vasilii Markovich,” Entsiklopedicheskii slova (...)
  • 17 See Gruzdev, Istoricheskii ocherk kafedry akusherstva i zhenskikh boleznei, pp. 214-41; and Vail’,(...)
  • 18 See, for instance, a brief assessment in K. A. Bogdanov, Vrachi, patsienty, chitateli: patografich (...)

17Although Florinskii finished his career with the third rank in the Imperial Table of Ranks (equal in military terms to a lieutenant-general) and retired from the post of de-facto deputy-minister in charge of all matters related to education for the territory six times the size of France, until very recently his life story has attracted surprisingly little attention. His name does appear in various biographical dictionaries and encyclopaedias,16 as well as in some historical accounts of nineteenth-century Russian medicine, especially in connection to gynecology and pediatrics.17 But, as we saw, only in the early 1990s did Evgenii Iastrebov produce a series of publications on his “ancestor,” including a bibliography of Florinskii’s published works and a biography based on a thorough examination of various published and archival materials. In describing Florinskii’s life story, Iastrebov focused predominantly on the preeminent role his ancestor had played in the founding of Tomsk University, the first university in Siberia. In a supplement published a few years later, the biographer did examine Florinskii’s studies and work at the IMSA, but paid almost no attention to his 1865 essays. Thanks to Iastrebov’s efforts, in the last two decades, various facets of Florinskii’s life and career in Siberia have commanded some scholarly attention, but his work on Human Perfection and Degeneration has so far received at best only cursory treatment.18 Although in the 1920s Nikolai Kol’tsov hailed the book as “one of the first original books on Darwinism in Russia,” it is absent in the voluminous literature on the reception and development of Darwinism in Russia, which I have examined closely.

  • 19 See L. C. Dunn, “Cross Currents in the History of Human Genetics,” American Journal of Human Genet (...)

18As far as I was able to ascertain, the first English-language reference to Florinskii and his 1866 book appeared only a century after its publication in Leslie C. Dunn’s presidential address to the American Society of Human Genetics in May 1961.19 Nearly thirty years later, Mark B. Adams briefly introduced the book to English-speaking audiences in his overview of the history of eugenics in Russia. Since then Florinskii’s essays have occasionally been mentioned in other scholarly works (including my own) on the same and related subjects, but have never received an extended treatment. I hope this book has corrected this historical omission.

Grigorii Blagosvetlov

  • 20 See N. V. Shelgunov, “Predislovie,” in G. E. Blagosvetlov, Sochineniia (SPb.: E. A. Blagosvetlova, (...)
  • 21 See RGALI, f. 613, op. 1, dd. 5660-63; and f. 629, op. 1, d. 422.

19I have been much less successful in tracing down primary documents related to Blagosvetlov, the first publisher of Florinskii’s work. Expectedly, the materials related to his work as the editor of Russian Word and Deed and publisher of numerous books are preserved in the archives of various censorship agencies. But in the voluminous archival collections of these agencies, I found only one document directly related to the publication of Florinskii’s essays — a short report by a censor on their first book edition. Considered a “revolutionary” by the imperial authorities, Blagosvetlov was subject to close surveillance by the secret police since the early 1850s, and some relevant documents can be found in their archives. But, in the spring of 1866, just a few months after Russian Word published Florinskii’s essays and a few days after an unsuccessful assassination attempt on Alexander II, expecting an imminent arrest, Blagosvetlov reportedly burned most of his personal papers, as well as extensive editorial files relating to his journal.20 In turn, many of his correspondents also purged his letters from their personal papers. As a result, only his published works and a handful of his correspondence dated from before 1866 have survived.21 Alas, I did not find any mention of even Florinskii’s name, to say nothing of his essays, in the available documents. Much like Florinskii’s, Blagosvetlov’s wife published after her husband’s death a large tome of his selected writings supplemented by a detailed biography written by Nikolai Shelgunov, Blagosvetlov’s life-long friend and an active contributor to his journals. Yet Florinskii’s name does not appear anywhere in the volume.

  • 22 See, for instance, Kuznetsov, Nigilisty; Varustin, Zhurnal “Russkoe slovo”; T. I. Grazhdanova, “G. (...)

20Despite the paucity of archival sources, in contrast to Florinskii’s, Blagosvetlov’s life and works have attracted considerable historical attention, especially from the students of nineteenth-century Russian literature and journalism. They have produced numerous, though contradictory, accounts of his involvement with “revolutionary circles,” his role in publishing Russian Word and Deed, his work as a writer, a literary critic, a publisher, and a mentor to the large cohort of talented litterateurs he had gathered around his journals.22 Yet in all of this ample secondary literature, Blagosvetlov’s efforts to popularize science (and especially Darwin’s works) in Russia have received very limited attention, whilst only one author has mentioned Florinskii’s name, merely as one among numerous “minor” contributors to Russian Word. Thus, one of the aims of this book was to investigate the role Blagosvetlov and his journals played not only in promoting Florinskii’s eugamic ideas, but also more broadly in the popularization of a scientific worldview in post-Crimean Russia.

Mikhail Volotskoi

21I failed to find any personal papers of Volotskoi related to his discovery and republication of Florinskii’s book. Volotskoi died in 1944 in war-ridden Moscow, and upon his death, his wife apparently decided to save and deposit in a state archive only that portion of his personal documents which dealt with his life-long work on the genealogy of Fedor Dostoevsky, but nothing else.23 Perhaps, as did many of his fellow members of the Russian Eugenics Society, Volotskoi himself purged his personal archive from all materials related to “bourgeois,” “fascist” science, as eugenics came to be called in 1930s Russia. Or perhaps his wife did so in the wake of Trofim Lysenko’s 1948 campaign against genetics and eugenics. Whatever happened, very few primary sources shed light on Volotskoi’s involvement with Florinskii’s treatise, or eugenics more generally, during the 1920s.

  • 24 For the most detailed account of Volotskoi’s life, focusing almost exclusively on his work on Dost (...)
  • 25 T. V. Tomashevich, “Pamiati M. V. Volotskogo — vydaiushchegosia antropologa, osnovopolozhnika i li (...)
  • 26 See A. M. Reshetov, Materialy k biobibliograficheskomu slovariu rossiiskikh ethnografov i antropol (...)
  • 27 See I. G. Chudinov, Bibliograficheskii ukazatel’ nauchno-issledovatel’skikh i nauchno-metodicheski (...)
  • 28 See http://museum.sportedu.ru/category/muzei/v-binokl-vremeni/vospominaniya, especially the memoir (...)

22Furthermore, available sources (both primary and secondary) even for Volotskoi’s biography are scarce. Nowadays he is remembered mostly as the author of a voluminous study of the genealogy of the Dostoevsky family.24 There is one brief commemorative article hailing his role in the development of Soviet anthropology, especially dermatoglyphics.25 But his name is absent from the recent extensive bio-bibliographical dictionary of twentieth-century Russian anthropologists and ethnographers.26 Volotskoi’s contributions to several other fields, ranging from physical culture to occupational hygiene, remain completely forgotten. For instance, despite the fact that he worked for nearly a decade as a lecturer and researcher at the Institute of Physical Culture, his works (including those published under the institute’s auspices) are not even mentioned in the sizeable bibliography of publications produced by the institute’s staff.27 Furthermore, his name appears only once in the voluminous memoirs about the early years of the institute recently published by its museum.28

23My reconstruction of Volotskoi’s life and career is largely based on materials preserved in the archives of several institutions where he worked, especially his “personnel files” that contain his curriculum vitae from different years. These necessarily brief and formulaic documents are understandably mute on many aspects of his life and provide very little insight as to his motives, inspirations, and aspirations in reissuing Florinskii’s book. Volotskoi’s published works, then, constitute the main source for my interpretations. Finding these works, however, turned out to be a major undertaking in itself, for they have become a rarity.

  • 29 INION had “inherited” the Library of the Communist Academy and thus preserved many books and journ (...)
  • 30 On spetskhran and its uses, see M. B. Konashev, “Lysenkoizm pod okhranoi spetskhrana,” in Repressi (...)

24In the aftermath of Lysenko’s anti-genetics campaign, Volotskoi’s eugenics publications were removed from many libraries. Only major research libraries in Moscow and St. Petersburg, such as the Russian National Library, the Russian State Library, the Library of the Academy of Sciences (BAN), and the Library of the Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences (INION), have preserved some, but not all, of his publications.29 To give just one example, the Russian National Library in St. Petersburg, the oldest and second largest public library in the country, does not have a copy of either the first 1923, or the second 1926, edition of his pamphlet Elevating the Vital Forces of the Race, in which he first introduced Florinskii’s treatise to Soviet readers. Furthermore, for many years, Volotskoi’s articles and books on eugenics, as well as many other publications on the subject, were held in the spetskhran — a special “closed” section that required “security clearance” to access its holdings. Only after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 did these publications eventually become available to the general reader. But in some cases, they are still excluded from the libraries’ general catalogues. Thus, in BAN, if one attempts to order the aforementioned editions of Volotskoi’s pamphlet through the library’s main reading room, the response would state that the library does not have them. But in fact, and one needs to know it, they could be ordered in the “reading room for the literature of Russia abroad,” as the former spetskhran section is now misleadingly called.30 So, it took considerable effort and the help of many people to collect copies of Volotskoi’s published works for this project.

  • 31 The only but very brief account of Volotskoi’s involvement with eugenics can be found in Fando, Pr (...)

25Although his name as one of the founders of the Russian Eugenics Society and the only one among its members who vocally supported the sterilization of the “unfit” appears in practically all historical accounts of eugenics in the Soviet Union, there is no analysis of Volotskoi’s actual contributions to its development.31 The present work, then, brings back to the historical record not only his extensive efforts as a publisher and promoter of Florinskii’s treatise, but also his involvement in creating what he named “bio-social” eugenics, which profoundly influenced the debates around and developments of eugenics in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia.

Is History Bunk?

26The above brief description of my hunt for relevant materials shows that I have been able to find very few primary sources illuminating directly some of the key episodes in the biography of Florinskii’s essays, a situation not uncommon in historical research. No matter how much material pertaining to the event, person, or artifact under investigation a historian collects, there always remain gaping holes in the record, which cannot be filled whatever the effort. Certain events might have left no traces or never even been recorded at all. Some materials might have been lost forever to the merciless passage of time or remain hidden in some private holdings.

27How then might a historian avoid creating just another “Tonypandy,” so vividly portrayed by Tey and condemned by Inspector Grant as “a dramatic story with not a word of truth in it”? Although we still cannot completely escape the temptation to judge historical actors according to the ideals, values, and mores of our own times, writing a history differs substantially from conducting a criminal trial. The simplest solution to the absence of sources illuminating this or that episode in the life of our actors is to admit that we do not know and might never know exactly what happened and move on to something we do know. But, in certain cases, I personally find this solution utterly unsatisfactory.

