The American Historical Review: “Europe: Early Modern and Modern". By Robert Kaiser, University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Francine Hirsch. Empire of Nations: Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet Union. (Culture and Society after Socialism.) Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 2005. Pp. xviii, 367. Cloth $59.95, paper $27.95.
The brilliance of the work lies in the rich archival resources through which Hirsch reconstructs the story of ethnographic knowledge production as a technology of rule.（重新把民族誌知識的生產，作為一種統治的技術） She uncovers and explores the continuities and disjunctures between the prerevolutionary actors and institutions charged with the categorization of identity, and the specialists charged with the same tasks in the USSR during the 1920s and 1930s, as the latter worked toward the goal of what Hirsch defines as “double assimilation: the assimilation of a diverse population into nationality categories and, simultaneously, the assimilation of those nationally categorized groups into the Soviet state and society" (p. 14). Double assimilation, she argues, was an interactive process of identity construction that, through census, map, museum, and historical narrative strengthened Soviet rule. This is the first study to provide us with this kind of detailed information on the inner workings of how ethnographic knowledge was produced in the USSR as a set of cultural technologies of rule.（民族誌知識在 USSR 裡以一組統治的文化科技方式被生產、於內裡發揮作用的詳細資訊）