Honest and Talented Story about the Novosibirsk Academgorodok, the Soviet People and Soviet Society (Memories of Mikhail Kachan)Khanin Grigory
The paper analyzes the memoirs of Mikhail Kachan “To Descendants about My Life” (22 books). These books cover the author’s life from childhood till 1968. The most part of the memoirs relate to the life, social, research and teaching activities of the author in the Academic Town of Novosibirsk (Academgorodok). As the Head of the Trade Union’s Committee of the Novosibirsk Scientific Centre, the author and his colleagues and coworkers played a huge role in improving the daily routine of the residents of Academgorodok, and organizing local cultural and sport activities, turning this place into an “island” of relative cultural and political freedom in Academgorodok. Being in the power triangle, Kachan knew a lot about the inner life of top officials of the Siberian Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences and described plenty of earlier unknown facts. The author shows social life of Academgorodok in the context of world affairs and political events in the USSR.
Basing on the memoirs of Mikhail Kachan, the author of the paper draws conclusions about the nature of the Soviet people, political and economic systems in the USSR, and the reasons that caused the collapse of the USSR. The author also analyzes the results of scientific efforts of the Siberian Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences and pays considerable attention to the effect of state-supported anti-Semitism in the USSR on the life of M. Kachan and the fate of the Soviet Union.
The author focuses his attention on life and research activities in 1965-1973. He characterizes lecturing in Novosibirsk State University. The author draws special attention to a student research group and the conflict with the administration of the Institute of Economics and Novosibirsk State University because of a “wall newspaper” prepared by the student research group at the end of the 1960-s, which became the reason for his leaving the University. The author describes the content of a doctorate thesis (a dissertation for the degree of a candidate of sciences) on the problems of planning in the Soviet economy and also he shows its innovative character. The paper presents the discussion of the dissertation at the Novosibirsk State University and the Higher Attestation Commission (HAC) and also gives the reasons for rejecting the dissertation by HAC. The author explains his motivation for turning to studying stock exchanges and presents the essence of his doctoral thesis on stock exchanges. The paper also examines the research climate at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the USSR Academy of Sciences at that period. The author outlines the content of work at the Systems Research Institute and describes the team of the Foreign Economic Relations Laboratory of the Systems Research Institute as well as the interaction with the State Committee on Foreign Economic Relations. Much attention is paid to the work of the Institute of Economics of the Siberian Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences, its leadership and team. The author also describes social atmosphere in the USSR and Academgorodok at that period, explains the reaction of the former government to 1968 events in Czechoslovakia and tightening of the political regime in the USSR after these events. The author touches upon the life conditions in Academgorodok at that period and describes his friendship with some researchers.