28History is not an exact science (some argue it is not a science at all) in the sense that, barring the availability of a time machine, any “truth” about a particular historical event cannot be confirmed and reconfirmed, as can be done in physics or chemistry, by direct, so-called control experiments that reproduce all the circumstances and participants of the event in question. The dream of any historian to be “a fly on the wall” during a past event under investigation, and thus be able to witness and record it personally, is just that — a dream. More often than not, a historian has to rely on circumstantial evidence that would be rejected out of hand by a detective and, if not, thrown out by a court of law. Yet like any good detective, in the course of research, a historian gains insight into the minds and lives of his/her “characters” by learning everything and anything possible about them: their words and deeds, their expressed feelings and thoughts, their teachers and pupils, their tastes and beliefs, their friends and foes, their parents and children, and on, and on. S/he “gets to know” the actors and learns to “envisage” the way they might have felt, thought, and acted in particular circumstances, even in the absence of any documentary materials (be they manuscripts, photos, publications, films, and so on) with exact information on a specific event of their lives.

29My reconstruction of Blagosvetlov’s role in the crafting of Florinskii’s treatise, for instance, is based not on direct evidence (for I did not find any), but on conjuncture, guesswork, analogy, and sometimes pure speculation, deriving from the mass of archival and published materials that I have examined. These materials, I believe, did provide me with certain insight into the minds and actions of both the author and the first publisher of Human Perfection and Degeneration. To give but one example, thanks to the secret police that monitored and copied parts of his correspondence, I was able to dig out from police files several letters that, though never once mentioning Florinskii’s name, clarified for me Blagosvetlov’s interests and motivations in waging a wide campaign to popularize Darwin’s works and “social hygiene” in Russia. This appeared to have been the main reason for his publication of Florinskii’s treatise in the first place and for his continuing efforts to explore further its main ideas and to keep it in print for more than a decade.

  • 32 See, for instance, a review of my 2002 book The Cure by a practicing clinician who could not accep (...)

30Of course, some purists deny the validity of historical extrapolations made on the basis of circumstantial evidence and the legitimacy of reconstructions supported not by archival documents but by the historian’s “knowledge” of his/her actors. They see history as nothing more than a dry list of established “facts,” denying its actors any semblance of having ever been live human beings and its writers any insight into the thoughts, feelings, and actions of their “characters.”32 The old proverb that provided Tey with the title of her novel posits that “truth is the daughter of time, not of authority.” Perhaps, some later historian will find documents that will confirm or disprove some of my reconstructions. I leave it to my readers to decide whether I have taken my “poetic license” too far and whether the insights and interpretations presented on the pages of this book are convincing, believable, and justifiable by the evidence I have managed to assemble.

The Historian as Translator

  • 33 See the new edition of David Lowenthal’s classic, The Past is a Foreign Country: Revisited (Cambri (...)
  • 34 I am not concerned here with the philosophical and historiographical debates about the nature of t (...)

31The past is a foreign country, in more than one sense.33 Since safe travels through a foreign land require at least some understanding of its native language, the historian’s job becomes akin to that of a translator. Investigating a historical event and studying an unfamiliar language are very much alike, while writing a history of that event is very similar to translating (both literally and figuratively) a text written in one language into another. The further from the present day the past event we study, the more difficult and more important this translation process becomes.34 A language is a living thing and, in the course of time, meanings of many words change, sometimes quite dramatically, which occasionally even earns them the designation of “archaic” in modern dictionaries and often makes them incomprehensible to or misunderstood by modern readers.

32In writing the history of a scientific event, this translation process is further complicated by the fact that many words have migrated into science lexicons from everyday language, but have acquired meanings very different from those of everyday vocabularies. It is with the explicit goal of avoiding this sort of possible confusion that scientists have developed their own specialized languages (mathematical and chemical formulas, for example) and have regularly utilized the so-called dead languages (Latin and Greek in the European tradition) to create their own vocabularies, as did Galton in inventing the word “eugenics.” But of course, even coining a new term does not guarantee the preservation of its original meaning across time and space, as the history of eugenics readily demonstrates.

  • 35 See, for instance, Vivian Nutton, “The Changing Language of Medicine, 1450-1550,” in Olga Weijers, (...)
  • 36 For a pioneering detailed examination of the importance of multi-language translations and interac (...)

33Furthermore, the multiplicity of meanings in scientific vocabularies is exacerbated by the multilingual nature of the unending pursuit of knowledge called science. The entire history of this pursuit as we know it — from Ancient Babylonia to the present day — could be (and often has been) seen as a history of continuous translations extending through both time and space.35 The “Republic of Knowledge” has always spoken in multiple tongues, even though, at certain times and in particular places, its citizens used some languages (such as Greek, Syriac, Latin, Arabic, French, German, and most recently English) more widely and more often than others.36 Indeed, in contrast to the parochial views habitually expressed in various national histories, in the actual history of European science only very rare events unfolded exclusively within one language zone.

34The historian of science, then, regularly faces a situation of constant interchange among multiple languages used by practitioners of science in different settings, which has frequently resulted in the same thing being given different names and the same name being given to different things, creating a wide spread confusion about the exact meaning of particular terms. As Dmitrii Pisarev astutely observed in his interpretation of Darwin’s Origin:

  • 37 Pisarev, “Progress v mire zhivotnykh i rastenii,” p. 1.

In the languages of all educated nations there exist certain words that every intelligent person should use with extreme circumspection. It would be even better not to use them at all, but, alas, it is nearly impossible. … They obscure actual facts and nobody knows with certainty what they mean, while everybody utters them incessantly and always strives through these unintelligible words to express and explain something or other.37

35Obviously, when we study the history of a certain event that happened outside of our own language zone, the issues of its correct translation become even more pressing and ever more complicated.

Science in Translation

36In this particular project, I faced three different kinds of translation. Many of my actors, first of all, Florinskii, regularly translated contemporary foreign texts into their native languages. Others, for instance, Volotskoi and Kanaev, “translated” certain historical texts written in their native tongue, such as Florinskii’s treatise, for their own contemporary readers. And I myself had to translate whatever my actors said and wrote in whatever language (mostly Russian, but occasionally also German and French) about their specific subjects into current English.

  • 38 V. Dal’, Tolkovyi slovar’zhivogo velikorusskogo iazyka, 4 vols. (M.: Ob-vo liubitelei rossiiskoi s (...)
  • 39 See Toll’, Nastol’nyi slovar’.
  • 40 See L. P. Grinberg, Vseobshchii terminologichesko-meditsinskii slovar’na latinskom, nemetskom i ru (...)
  • 41 See [Ia. Banks,] Anglo-russkii slovar’, sostavlennyi Iakovom Banksom, 2 vols. (M.: A. Semen, 1838) (...)
  • 42 See A. D. Mikhel’son, Ob” iasnenie 7000 intostrannykh slov, voshedshikh v upotreblenie v russkii i (...)

37For me, the difficulties in these various translations were substantially eased by the existence of several Russian dictionaries published at the exact time Florinskii was writing his essays, thus representing the contemporary usage of many words in his vocabulary. The first and most important one is Vladimir Dal’s massive Explanatory Dictionary of the Living Russian Language that first appeared in installments in 1863-1866.38 The second is the monumental, nearly 3,000-page long Table Dictionary for Inquiries in All Fields of Knowledge compiled by Feliks Toll’, one of Russian Word’s authors, and also published in installments during exactly the same time, 1863-1866.39 The third is General Terminological Medical Dictionary in Latin, German, and Russian Languages (with detailed explanations of the etymology of numerous Greek medical terms) first published in four volumes in 1840-1842 by Lev Grinberg, and updated (with the addition of French medical terminology) in 1862-1864 by Florinskii’s classmate Pavel Ol’khin.40 Then, in figuring out the possible rendering of various mid-nineteenth-century Russian words into English (and vice versa), I relied on the 1838 two-volume English-Russian Dictionary and the 1840 two-volume Russian-English Dictionary compiled by Jacob Banks. I also used New Parallel Dictionaries of the Russian, French, German and English Languages compiled by Charles P. Reiff, which were published multiple times from the 1840s through the 1860s.41 Finally, I consulted Aleksei Mikhel’son’s dictionary of Russian neologisms that from its first 1861 edition of 7,000 words grew to 30,000 by its 1866 edition.42

38Still, even with all of these dictionaries, writing for a present-day English-language audience about Florinskii’s treatise presented a series of challenges. To begin with, though he was fluent in French and German, knew Latin, English, and Italian quite well, and, thanks to his early theological education, also read Greek and Old Church Slavonic, Florinskii never wrote in any language other than Russian. Indeed, he was one of the first IMSA graduates who chose to write his doctoral dissertation in Russian instead of the traditional Latin. Unlike his famous predecessors at the IMSA — Karl von Baer, Russia’s foremost embryologist and anthropologist, and Nikolai Pirogov, the country’s most celebrated surgeon and anatomist, as well as many of his less illustrious contemporaries — Florinskii published exclusively in Russian. By contrast, von Baer published most of his works in his native German, with very few of them appearing in Russian translations (which were made by his students) during his lifetime, while Pirogov, as a rule, published all of his works in either Russian or Latin and nearly simultaneously in either German or French.

39As far as I was able to ascertain, during his lifetime, none of Florinskii’s works appeared in any of the common science languages of the day. Thus, I did not have the benefit of Florinskii’s own (or his contemporary translators’) representation of his thoughts and ideas in any other language, no matter how inaccurate it might have been. Furthermore, his writings bear a clear stamp of the flowery style, long-winded sentences, and pages-long paragraphs characteristic of Russian ecclesiastical literature to which he had been exposed during his formative years as a student at theological schools and which is often difficult to translate into readable English. Yet, his stylistic idiosyncrasies were the least of my problems.

40More difficult turned out to be the intricacies of translating the nineteenth-century discussions on scientific, medical, and public health issues underlying Florinskii’s treatise and its interpretations. For starters, the Russian equivalent of the English word “science” is nauka (plural nauki). The English word, however, refers exclusively to the natural sciences, while the Russian one means scholarship in any field of knowledge, including the humanities, the arts, and what today in English are called social, behavioral, and human sciences. Thus nauka is much closer in its meaning to the German Wissenschaft than to the English science.

  • 43 Sydney Ross, “‘Scientist’: The Story of a Word,” Annals of Science, 1962, 18: 65-85.
  • 44 For details, see Soboleva, Organizatsiia nauki v poreformennoi Rossii, pp. 35-43.

41Its derivative, the word scientist was introduced into the English language only after the establishment in 1831 of the British Association for the Advancement of Science by one of its founding members William Whewell. Whewell’s explicit purpose was to create at least verbal, if not yet professional and social, boundaries between science and scientist, on the one hand, and everybody else involved in the pursuit of every other kind of knowledge, on the other.43 Scientist, then, refers only to someone who studies and practices the natural sciences. Its Russian analogue, uchenyi, however, means, first and foremost, “a learned person,” and thus refers not only to any kind of scholar, but often more generally to any educated person. It is worth noting that it was in the early 1860s that Russian state bureaucracy began working on a legal definition of uchenyi to fit the growing number of individuals engaged in the scholarly pursuit of knowledge into the country’s rigid estate structures and the Table of Ranks that governed the hierarchy of the military, civic, and court service.44

42This “linguistic” difference between science and nauka, scientist and uchenyi was in fact embedded in the very structures of many nineteenth-century Russian scholarly institutions (such as the St. Petersburg Imperial Academy of Sciences that united under one roof the pursuit of both the natural sciences and the humanities) and, as we saw, profoundly shaped mid-nineteenth-century Russian debates on the interrelations between natural and social sciences. Due to this linguistic difference, any English translation of the mid-nineteenth-century Russian discussions of nauka and uchenyi tends to accentuate a boundary between science and scholarship and between scientist and learned person, even though such distinctions are completely absent in the original Russian texts. This is especially important to the understanding of discussions conducted on the pages of popular magazines and literary journals concerned with the role that the natural sciences were thought to play in the fledgling social sciences. Indeed it was exactly the absence of linguistic, social, and epistemological boundaries between the natural and the social nauki that, in my opinion, facilitated the transfer of ideas, methods, agendas, and concepts from the former to the latter (and vice versa) and drove much of the Russian debate on their interrelations, which, as we saw, provided an important stimulus and a specific context for Florinskii’s treatise.

