Gonzaga University history Assistant Professor Kevin O’Connor has authored two books published last month that explore various aspects of the former Soviet Union. In light of the recent struggles for democratic and national consolidation in Russia and the former Soviet republics, O’Connor hopes both works will be well-received.
The dual publication for the second-year Gonzaga professor was not planned, but resulted from the two publishers’ serendipitous schedules. One publisher took longer than expected getting O’Connor’s work to print, and the other moved more swiftly than expected. In December, each publisher asked him to write an index, normally one of the last steps before publication.
“At that point, it became a horse race as to which one was going to be published first,” O’Connor said.
“Intellectuals and Apparatchiks: Russian Nationalism and the Gorbachev Revolution” (Lexington Books) examines the positions taken by Russia's leading
Kevin O'Connor, assistant
professor of history
“conservative” politicians and intellectuals during the tumultuous Perestroika era. While the book focuses primarily on the role played by a resurgent Russian nationalism during the final crisis of Gorbachev’s crumbling Soviet Union, the study also sheds light on the post-Soviet embrace of Russian nationalist positions by the still-popular and influential Communist Party of the Russian Federation. This scholarly monograph is an expansion of O’Connor’s doctoral thesis, which he completed at Ohio University in 2000.
O’Connor’s third book, “Culture and Customs of the Baltic States” (Greenwood Press), is a companion volume to his earlier book, “A History of the Baltic States” (Greenwood Press). O’Connor thinks “Culture and Customs of the Baltic States” will attract interest from a general audience of readers with an interest in that part of the world, and that his “Intellectuals and Apparatchiks” is likely to have a more narrow audience, primarily of scholars interested in Russian nationalism or the Gorbachev era. O’Connor’s own interest in Russia and the surrounding region stems from his undergraduate years in the late 1980s, when tumultuous events rocked the Soviet Union.
O’Connor’s next full-length book will be a history of Riga, a seaport and the multinational capital of Latvia. For now, O’Connor said, he’s pleased to be able to concentrate on his students and his teaching.
For more information, please contact Kevin O’Connor at (509) 323-6694 or via e-mail at email@example.com.