In 1998, a curious little soft-cover book was published in Moscow, bearing two separate titles and the names of two authors. The titles, however, were identical: Ivan the Terrible (Ivan Groznyi). This was a joint reprint edition in one volume of two monographs on the Terrible Tsar, both of them written in the 1920s, by the historians Robert Iu. Vipper and Sergei F. Platonov. In many ways, this volume's appearance in the late 1990s is symptomatic of the continuing dynamism up to the present day of the complex of historical myth and political and cultural life described in this book, as well as of its continuing potential for unforeseen transformations in new circumstances. This chapter briefly retraces the history of Vipper's Ivan the Terrible. It then discusses how the historical myth making of the 1930s and 1940s altered the significance of Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great for later Soviet generations.
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