  • 45 See Charles Rosenberg, “Toward an Ecology of Knowledge: On Discipline, Context, and History,” in i (...)

43Even more important, in his 1865 essays, Florinskii sought to synthesize data, ideas, concepts, and issues from a number of scholarly fields, including physiology/psychology, anthropology/ethnography/ethnology, demography/statistics/sociology, and general biology (particularly, the concepts of evolution, reproduction, variability, embryonic development, and heredity), not to mention a host of such established and emerging public health and medical specialties as anatomy, epidemiology, hygiene, gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and vital statistics. At the time of his writing, nearly all of these fields and specialties were in the process of (re)formation and of becoming scientific disciplines.45 Each of them was undergoing a series of intertwined developments, including the delineation of a specific subject matter, the erection of epistemological and institutional boundaries, the establishment of consensus over objects, methods, and basic concepts, and, most important for my story, the creation of a specialized language/terminology that embodied all of these developments.

44All of these processes took place predominantly in one geographical zone — Europe — but in different linguistic zones of the three most widely used science languages — French, German, and English — with a smattering of Italian, Russian, Swedish, and (particularly in medical and biological fields) Latin, occasionally thrown into the mix. Individual practitioners of these fields everywhere, therefore, faced two related tasks. First, each sought to understand and assimilate the contributions that their colleagues published not only in their native tongue, but also in foreign languages. Second, each had to make their own contributions understood and appreciated by colleagues not only in their homeland, but also abroad. The formation of a transnational consensus based on the translatability and transferability of a field’s specialized vocabulary (its terms, classifications, nomenclatures, formulae, etc.) became a major task of scholarly communities in all of these fields. Tellingly, it was exactly at this time that the first international congresses in various scientific disciplines (with chemists leading the way in 1860 and anthropologists following the next year) began to be held with an explicit goal of unifying and standardizing their methods, ideas, and lexicons.

  • 46 See, for instance, a “Glossarial note” in the English translation of an excerpt from Paul Broca’s (...)
  • 47 See, for instance, Robley Dunglison’s famous one-thousand-page “medical lexicon,” which first appe (...)

45At the time of Florinskii’s writing, however, most fields he dealt with in his treatise had not yet created such established, unified lexicons. In every country, practitioners in these fields were making up the language of their descriptions and explanations on the go, as it were. Since most of them wrote in their native tongues, the same word quite often had different, sometimes overlapping, and only occasionally the identical meaning in different languages, while many different words were used synonymously. Not unexpectedly, the translation of a particular scholarly work into another language often included a “glossary” that explained the meaning of certain words introduced and/or utilized by its author.46 It was exactly during the middle decades of the nineteenth century that the genre of specialized multilingual dictionaries, encyclopaedias, and lexicons, which explained the meaning of particular scientific and medical terms in more than one language, began to develop and became a growing business.47

  • 48 See, for instance, Drug zdraviia (Health Companion), one of the oldest medical weeklies, published (...)

46Moreover, with very few exceptions, in the mid-nineteenth century, major developments in all of these fields occurred outside of Russia, both geographically and linguistically. Given the relatively undeveloped state of Russian natural sciences at the time, and a limited number of specialized scientific/medical periodicals published in their native tongue, Russian scholars, including Florinskii, read, as a matter of course, original literature appearing in European languages in their particular fields of interest. They regularly published reviews, surveys, and abstracts of, as well as commentaries on, foreign publications in Russian periodicals. Indeed, during the 1850s and 1860s, some specialized journals devoted more space to translations of foreign publications than to original Russian works.48

  • 49 For a brief overview of this growing business, see A. G. Smoliakova, “Perevodnaia spetsial’naia kn (...)

47This sort of “bibliographic/translating” service to the professional community constituted a major part of Florinskii’s literary output during the years leading up to the publication of his treatise. As we saw, he regularly reviewed and surveyed for Russian medical journals the newest literature in his own specialties (gynecology, obstetrics, and pediatrics) that had appeared in French, German, English, and Latin. As many others among his colleagues, Florinskii was also involved with translating (and editing such translations of) important foreign publications, especially textbooks, in his own specialties. Indeed, during the second half of the nineteenth century the publication of translations, compilations, and extracts of foreign scientific and medical texts was a booming business in Russia.49

  • 50 See Karl Fogt [Carl Vogt, trans.], [Robert Chambers], Estestvennaia istoriia mirozdaniia (M.: A. C (...)
  • 51 See T. G. Geksli, Mesto cheloveka v tsarstve zhivotnom. Per. Iu. Gol’dendakh s nem. Ed. V. Karusa (...)

48One side effect of this ever growing translating and publishing enterprise was that many of the foundational works in all of the scholarly fields synthesized by Florinskii in his treatise often appeared in Russian nearly simultaneously in several different translations. And though more often than not, these translations were made from a foreign work’s original language, sometimes they were produced from and influenced by its translation into any of the three major languages of science. Since in nineteenth-century Russia, English was much less popular (and hence less known) than French or German, this situation was particularly prominent in translations of the works originally published in English. For instance, the only Russian edition of Robert Chambers’s Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation was made from a German translation, and its German translator was even ascribed authorship of the book.50 One Russian translation of Thomas Henry Huxley’s On the Place of Man in Nature was made from the original 1863 English edition, while another, which appeared the same year, from a German translation.51 As we saw in Chapter 4, Francis Galton’s essay “On Men of Science, their Nature and Nurture” was translated into Russian from its French version. The number of such examples could easily be multiplied.

  • 52 N. L. Tiblen, “[Predislovie],” in G. Spenser, Klassifikatsiia nauk (SPb.: N. L. Tiblen, 1866), pp. (...)

49This situation was further exacerbated by the absence of specialized natural-sciences and medicine English-Russian (or Russian-English) dictionaries, as witnessed by Grinberg’s Terminological Medical Dictionary, which included explanations and translations of numerous terms in Latin, German, Greek, French, and Russian, but not English. In search of a suitable Russian terminology, a translator of English-language works quite often consulted their French and/or German translations. The translator of Herbert Spencer’s Classification of Sciences, for instance, openly admitted: “Translating the book posed considerable difficulties exacerbated by the fact that Spencer’s works have not been translated into either German, or French; therefore, [I] had no additional interpretation of the original [that is] written in a brusque and dense style.”52

Translating Darwin

  • 53 Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Or the Preservation of Fav (...)
  • 54 See, for instance, the catalogues of foreign language books available in St. Petersburg’s major bo (...)

50Consider, for instance, the case of Darwin’s Origin that provided a major inspiration and a major source for Florinskii’s own synthesis. Darwin’s volume was published in London in late 1859, under the title On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.53 Since it sold almost immediately, the second unchanged edition was issued just a few weeks later, at the beginning of the next year. But as we saw in Chapter 2, Russian readers were first introduced to Darwin’s work via its French and German reviews and translations by Heinrich Georg Bronn, Édouard Claparède, and Clémence Royer. The participants in the initial Russian debates over Darwin’s concept utilized all three language versions of Origin then available, but since few of them knew English, most used the French and German translations rather than the English original. To compound the problem, Russian booksellers offered their customers very few English-language books, and quite often a particular book was simply unavailable in Russia, as happened with the first editions of Origin.54 Tellingly, the IMSA library — a major collection of science publications that Florinskii regularly used in his daily work — had copies of the German, French, Russian, and even Polish translations of Origin, but not the original English editions.

  • 55 See Charl’s Darvin, O proiskhozhdenii vidov v tsarstvakh zhivotnom i rastitel’nom putem estestvenn (...)

51Only in January 1864, did Sergei Rachinskii, a botany professor at Moscow University, publish the first Russian translation of Origin. Although Rachinskii used the second “unchanged” 1860 edition of Darwin’s book to produce its Russian version, it bore clear signs that in his work with the original he also consulted its 1860 German translation. For instance, he changed Darwin’s title in exactly the same way as the German translator had, by adding several words (marked in italics): “On the origin of species in the animal and plant kingdoms,” which were absent in the original English publication.55

52Rachinskii’s translation made Darwin’s work much more widely available and accessible to a Russian readership. But, just as it appeared, two publishers — one in Moscow, another in St. Petersburg — released two different translations of Darwin’s theory as interpreted by Friedrich Rolle, a well-known German geologist and paleontologist. The same year, Pisarev published his reading of Darwin’s concept in a lengthy treatise, “Progress in the Plant and Animal Kingdom,” while Kliment Timiriazev, a botany student at Moscow University, published his own interpretation of Darwin’s Origin, which a few months later appeared in book format. In 1873, Rachinskii released the third, “corrected” version of his translation, in which he fixed some of the inaccuracies of the previous editions. Even so, Nikolai Strakhov pointedly noted in his review of the new edition:

Among all the translations and editions, we do not know a single work by Darwin that could be comfortably read in Russian. … We are loath to enervate the reader with the list of all the inaccuracies, missing words, incorrect rendering of terms, and so on. … The bitter experience has convinced us that, in general, it is impossible to study Darwin using Russian translations and, quite often, one has to turn to the original.56

  • 57 See, for instance, Diane B. Paul, “The Selection of the ‘Survival of the Fittest’,” JHB, 1988, 21( (...)
  • 58 See Charles Darwin, Über die Entstehung der Arten durch natürliche Zuchtwahl, oder die Erhaltung d (...)

53As one might easily imagine, in all of these renderings of Darwin’s Origin in French, German, and Russian, the same word was often translated in several different ways. The best example is Darwin’s key term “selection,” which figured prominently in the very title of his book. The word itself (and its various modifiers, such as “natural,” “sexual,” “artificial,” “unconscious,” “methodical,” etc.) apparently did not pose any linguistic difficulties to English native speakers, though, of course, it caused a number of philosophical, theological, and epistemic problems.57 But it became a major stumbling block for its translators, for the word had no direct analogues in any other language. In his first 1860 German edition, Bronn translated it as Züchtung (breeding), while the third, 1867 edition, “updated and corrected” by eminent zoologist J. Victor Carus, rendered it as Zuchtwahl (choice).58 French translators and commentators faced similar challenges. In his review, Claparède used the word élection (choice, election) to convey the meaning of Darwin’s term. As he candidly explained:

  • 59 Claparède, “M. Darwin et sa théorie de la formation des espèces,” p. 531. The original reads: “Je (...)

I hate to use such a paradoxical phrase. It is difficult, indeed, to accept that an election (choice) could be unconscious. The expression used by the English naturalist has the advantage of not containing any contradiction in terms. Unfortunately, our language has no word that renders the term selection exactly. Rather than using a too colorful foreign neologism, I chose [to use the word] election, despite its shortcomings.59

  • 60 See Charles Darwin, De l’origine des espèces par sélection naturelle: ou, Des lois de transformati (...)
  • 61 See, for instance, Charles Darwin, L’origine des espèces au moyen de la sélection naturelle, ou, L (...)

54In her 1862 translation, Royer followed Claparède’s lead and used élection to convey the meaning of Darwin’s “selection” in her text, while excising the expression “natural selection” from its title altogether. Only in the subsequent 1866 edition did Royer defy Claparède’s dislike of “colorful foreign neologisms”: she used sélection as the “translation” of Darwin’s term and restored it to the book’s title.60 Thereafter, all French editions of Origin adopted the same “borrowed translation” of selection as sélection.61

55Russian translators and commentators, thus, found themselves in a “linguistic soup” concocted from this mix of English, German, and French terms. In the first Russian edition, perhaps inspired by the German translation of the word as Züchtung, Rachinskii rendered “selection” as podbor rodichei, literally “matching of kin.” In the second edition, he dropped the word rodichei (kin) and left only the word podbor — matching — as the equivalent of “selection.” Others, however, used such words as vybor (choice), otbornost’ (selectivity), izbranie (election), and izbrannost’ (electivity) — the last two variants clearly reflecting the initial French translation of the term as élection.

56Florinskii, therefore, had a choice of which particular terms to use in his own rendering of Darwin’s ideas. As his text makes quite clear, he followed Rachinskii’s first translation and used podbor rodichei as the Russian equivalent of Darwin’s selection. As we saw in Chapter 3, this choice profoundly shaped Florinskii’s ideas and the contents of his treatise. Furthermore, different renderings of Darwin’s term may well have also played a role in later reinterpretations of Florinskii’s views after his book was discovered and republished by Volotskoi.

  • 62 See, for instance, Ia. Sliaskii, Iz selektsionnykh zametok (Kiev: G. T. Korchak-Novitskii, 1893); (...)
  • 63 See Ch. Darvin, “Proiskhozhdenie vidov putem estestvennogo otbora, ili sokhranenie izbrannykh poro (...)

57In the late nineteenth century, to distinguish between the different forms of selection described by Darwin, some Russian breeders and scientists began to use a “loan word” and adopted the word selektsiia — a Russian transliteration of “selection” — as the preferred rendering of what Darwin had termed “artificial selection” in plant and animal breeding.62 Around the same time, in his own new translation of Origin, Timiriazev introduced the word otbor (literally, the process of choosing something and taking it out of a group of similar things) as the proper translation of Darwin’s selection irrespective of whatever modifiers one attached to it.63

58Until the 1930s, however, Russian commentators used both podbor and otbor interchangeably in their discussions of Darwin’s selection. Only towards the end of that decade, did the latter word become commonly, but not exclusively, adopted and thus acquired at least something of an agreed-upon terminological status and meaning. But, in the 1920s, in his discussion of “bio-social” eugenics Volotskoi used selektsiia and podbor synonymously. This usage was, perhaps, meant to emphasize the similarities between artificial selection in plant and animal breeding (for which the typical Russian word was selektsiia) with its goals of bettering plant and animal stocks, on the one hand, and the methods of eugenics based on sexual selection (polovoi podbor) with its goals of bettering human stocks, on the other.

Translating Florinskii

59Just as did Florinskii in his interpretations of various foreign-language texts in Human Perfection and Degeneration, in my writing about Florinskii’s treatise in English I had to make certain choices on how best to represent his ideas to my readers. In cases when Florinskii discussed certain texts originally published in English, for instance, Darwin’s Origin, such choices might seem unproblematic — just use the original English words. Alas, the situation is not that straightforward. For, as we saw in the previous section, the translations of Darwin’s vocabulary by his numerous Russian commentators varied substantially. One example would suffice. To translate back into English a variety of Russian words and phrases employed to render Darwin’s “selection” by using his own term would completely obscure the difficulties and differences in the interpretations of Darwin’s concept by its Russian commentators. Thus, I have elected to use a literal translation of Florinskii’s phrase podbor rodichei as “matching of kin,” because the seemingly logical choice of using the word “selection” as the correct rendering of this expression would result in misrepresenting its meaning and connotations in his own thinking and writing.

60The situation gets even murkier with English translations of Florinskii’s vocabularies, which he used to explain to his prospective audience numerous ideas and concepts from a wide variety of scientific and medical fields, especially anthropology and social hygiene. To begin with, in the early 1860s, the fields variously described as anthropology, ethnology, and ethnography overlapped to a very considerable degree and lacked clearly defined boundaries. The terminology employed by their practitioners might best be described by a single word — chaos. In the 1860s the meaning of nearly all classificatory categories employed in these fields to describe various groupings of humans, such as “race,” “tribe,” “nation,” “nationality,” “family,” “type,” “stock,” “breed,” “generation,” “mankind,” and “human type,” was very fluid. None of these words had an established terminological meaning in any language. Quite often, many of these words were used interchangeably and inconsistently. Equally often, different authors utilized different words to describe the same group, or the same word to describe different groupings.

  • 64 See Toll’, Nastol’nyi slovar’. For specific entries, see “plemia,” vol. 3, p. 117; “poroda,” vol. (...)
  • 65 Only in the 1870s, there appeared major English-language anthropological works, such as John Lubbo (...)

61Not surprisingly, Florinskii’s use of such words as rod (genus, clan, or kind), plemia (tribe), rasa (race), natsiia (nation), natsional’nost’ (nationality), tip (type), poroda (breed, stock), generatsiia (generation), and familiia (family) was quite inconsistent. It obviously reflected their contemporary usage recorded in Toll’s Table Dictionary for Inquiries in All Fields of Knowledge. To give but one example, according to Toll’s dictionary, the word rasa (race) came into the Russian language from French and was used as a synonym to plemia (tribe) or poroda (stock or breed). But the preferred Russian word for describing major human groupings, for which French and English authors actually used the word race, was plemia (tribe).64 Expectedly, at times, Florinskii employed many of these words synonymously, at other times, he juxtaposed them. What is more, in the early to mid-1860s, there was no foundational work on anthropology in English (similar to Darwin’s Origin) that had been translated into Russian and that might have served as a lexical model for my interpretations and English translations of Florinskii’s anthropological ideas.65 In his own writing Florinskii mostly relied on French-and German-language works in these fields. So in my translations I have sought to follow the meaning, rather than the form, in choosing an English equivalent for a particular Russian word used by Florinskii, giving the Russian word in brackets.

  • 66 See, for instance, Louis Pappenheim, Handbuch der Sanitäts-Polizei: nach eigenen Untersuchungen (B (...)
  • 67 See, for instance, J.-Ch.-M. Boudin, Études d’hygiène publique sur l’état sanitaire, les maladies (...)
  • 68 See, for instance, Michael Ryan, A Manual of Medical Jurisprudence and State Medicine (London: She (...)
  • 69 See, for instance, a survey of the English “social hygiene legislation” translated from German (!) (...)
  • 70 In 1851 and 1859 the first two international “sanitary” conferences were held in Paris in an attem (...)
  • 71 There are numerous histories of the multiple “national” variants of the field of public health. Fo (...)

62The nascent field of what today is commonly called public health was in a very similar “terminological limbo.” In the course of the nineteenth century this rapidly growing field was variously named Medizinsche or Sanitaẗs-Polizei, öffentlichen Gesundheitspflege, Sozialmedizin, and Sozialhygiene in German,66 sante publique, salubrité publique, médicine social, and hygiène publique in French,67 and social hygiene, state medicine, and public health in English.68 Russian specialists followed very closely the field’s development abroad and its Russian names were as diverse as their foreign counterparts, ranging from meditsinskaia politsiia (medical police) to okhranenie narodnogo zdraviia (protection of people’s health) to obshchestvennaia gigiena (social hygiene).69 All of these names meant to emphasize the field’s purview over the issues of health and disease prevention in particular groups of people, as opposed to the focus of clinical medicine on health and disease treatments in an individual. The very multitude of its names reflected the different national roots, traditions, and trajectories of this composite field, the complete lack of an international consensus on its purview and methods,70 as well as its shifting boundaries and vocabularies.71

63As we saw, it was Florinskii’s close familiarity with this “social hygiene” and its problematics (especially its French and German variants) that profoundly affected his views on human perfection and degeneration and informed his vision of “hygienic” marriage. And it was this very field — with its first successful legislative interventions aimed at the promotion of health and the prevention of communicable and occupational diseases in certain defined groups of people (populations, professions, and so on) — that provided Florinskii with a model for his own suggestions regarding the legal regulation of marriage to promote perfection and to prevent degeneration.

64Searching for adequate English translations of Florinskii’s vocabulary, I have sought to identify the sources from which he might have borrowed particular terms and expressions. Alas, it turned out to be no mean feat, for he rarely provided exact references, especially to what he considered “common knowledge.” Often he simply gave an author’s name, in Russian transliteration or transcription. Plus, he avoided polemics with established authorities in any of the fields he dealt with, only occasionally noting his divergence from the opinions of this or that author. Florinskii wrote his essays for a “general public” and published them not in a specialized scientific/medical journal, but in the “literary-political” Russian Word. Occasionally he had to use certain foreign terms and expressions, for instance, “breeding in and in,” in their original language, for they had no analogues in Russian. But for the most part, he used plain everyday language and, wherever he could, avoided professional jargon in explaining the complicated issues he addressed.

65The very title of his treatise provides a good example of such usage and of the challenges inherent to its correct representation in English (or, for that matter, in any other language). In Russian the title reads: “usovershenstvovanie i vyrozhdenie chelovecheskogo roda,” which literally means “perfection and degeneration of the human kind.” Obviously, Florinskii chose the title with care to present the three core concepts — usovershenstvovanie (perfection), vyrozhdenie (degeneration), and chelovecheskii rod (human kind) — which underpinned it. None of these words (or their German, French, and English equivalents) had any defined terminological status in any of the fields Florinskii sought to synthesize in his treatise. He took all of them from everyday vocabulary.

  • 72 See L. C. Dunn, “Cross Currents in the History of Human Genetics,” American Journal of Human Genet (...)

66As noted above, none of Florinskii’s publications were mentioned or translated in any of the foreign languages during his lifetime. As we saw in Chapter 6, the first time his book was referenced and reviewed outside Russia was after Volotskoi had discovered it in the 1920s, and the first foreign language the book’s title was ever translated into was German. In his report on the “racial-hygienic movement in Russia” for the Archiv für Rassen- und Gesellschafts-Biologie, the RES president Kol’tsov translated its title as “Über die Vervollkommnung und Entartung der Menschheit” (“On the perfection and degeneration of mankind”). Anthropologist Samuil Vaisenberg in an overview of “theoretical and practical eugenics in Soviet Russia” also mentioned the book in the next issue of the same journal, but he translated its title in a slightly different way: “Die Verbesserung und Entartung des menschlichen Geschlechts” (“The improvement and degeneration of human stocks”). Vaisenberg used the same translation in his review of the book published a year later. Anthropologischer Anzeiger, the leading German anthropology journal, included the book in its annual 1927 bibliography, under the rubric “Rassenhygiene, Leibesübungen,” using Vaisenberg’s translation of its title. However, in 1961, when Leslie C. Dunn mentioned the book in his presidential address to the American Society of Human Genetics, he referenced its title in German, using Kol’tsov’s translation, which, as we saw, is actually closer to the original Russian title than Vaisenberg’s.72

  • 73 Adams, “Eugenics in Russia,” p. 170.
  • 74 See, for instance, Beer, Renovating Russia, p. 39; Krementsov, “From ‘Beastly Philosophy’ to Medic (...)

67Introducing Florinskii’s work in his 1990 history of eugenics in Russia, Adams has translated its title as “The Improvement and Degeneration of the Human Race.”73 Ever since, all English-language works that mention Florinskii’s treatise (including my own) have used Adams’s translation of its title.74 Although correctly conveying to its late-twentieth-century audiences the general import of Florinskii’s work by emphasizing its similarities to Galtonian eugenics, this translation obscures the historical origins and distinct contemporary connotations of Florinskii’s ideas. In this respect, two words in this translation — improvement and race — seem particularly problematic.

  • 75 This is the first meaning attributed to the word in all major English dictionaries, such as the Mi (...)
  • 76 See, for instance, Kol’tsov, “Uluchshenie chelovecheskoi porody”; B. I. Slovtsov, Uluchshenie rasy (...)

68In English, the word improvement means, first and foremost, “the act or process of making something better”75 and it has an exact Russian equivalent in the word uluchshenie (betterment). Characteristically, it is this latter word that most Soviet eugenicists employed to convey to their audiences the meaning of eugenics in the 1920s.76 Although Florinskii did occasionally utilize uluchshenie as a synonym of usovershenstvovanie in the text of his treatise, he used the latter word much more frequently, and with a good reason. The word usovershenstvovanie had several distinct connotations and synonymic associations, which could not have been lost on the mid-nineteenth-century readers of Florinskii’s essays.

  • 77 All the subsequent quotations are from the entry sovershat’at http://dic.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enc2p (...)
  • 78 See, for instance, I. Gergard, Piat’desiat i odno sviashchennykh razmyshlenii, sluzhashchikh k voz (...)
  • 79 See, for instance, V. Kh. Fribe, Rukovodstvo k usovershenstvovaniiu v Rossii ovtsevodstva (SPb.: M (...)

69According to Dal’s Explanatory Dictionary, two closely connected nouns usovershenstvovanie and sovershenstvo (perfection), with the first referring to the process and the second to its result, derived from the verb sovershat’ and meant, first of all, “to make something perfect.”77 Usovershenstvovanie did have a connotation of “making something better,” but it also included such meanings as “to correct, to dignify, to elevate to a qualitatively higher place, materially or morally,” and “to perfect to the highest degree.” The word had definite ecclesiastical overtones, since, in the Bible, perfection is considered to be an attribute of God, as, for instance, in the following Gospel dictum cited by Dal’: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew, 5:48). These overtones would have been particularly obvious to Florinskii who had been exposed to theological literature throughout his childhood and adolescence.78 Outside of the theological discourses on the perfection of God and the imperfection of everything earthly, however, the word was often applied to various human trades and activities, such as agriculture, engineering, and manufacturing; and it is in this area that the meaning of usovershenstvovanie overlaps with the English improvement most closely.79

  • 80 See, for instance, P. D. Markelov, Sovershenstvovanie cheloveka v istine (SPb.: A. Pliushar, 1839)
  • 81 See, for instance, A. Dreier, Kosmosomatika ili ob iskusstve proizvodit’, usovershenstvovat’, podd (...)

70Yet Dal’ also recorded that in some texts one could encounter the notion of “perfecting humans” used in two different ways. One is the perfection of moral and mental qualities through the knowledge of “God’s word”80 or education more generally, as in the following phrase that Dal’ used to illustrate such usage: “He went abroad to perfect his knowledge.” This particular meaning was certainly influential in Florinskii’s thinking, for he himself was sent on a two-year trip abroad for exactly that purpose — to perfect his knowledge of his chosen specialties. Another is the perfection of physical qualities (such as beauty or special abilities, like singing) by exercise and cosmetic/medical procedures that became highly popular in the mid-nineteenth century.81

  • 82 See, for instance, Jean-Alexis Borrelly, Introduction à la connaissance et au perfectionnement de (...)
  • 83 See Francis Devay, Hygiène des familles; and idem, Traité spécial d’hygiène des familles particuli (...)
  • 84 For the French original, see Auguste Debay, Hygiène et physiologie du mariage, histoire naturelle (...)
  • 85 See Auguste Debay, Hygiène et perfectionnement de la beauté humaine dans ses lignes, ses formes et (...)

71It seems very likely that Florinskii’s choice of the word usovershenstvovanie was prompted by the expression perfectionnement physique et moral de l’homme that became a battle cry of early French public health writings. Developing further the perfectionist ideas espoused by such famous French naturalists as Georges-Louis Buffon and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, during the first half of the nineteenth century numerous French physicians actively promoted the notion of perfectionnement physique et moral de l’homme by means of social, medical, and hygienic interventions.82 Florinskii was undoubtedly familiar with at least a subset of this literature, especially with the writings of Francis Devay, a professor at the Ecole de Médicine de Lyon, whose works he used extensively in his own treatise. Florinskii probably read Devay’s 1844 monumental, nearly 1,000-page, two-volume study on Hygiène des familles, subtitled “Du perfectionnement physique et moral de l’homme,” as well as its second, one-volume 1858 edition that focused specifically on the issues of marriage and included a detailed discussion of heredity and hereditary diseases.83 He also knew (and was quite critical) of a popular book on Hygiène et physiologie du mariage written by Auguste Debay, a well-known French popularizer. From its first appearance in 1848 the book went through more than thirty printings and editions in French and came out in several different Russian translations in the early 1860s.84 Florinskii was also likely familiar with Debay’s popular treatise on Hygiène et perfectionnement de la beauté humaine also translated into Russian.85 What is more important, in various Russian publications the French perfectionnement was typically rendered as usovershenstvovanie.

72In addition, given the Darwinian context of Florinskii’s writings, his choice of the word usovershenstvovanie might have also been influenced by the use of the same word (in adjective form) in Rachinskii’s translation of the subtitle of Darwin’s Origin. The English subtitle reads: “The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.” Rachinskii translated it as “sokhranenie usovershenstvovannykh porod v bor’be za sushchestvovanie,” literally “the preservation of perfected breeds in the struggle for existence.” Darwin’s subtitle emphasized his fundamental idea that, in the struggle for life, natural selection favors those individuums, varieties, subspecies, races, and breeds of animals and plants that have any advantage over their competitors. Rachinskii’s translation, however, slightly changed the emphasis by implying that natural selection leads to the perfection (in the sense of improvement) of those varieties, subspecies, races, and breeds of animals and plants that are preserved (survive) in the struggle for existence.

  • 86 Recall, for instance, Royer’s “translation” of the subtitle of Darwin’s Origin as “des lois du pro (...)

73Such a reading was not inconsistent with the text of Darwin’s work. In describing the action of various forms of selection, Darwin himself regularly employed such expressions as “modification and improvement” and “modification with improvement.” It was exactly this subtle inconsistency (emphasized in Rachinskii’s translation) in Darwin’s own description of natural selection as the motive force of such basic evolutionary processes as species divergence, extinction, and adaptation that led some commentators, such as Royer and Pisarev,86 to the equation of biological evolution with “progress,” which became highly popular among nineteenth-century Darwinists and to which, as we saw, Florinskii’s treatise responded.

74Thus, in my translations of Florinskii’s ideas I chose to use the word perfection to convey and emphasize all of these various meanings of Florinskii’s term usovershenstvovanie, rather than to follow its rendering as “improvement,” which impoverishes considerably the rich connotations and allusions Florinskii must have hoped to evoke in crafting his treatise.

  • 87 See, for instance, Louis Agassiz, The Diversity of Origin of the Human Races (Boston, MA: n. p., 1 (...)
  • 88 For the UNESCO declarations on race, see Michelle Brattain, “Race, Racism, and Antiracism: UNESCO (...)
  • 89 Toll’, Nastol’nyi slovar’, vol. 3, p. 269.

75For similar reasons, I do not follow Adams’s translation of Florinskii’s phrase “chelovecheskii rod” as “the human race.” Florinskii used the phrase to denote humanity as a whole, for his treatise dealt not with a particular group of human beings, identified by anthropologists, ethnographers, or sociologists, but rather with the human species as it had been (re)defined by Darwin’s evolutionary concept. In the mid-nineteenth century the word “race” in the singular was often applied to humans with a qualifier, such as black, white, yellow, red, Aryan, Mongolian, etc., to define a particular subset of humanity and frequently had explicitly racist undertones (higher and lower, civilized and barbarian race). Although some nineteenth-century authors — for instance, Galton — did use the expression “the human race” to denote humanity as a whole, more often they did so by using the plural form: “human races.”87 The notion of mankind as “the human race” became much more popular in the mid-to late-twentieth century and came into wide use only after a bitter controversy over UNESCO’s declarations on race in the early 1950s.88 Since Florinskii’s treatise was written in 1865, his own usage of the very word rasa (race) was limited to meaning nothing more than plemia (tribe) or poroda (stock or breed).89 Thus, substituting “race” for “kind” in Florinskii’s title gives it a distinctly racist bent that, as we saw, it utterly lacked and actually tried to dispel. Therefore, I chose to translate the title of Florinskii’s treatise simply as Human Perfection and Degeneration, which, I believe, accurately conveys its general meaning.

  • 90 The literature on the concept of degeneration is vast. Useful overviews can be found in Richard Wa (...)
  • 91 The original reads: “Le mot dégénérescence lui-même est un mot nouveau.” See P. Buchez, “Rapport f (...)
  • 92 See the Google Ngram for the word “degeneration” that illustrates its usage in print in 1800-2008, (...)

76Translating another word in Florinskii’s title, vyrozhdenie, seemingly poses no difficulties, for it has an exact English equivalent in the word “degeneration.” Here, however, we encounter a different kind of problem: the meaning of these words in both Russian and English (as well as their French, German, and Italian analogues: dégénérescence, Entartung, degenerazione) have changed considerably, and to a twenty-first-century reader they mean something very different from what they meant some 150 years ago. To begin with, at the time of Florinskii’s writing, these words did not have the terminological status that they would acquire just a few decades later in any of the major science languages. Although the concept of dégénérescence had been presented by French physician Bénédict Morel in 1857, in the mid-1860s it had not yet attained the strong “medico-psychiatric,” “medico-judicial,” or “socio-pathological” connotations engendered by its later use in the writings of the French Valentin Magnan, the German Max Nordau, the British Henry Maudsley, the Italian Cesare Lombroso, and their numerous followers.90 Indeed, in 1857, reviewing Morel’s treatise for the Paris Medico-Psychological Society, his friend Philippe Buchez pointed out: “The word dégénérescence itself is a new word.”91 As we saw in Chapter 3, Florinskii was familiar with, but highly critical of Morel’s concept, and his use of the word vyrozhdenie had very little in common with Morel’s dégénérescence that so heavily “infected” the later English uses of the word degeneration.92 Rather Florinskii utilized it more in accord with the earlier understanding of dégénération by the French naturalists Buffon and Lamarck as déviation naturelle de l’espèce.

77In mid-nineteenth-century Russian, according to Dal’s Explanatory Dictionary, the verb vyrozhdat’ (from which the noun vyrozhdenie derives) meant “to give birth to, or to generate, somebody or something lower, worse than one’s/its own breed, or something completely dissimilar to the breed.” It also had such meanings as “to be born unlike father and mother, in a bodily or spiritual image,” and “to change from one generation to the next.”93 Florinskii certainly utilized the word in all of these meanings, but he also gave it new connotations obviously inspired by Darwin’s evolutionary ideas. His text makes clear that, for Florinskii, vyrozhdenie came to signify first and foremost Darwin’s extinction, with its attended processes of the “retrogression” and “decrease in numbers” of a species. And it is in this sense that he claimed that the Russian people were in no danger of degeneration (vyrozhdenie)!

  • 94 See the classic analysis by Herbert Butterfield, The Whig Interpretation of History (London: Bell, (...)

78This rather lengthy digression into the various challenges the historian faces in translating, both literally and figuratively, a past text for the modern reader indicates that any translation represents not only, and not even primarily, the retelling of a certain text in another language, but also its transformation into another, new text that acquires its own history and generates its own consequences, as evidenced, for instance, by the convoluted history of Darwin’s evolutionary concept and “Darwinism” in Russia. Furthermore, as we saw in the biography of Florinskii’s treatise, the re-interpretations of the same text by successive generations of its publishers and commentators generated numerous anachronisms and erroneous attributions. Although in “Pier Menard, Author of the Quixote” Jorge Luis Borges praised such anachronisms and attributions as enriching “the hesitant and rudimentary art of reading,” to a historian, especially a historian of science, such anachronisms (to say nothing of erroneous attributions) is an abomination that has long been condemned as “presentism” or “whiggish history.”94 Thus, one of the most important challenges I faced in writing this book was to separate the actual contents and contexts of Florinskii’s original text from the various meanings read into it by its later publishers, reviewers, and commentators. And, hence, the question of how exactly to translate its archaic vocabulary into language understandable to the modern reader, without introducing anachronistic terms, concepts, and notions, became critical. I leave it to my readers to judge whether I have succeeded.

Notes

1 Cited from the complete text of the first 1605 edition of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha, available at http://cvc.cervantes.es/literatura/clasicos/quijote/edicion/parte1/cap09/cap09_02.htm; the full quote cited in the epigraph in English would read as: “... it is the job and duty of historians to be exact, truthful, and dispassionate, and neither interest nor fear, hatred nor love, should make them swerve from the path of truth, whose mother is history, the rival of time, storehouse of deeds, witness for the past, example and counsel for the present, and warning for the future.” The translation is mine.

2 Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time (London: Peter Davis, 1951). All the subsequent quotations are from this source.

3 For a recent analysis of the relations between More’s account and Shakespeare’s drama, see Douglas Bruster, “Thomas More’s Richard III and Shakespeare,” Moreana, 2005, 42(163): 79-92.

4 See, for instance, Robin W. Winks, ed., The Historian as Detective: Essays on Evidence (New York: Harper and Row, 1969).

5 I am profoundly grateful to its publisher Valerii Puzyrev for supplying with a copy from his personal stash.

6 On the remarkable story of the accidental discovery of this collection, I. Efremova, “Tsennaia nakhodka,” Sovetskaia Tatariia, 10 August 1938, p. 4; idem, “Eshche raz o tsennoi nakhodke,” ibid., 15 August 1938, p. 4; and G. Zemlianitskii, “Tsennye rukopisi,” ibid., 30 November 1938, p. 4.

7 See NMRT, V. M. Florinskii’s collection, No 117959.

8 See, for instance, “Florinskii, Vasilii Markovich,” in L. F. Zmeev, Russkie vrachipisateli (SPb.: V. Demakov, 1886), vol. 2, pp. 139-40.

9 See NMRT, #49, O. Florinskaia.

10 For a sample of this correspondence, see Iastrebov, Sto neizvestnykh pisem. All of the 100 letters published in this volume date from after 1879.

11 See NMRT, ##99, 204, 205.

12 See, V. Florinskii, “Tri pory zhizni,” NMRT, #203.

13 See NMRT, #260.

14 See V. Florinskii, “Zametki i vospominaniia,” Russkaia starina, 1906, 125(1): 75-109; 125(2): 288-311; 125(3): 564-96; 126(1): 109-56; 126(2): 280-323; 126(3): 596-621.

15 See Chistovich, Dnevniki, 1855-1880.

16 See, for instance, A. [M. T. Alekseev], “Florinskii, Vasilii Markovich,” Entsiklopedicheskii slovar’Brokgauza i Efrona (SPb.: Brokgauz i Efron, 1902), vol. 36, p. 169; A. A. Dmitriev, “Florinskii, Vasilii Markovich,” in idem, Materialy dlia biografii pamiatnykh deiatelei iz permskikh urozhentsev (Trudy permskoi uchenoi arkhivnoi komissii), 1902, 5: 70-71; and Gruzdev, “Florinskii, Vasilii Markovich,” in Zagoskin, Biograficheskii slovar’, pp. 353-62.

17 See Gruzdev, Istoricheskii ocherk kafedry akusherstva i zhenskikh boleznei, pp. 214-41; and Vail’, Ocherki po istorii russkoi pediatrii, pp. 41-54.

18 See, for instance, a brief assessment in K. A. Bogdanov, Vrachi, patsienty, chitateli: patograficheskie teksty russkoi kul’tury XVIII-XIX vekov (M.: OGI, 2005), pp. 258-59.

19 See L. C. Dunn, “Cross Currents in the History of Human Genetics,” American Journal of Human Genetics, 1962, 14: 1-13 (pp. 9 and 12). In Dunn’s bibliography it was listed as “Florinsky, W. M. 1866. Über die Vervollkommung und Entartung der Menschheit. Petersburg.”

20 See N. V. Shelgunov, “Predislovie,” in G. E. Blagosvetlov, Sochineniia (SPb.: E. A. Blagosvetlova, 1882), pp. iii-xxviii.

21 See RGALI, f. 613, op. 1, dd. 5660-63; and f. 629, op. 1, d. 422.

22 See, for instance, Kuznetsov, Nigilisty; Varustin, Zhurnal “Russkoe slovo”; T. I. Grazhdanova, “G. E. Blagosvetlov v russkom osvoboditel’nom dvizhenii 40-60-kh gg. XIX veka,” doctoral dissertation, Leningrad, 1985; E. K. Murenina, “Literaturno-kriticheskaia deiatel’nost’ G. E. Blagosvetlova,” doctoral dissertation, Sverdlovsk, 1989; Feliks Kuznetsov, Krug D. I. Pisareva (M.: Khudozhestvennaia literatura, 1990); and many others.

23 See RGALI, f. 117. For the contents of this fond that includes only 47 files, see http://www.rgali.ru/object/215034575.

24 For the most detailed account of Volotskoi’s life, focusing almost exclusively on his work on Dostoevsky’s genealogy, see Nikolai N. Bogdanov, “Mikhail Volotskoi i ego “khronika roda Dostoevskogo’,” in N. D. Shmeleva, ed., Dostoevskii i sovremennost’. Materialy XXI Mezhdunarodnykh starorusskikh chtenii 2006 goda (Velikii Novgorod: Novgorodskii gosudarstvennyi muzei zapovednik, 2007), pp. 407-34. A revised version of this article also appeared in Voprosy literatury, 2009, 4: 410-33, http://www.hrono.ru/text/2007/bogd0108.php

25 T. V. Tomashevich, “Pamiati M. V. Volotskogo — vydaiushchegosia antropologa, osnovopolozhnika i lidera rossiiskoi dermatoglifiki,” Moskovskii universitet, October 2005, 34 (4139), http://www.getmedia.msu.ru/newspaper/newspaper/4139/all/mirnauki.htm

26 See A. M. Reshetov, Materialy k biobibliograficheskomu slovariu rossiiskikh ethnografov i antropologov. XX vek (SPb.: Nauka, 2012).

27 See I. G. Chudinov, Bibliograficheskii ukazatel’ nauchno-issledovatel’skikh i nauchno-metodicheskikh rabot sotrudnikov instituta [fizicheskoi kul’tury], 1920-1957 (M.: n. p., 1958).

28 See http://museum.sportedu.ru/category/muzei/v-binokl-vremeni/vospominaniya, especially the memoirs by I. M. Sarkisov-Sarazini, who worked in the IFK from its very beginnings.

29 INION had “inherited” the Library of the Communist Academy and thus preserved many books and journals issued under the auspices of this bastion of “Marxist” science during the 1920s and early 1930s, including those published by the Timiriazev Institute. Tragically, in recent years, the collections of both BAN and INION have been damaged severely by fires, and many of the rare publications in their holdings have been lost.

30 On spetskhran and its uses, see M. B. Konashev, “Lysenkoizm pod okhranoi spetskhrana,” in Repressirovannaia nauka (SPb.: Nauka, 1994), vol. 2, pp. 97-112; S. F. Varlamova, “K istorii sozdaniia i razvitiia spetsfondov Gosudarstvennoi publichnoi biblioteki im. M. E. Saltykova-Shchedrina,” in Tsenzura v tsarskoi Rossii i Sovetskom soiuze (M.: Rudomino, 1995), pp. 161-67; and K. V. Liutova, Spetskhran Biblioteki Akademii nauk: Iz istorii sekretnykh fondov (SPb.: BAN, 1999).

31 The only but very brief account of Volotskoi’s involvement with eugenics can be found in Fando, Proshloe nauki budushchego, pp. 179-86.

32 See, for instance, a review of my 2002 book The Cure by a practicing clinician who could not accept such reconstructions and accused me of writing “like a novelist,” which I take as the highest compliment a historian could receive, Ross Camidge, “Nikolai Krementsov, The Cure: A Story of Cancer and Politics from the Annals of the Cold War,” British Medical Journal, 2002, 324: 1589.

33 See the new edition of David Lowenthal’s classic, The Past is a Foreign Country: Revisited (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).

34 I am not concerned here with the philosophical and historiographical debates about the nature of this translation process, and even less with the possibilities or impossibilities of an “exact” translation of certain “past” meanings into “present” ones, see, for instance, W. A. DeVries, “Meaning and Interpretation in History,” History and Theory, 1983, 22: 253-63; or Gary L. Hardcastle, “Presentism and the Indeterminacy of Translation,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 1991, 22(2): 321-45.

35 See, for instance, Vivian Nutton, “The Changing Language of Medicine, 1450-1550,” in Olga Weijers, ed., Vocabulary of Teaching and Research between Middle Ages and Renaissance (Turnhout: Brepols, 1995), pp. 184-98; and the recent “Focus” section in the oracle of the History of Science Society, “Focus: Linguistic Hegemony and the History of Science,” Isis, 2017, 108 (3): 606-50.

36 For a pioneering detailed examination of the importance of multi-language translations and interactions in the development of science, see Michael D. Gordin, Scientific Babel: How Science Was Done Before and After Global English (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2015).

37 Pisarev, “Progress v mire zhivotnykh i rastenii,” p. 1.

38 V. Dal’, Tolkovyi slovar’zhivogo velikorusskogo iazyka, 4 vols. (M.: Ob-vo liubitelei rossiiskoi slovesnosti, 1863-1866). The entire dictionary is now available online at http://dic.academic.ru/contents.nsf/enc2p

39 See Toll’, Nastol’nyi slovar’.

40 See L. P. Grinberg, Vseobshchii terminologichesko-meditsinskii slovar’na latinskom, nemetskom i russkom iazykakh, 4 vols. (Berlin, Leipzig: G. Reimer, 1840-42); and idem, Terminologicheskii meditsinskii slovar’na latinskom, nemetskom, frantsuzskom i russkom iazykakh, 2nd ed. (SPb.: Ia. I. Isakov, 1862-64).

41 See [Ia. Banks,] Anglo-russkii slovar’, sostavlennyi Iakovom Banksom, 2 vols. (M.: A. Semen, 1838); and idem, Russko-angliiskii slovar’, sostavlennyi Iakovom Banksom (M.: A. Semen, 1840); Ch. Ph. Reiff, Dictionnaires parallèles des langues russe, française, allemande et anglaise: Dictionnaire français (St. Pétersbourg; Carlsruhe, 1852), 2-e éd.; idem, Parallel-Wörterbücher der russischen, französischen, deutschen und englischen Sprache für die russische Jugend (SPb.; Karlsruhe, 1861), 4-te Aufl.; and idem, New parallel dictionaries of the Russian, French, German and English languages: English dictionary (SPb.; Karlsruhe, 1862).

42 See A. D. Mikhel’son, Ob” iasnenie 7000 intostrannykh slov, voshedshikh v upotreblenie v russkii iazyk (M.: Tip. Lazarevskogo in-ta vostochnykh iazykov, 1861); and I. F. Burdon and A. D. Mikhel’son, Slovotolkovatel’30,000 inostrannykh slov, voshedshikh v sostav russkogo iazyka (M.: Universitetsakia tipografiia, 1866).

43 Sydney Ross, “‘Scientist’: The Story of a Word,” Annals of Science, 1962, 18: 65-85.

44 For details, see Soboleva, Organizatsiia nauki v poreformennoi Rossii, pp. 35-43.

45 See Charles Rosenberg, “Toward an Ecology of Knowledge: On Discipline, Context, and History,” in idem, No Other Gods: On Science and American Social Thought (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997), pp. 225-39.

46 See, for instance, a “Glossarial note” in the English translation of an excerpt from Paul Broca’s treatise on hybridity, Paul Broca, On the Phenomena of Hybridity in the Genus Homo, transl. by C. Carter Blake (London: Longman, 1864), p. x; for the French original, which, of course, did not have such a “glossary,” see M. Paul Broca, Recherches sur l’hybridité animale en général et sur l’hybridité humaine en particulier (Paris: J. Claye, 1860).

47 See, for instance, Robley Dunglison’s famous one-thousand-page “medical lexicon,” which first appeared in 1833 and over the years went through more than twenty editions. It included not only English terms, with detailed explanations of their etymology and meaning, but also their French, Latin, and occasionally German synonyms, Robley Dunglison, Medical Lexicon: A Dictionary of Medical Science (Philadelphia: Blanchard and Lea, 1838), 2nd ed. On the dictionary and its author, see Chalmers L. Gemmill, “Robley Dunglison’s Dictionary of Medical Science, 1833,” Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 1972, 48(5): 791-98.

48 See, for instance, Drug zdraviia (Health Companion), one of the oldest medical weeklies, published in St. Petersburg from 1833 to 1866.

49 For a brief overview of this growing business, see A. G. Smoliakova, “Perevodnaia spetsial’naia kniga v Rossii XVI-XIX vv.,” doctoral dissertation, Moscow, 1999.

50 See Karl Fogt [Carl Vogt, trans.], [Robert Chambers], Estestvennaia istoriia mirozdaniia (M.: A. Cherenin i A. Ushakov, 1863). For the German edition that had been used to prepare the Russian one, see Anon. [Robert Chambers], Natürliche Geschichte der Schöpfung des Weltalls, der Erde und der auf ihr befindlichen Organismen, begründet auf die durch die Wissenschaft errungenen Thatsachen, transl. by Carl Vogt (Braunschweig: Friedrich Vieweg, 1858), 2nd ed.

51 See T. G. Geksli, Mesto cheloveka v tsarstve zhivotnom. Per. Iu. Gol’dendakh s nem. Ed. V. Karusa (M.: Universitetskaia tipografiia, 1864); and T. G. Geksli, O polozhenii cheloveka v riadu organicheskikh sushchestv. Per. pod red. A. Beketova (SPb.: N. Tiblen, 1864).

52 N. L. Tiblen, “[Predislovie],” in G. Spenser, Klassifikatsiia nauk (SPb.: N. L. Tiblen, 1866), pp. i-iii (p. ii). Unfortunately, the process of creating scientific terminology in the biomedical sciences in Russia has attracted no attention from historians. For an analysis of this process in Russian physics, see L. L. Kutina, Formirovanie terminologii fiziki v Rossii (M.-L.: Nauka, 1966).

53 Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (London: John Murray, 1859). In this section I focus mostly on the actual translations of Darwin’s vocabulary and its key terms and expressions into the Russian language, not the perception and reinterpretation of their meanings by Russian readers. For a detailed analysis of the latter processes as regards a key metaphor of Darwin’s Origin, “the struggle for life,” see Todes, Darwin without Malthus.

54 See, for instance, the catalogues of foreign language books available in St. Petersburg’s major bookstores in the second half of the nineteenth century, Katalog knig, prodaiushchikhsia v magazine russkikh i inostrannykh knig D. E. Kozhanchikova v S. Peterburge (SPb.: n. p., 1863); Katalog udeshevlennykh meditsinskikh knig na russkom i inostrannykh iazykakh, prodaiushchikhsia po porucheniiu izdatelei v mediko-khirurgicheskom knizhnom magazine N. P. Petrova v S.-Peterburge (SPb.: n. p. 1887); Katalog knig po vsem otrasliam znaniia na russkom i inostrannykh iazykakh knizhnogo magazina V. L. Lebedeva (SPb.: n. p. 1906); and many others.

55 See Charl’s Darvin, O proiskhozhdenii vidov v tsarstvakh zhivotnom i rastitel’nom putem estestvennogo podbora rodichei, ili sokhranenie usovershenstvovannykh porod v bor’be za sushchestvovanie. Per. S. A. Rachinskogo (SPb.: A. I. Glazunov, 1864). In the second edition, Rachinskii excised these words, thus restoring Darwin’s original title. See Charl’s Darvin, O proiskhozhdenii vidov putem estestvennogo podbora, ili sokhranenie usovershenstvovannykh porod v bor’be za sushchestvovanie. Per. S. A. Rachinskogo (SPb.: A. I. Glazunov, 1865).

56 N. Strakhov, “Kritika i bibliografiia,” Grazhdanin, 16 July 1873, http://smalt.karelia.ru/~filolog/grazh/1873/16jyN29

57 See, for instance, Diane B. Paul, “The Selection of the ‘Survival of the Fittest’,” JHB, 1988, 21(3): 411-24.

58 See Charles Darwin, Über die Entstehung der Arten durch natürliche Zuchtwahl, oder die Erhaltung der begünstigten Rassen im Kampfe um’s Dasein. Aus dem Englischen übersetzt von H. G. Bronn. Nach der vierten englischen sehr vermehrten Ausgabe durchgesehen und berichtigt von J. Victor Carus (Stuttgart: E. Schweizerbart, 1867). Tellingly, Friedrich Rolle in his own rendering of Darwin’s Origin excised the expression “natural selection” from his title.

59 Claparède, “M. Darwin et sa théorie de la formation des espèces,” p. 531. The original reads: “Je regrette d’employer une expression aussi paradoxale. Il est difficile, en effet, d’admettre qu’une élection puisse être inconsciente. L’expression employée par le naturaliste anglais a l’avantage de ne renfermer aucune contradiction dans les termes. Malheureusement, notre langue ne renferme aucun mot qui rende exactement le terme selection. J’ai choisi celui d’élection, malgré son insuffisance, plutôt que d’employer un néologisme de couleur trop étrangère.” Needless to say, this passage is absent in the Russian translation of Claparède’s review. For a similar discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of using the words sélection and élection as the correct renderings of Darwin’s term, see Rey, Dégénération de l’espèce humaine et sa régénération, pp. 4, 12, 29.

60 See Charles Darwin, De l’origine des espèces par sélection naturelle: ou, Des lois de transformation des êtres organisés, traduit en français avec l’autorisation de l’auteur par Clémence Royer, avec une préface et des notes du traducteur, 2nd edn. (Paris: Guillaumin et Cie, 1866).

61 See, for instance, Charles Darwin, L’origine des espèces au moyen de la sélection naturelle, ou, La lutte pour l’existence dans la nature. Trad. de J.-J. Moulinié (Paris: C. Reinwald, 1873).

62 See, for instance, Ia. Sliaskii, Iz selektsionnykh zametok (Kiev: G. T. Korchak-Novitskii, 1893); Ocherk deiatel’nosti Smelianskoi selektsionnoi stantsii grafov Bobrinskikh za piat’let: 1890-96 (Kiev: n. p., 1896); Selektsionnaia stantsiia pri Vol’finskom imenii tainogo sovetnika N. A. Tereshchenko. 1890-97 (Kiev: I. N. Kushnerev, 1897); and many others.

63 See Ch. Darvin, “Proiskhozhdenie vidov putem estestvennogo otbora, ili sokhranenie izbrannykh porod v bor’be za zhizn’. Per. prof. K. A. Timiriazeva,” in Ch. Darvin, Sobranie sochinenii v 4-kh tomakh (SPb.: O. N. Popova, 1896-98), vol. 1.

64 See Toll’, Nastol’nyi slovar’. For specific entries, see “plemia,” vol. 3, p. 117; “poroda,” vol. 3, p. 172; “rasa,” vol. 3, p. 269.

65 Only in the 1870s, there appeared major English-language anthropological works, such as John Lubbock’s The Origin of Civilization and the Primitive Condition of Man (1870) and Edward B. Taylor’s Primitive Culture (1871), which within a few years were translated into Russian. See Dzh. Lebbok, “Nachalo tsivilizatsii,” Znanie, 1874, 10; 1875, 1-6 (prilozheniia); Dzh. Lebbok, Doistoricheskie vremena (M.: “Priroda”, 1876); and E. B. Teilor, Pervobytnaia kul’tura, 2 vols. (SPb.: “Znanie”, 1872-73).

66 See, for instance, Louis Pappenheim, Handbuch der Sanitäts-Polizei: nach eigenen Untersuchungen (Berlin: Hirschwald, 1858), https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Handbuch_der_Sanit%C3%A4ts_Polizei.html?id=3EVLAAAAcAAJ&redir_esc=y; and Friedrich Oesterlen, Der Mensch und seine physische Erhaltung. Hygienische Briefe für weitere Leserkreise (Leipzig: F. A. Brockhaus, 1859). Florinskii used both books in his own work.

67 See, for instance, J.-Ch.-M. Boudin, Études d’hygiène publique sur l’état sanitaire, les maladies et la mortalité des armées de terre et de mer (Paris: J. Corréard et J. Dumaine, 1846), http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k64732014; and Louis Alfred Becquerel, Traité élémentaire d’hygiène. Florinskii used both books in his own work.

68 See, for instance, Michael Ryan, A Manual of Medical Jurisprudence and State Medicine (London: Sherwood, Gilbert, and Piper, 1836).

69 See, for instance, a survey of the English “social hygiene legislation” translated from German (!), Istoriia progressa angliiskogo zakonodatel’stva po chasti obshchestvennoi gigieny. Per. s nem. (Kiev: Universitetskaia tipografiia, 1861). The German source for this survey was an article by Fr. Oesterlen, “Die neuere Sanitäts-Gesetzgebung und Sanitätsreform in England. Deren Geschichte und Resultate,” Zeitschrift für Hygiene, medizinische Statistik und Sanitätspolizei, 1860, 1: 131-65.

70 In 1851 and 1859 the first two international “sanitary” conferences were held in Paris in an attempt, largely unsuccessful, to hammer out “sanitary conventions” to prevent the spread of infectious diseases across national borders. But the conferences did not even raise the issues of terminology and methodology of the nascent field of “public health.” See Norman Howard-Jones, The Scientific Background of the International Sanitary Conferences, 1851-1938 (Geneva: WHO, 1975).

71 There are numerous histories of the multiple “national” variants of the field of public health. For a concise overview, see Susan G. Solomon, Lion Murard, Patrick Zylberman, eds., Shifting Boundaries of Public Health: Europe in the Twentieth Century (Rochester, NY: Rochester University Press, 2008). Alas, only German historians have made an effort to trace its terminological development, see Rudolf Thissen, “Die Entwicklung der Terminologie auf dem Gebiet der Sozialhygiene und Sozialmedizin im deutschsprachigen Gebiet bis etwa zum Jahre 1930,” doctoral dissertation, Düsseldorf, 1968.

72 See L. C. Dunn, “Cross Currents in the History of Human Genetics,” American Journal of Human Genetics, 1962, 14: 1-13 (p. 12). Dunn visited Russia in 1927, and it seems likely that Kol’tsov gave him the reprint of the article he had published in ARGB the previous year. For Dunn’s report on his visit, see L. C. Dunn, “Genetics at the Anikowo Station,” Journal of Heredity, 1928, 19(6): 281-86; Dunn also wrote a report for the Rockefeller Foundation on his Russian tour, see Joe Cain and Iona Layland, “The Situation in Genetics I: Dunn’s 1927 Russian Tour,” Mendel Newsletter, 2003, 12: 10-15.

73 Adams, “Eugenics in Russia,” p. 170.

74 See, for instance, Beer, Renovating Russia, p. 39; Krementsov, “From ‘Beastly Philosophy’ to Medical Genetics,” p. 66; Babkov, The Dawn of Human Genetics, pp. 23-29.

75 This is the first meaning attributed to the word in all major English dictionaries, such as the Miriam-Webster and the Oxford dictionaries, see www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/improvement, and https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/improvement

76 See, for instance, Kol’tsov, “Uluchshenie chelovecheskoi porody”; B. I. Slovtsov, Uluchshenie rasy (evgenika) (Pg.: Akademicheskoe izd-vo, 1923); Filipchenko, Puti uluchsheniia chelovecheskogo roda (evgenika); Slepkov, Evgenika. Uluchshenie chelovecheskoi prirody; and many others.

77 All the subsequent quotations are from the entry sovershat’at http://dic.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enc2p/356274

78 See, for instance, I. Gergard, Piat’desiat i odno sviashchennykh razmyshlenii, sluzhashchikh k vozbuzhdeniiu istinnogo blagochestiia i k usovershenstvovaniiu vnutrennego cheloveka (M.: Reshetnikov, 1802); and E. Iv-niso, Blagost’bozhiia v priorode ili Sovershenstvo estestvennogo mira (M.: Universitetskaia tipografiia, 1845).

79 See, for instance, V. Kh. Fribe, Rukovodstvo k usovershenstvovaniiu v Rossii ovtsevodstva (SPb.: Meditsinskaia tipografiia, 1807); N. I Abashev, Prakticheskoe rukovodstvo k usovershenstvovaniiu sel’skogo khoziaistva v nechernozemnoi polose Rossii (SPb.: Ia. Ionson, 1855); and Trudy Komiteta dlia rassmotreniia razlichnykh sistem ventiliatsii, dlia priiskaniia sredstv k ikh usovershenstvovaniiu (SPb.: N. Tiblen, 1864).

80 See, for instance, P. D. Markelov, Sovershenstvovanie cheloveka v istine (SPb.: A. Pliushar, 1839).

81 See, for instance, A. Dreier, Kosmosomatika ili ob iskusstve proizvodit’, usovershenstvovat’, podderzhivat’ krasotu tela i istrebliat’ nedostatki ee (M.: Universitetskaia tipografiia, 1840).

82 See, for instance, Jean-Alexis Borrelly, Introduction à la connaissance et au perfectionnement de l’homme physique et moral (Marseille: J. Mossy, 1796); Antoine Desmoulins, Exposition des motifs d’un nouveau système d’hygiène, déduit des lois de la physiologie et appliqué au perfectionnement physique et moral de l’homme (Paris: Didot, 1818), https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=csebxAc4ma0C; Léopold Deslandes, Manuel d’hygiène publique et privée, ou Précis élémentaire des connaissances relatives à la conservation de la santé et au perfectionnement physique et moral des hommes (Paris: Gabon et Cie, 1827); Victor Maquel, Perfectionnement ou dégénération physique et morale de l’espèce humaine (Paris: Desloges, 1860); and many others. For the further development of these perfectionist ideas in French ethnology, see François Souffret, De la disparité physique & mentale des races humaines & de ses principes (Paris: Felix Alcan, 1892), https://archive.org/details/deladisparitphy00soufgoog. Alas, I did not find a historical analysis of the interrelations between the perfectionist ideas of French biologists and early French public health. For some observations, see Sean M. Quinlan, The Great Nation in Decline: Sex, Modernity and Health Crises in Revolutionary France c. 1750-1850 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007); and idem, “Heredity, Reproduction, and Perfectibility in Revolutionary and Napoleonic France, 1789-1815,” Endeavour, 2010, 34(4): 142-50.

83 See Francis Devay, Hygiène des familles; and idem, Traité spécial d’hygiène des familles particulièrement dans ses rapports avec le mariage au physique et au moral et les maladies héréditaires (Paris: Labé, 1858), http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k9734739v. Both editions were available at the IMSA Library.

84 For the French original, see Auguste Debay, Hygiène et physiologie du mariage, histoire naturelle et médicale de l’homme et de la femme mariés, perfectionnement de l’espèce, hygiène du nouveau-né, 4th edn. (Paris: l’auteur, 1853); the 1857 edition is available at https://archive.org/details/hygineetphysiol00debagoog. For Russian translations, see O. Debe, Gigiena i fiziologiia braka, 3 vols. (SPb.: D. F. Fedorov, 1862-63); and O. Debe, Gigiena i fiziologiia braka, 2 vols. (M.: S. Orlov, 1862).

85 See Auguste Debay, Hygiène et perfectionnement de la beauté humaine dans ses lignes, ses formes et sa couleur: théorie nouvelle des aliments et boissons, digestion, nutrition: art de développer les formes en moins et de diminuer les formes en trop, orthopédie, gymnastique, éducation physique, hygiène des sens, etc., 4th edn. (Paris: E. Dentu, 1864), http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k107746x. For a Russian translation, see O. Deve, Gigiena i usovershenstvovanie chelovecheskoi krasoty v ee liniiakh, formakh i tsvete (M.: O. Nazarova, 1866).

86 Recall, for instance, Royer’s “translation” of the subtitle of Darwin’s Origin as “des lois du progrès chez les êtres organisés” (the laws of progress in organized beings) and Pisarev’s interpretation of its contents as “progress in the world of animals and plants.”

87 See, for instance, Louis Agassiz, The Diversity of Origin of the Human Races (Boston, MA: n. p., 1850); Thomas Smyth, The Unity of the Human Races Proved to be the Doctrine of Scripture, Reason, and Science (New York: G. P. Putnam, 1850); Joseph Arthur de Gobineau, Essai sur l’inégalité des races humaines, 4 vols. (Paris: Firmin Didot Frères, 1853-1855); and John P. Jeffries, The Natural History of the Human Races (New York: E. O. Jenkins, 1869).

88 For the UNESCO declarations on race, see Michelle Brattain, “Race, Racism, and Antiracism: UNESCO and the Politics of Presenting Science to the Postwar Public,” American Historical Review, 2007, 112(5): 1386-413; and Marcos C. Maio and Ricardo V. Santos, “Antiracism and the Uses of Science in the Post-World War II: An Analysis of UNESCO’s First Statements on Race (1950 and 1951),” Vibrant: Virtual Brazilian Anthropology, 2015, 12(2): 1-26. See also the Google Ngram for the phrase “the human race” that illustrates its usage in print during the period of 1800-2008, https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=%22the+human+race%22&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=7&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2C%22%20the%20human%20race%20%22%3B%2Cc0

89 Toll’, Nastol’nyi slovar’, vol. 3, p. 269.

90 The literature on the concept of degeneration is vast. Useful overviews can be found in Richard Walter, “What Became of the Degenerate?: A Brief History of a Concept,” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 1956, 11: 422-29; Robert A. Nye, Crime, Madness and Politics in Modern France: The Medical Concept of National Decline (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984); J. Edward Chamberlain and Sander Gilman, eds., Degeneration: The Dark Side of Progress (New York: Columbia University Press, 1985); Daniel Pick, Faces of Degeneration: A European Disorder, c. 1848-c. 1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989); Ian Dowbiggin, Inheriting Madness: Professionalisation and Psychiatric Knowledge in Nineteenth-century France (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1991); and many others. For a rather superficial account of the popularity of Morel’s concept in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century Russia, see Beer, Renovating Russia.

91 The original reads: “Le mot dégénérescence lui-même est un mot nouveau.” See P. Buchez, “Rapport fait à la société médico-psychologiques sur le traité des dégénérescences physiques, intellectuelles et morales de l’espèce humaine et des causés qui les produisent,” Annales médico-psychologiques, 1857, 3: 455-67 (p. 455).

92 See the Google Ngram for the word “degeneration” that illustrates its usage in print in 1800-2008, https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=7&case_insensitive=on&content=degeneration&direct_url=t4%3B%2Cdegeneration%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Bdegeneration%3B%2Cc0%3B%3BDegeneration%3B%2Cc0

93 All the subsequent quotations are from the entry vyrozhdat’ in Dal’s dictionary, http://dic.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enc2p/222446. See also the meaning of one of its derivative, “vyrodok,” in Toll’, Nastol’nyi slovar’, vol. 1, p. 545.

94 See the classic analysis by Herbert Butterfield, The Whig Interpretation of History (London: Bell, 1931). For an application of this critique to the history of science, see, for instance, Loren R. Graham, “Why Can’t History Dance Contemporary Ballet?: Or Whig History and the Evils of Contemporary Dance,” Science, Technology, & Human Values, 1981, 6 (34): 3-6; and Nick Jardine, “Whigs and Stories: Herbert Butterfield and the Historiography of Science,” History of Science, 2003, 41: 125-40.

Acheter