Great Soviet Encyclopedia

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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (Russian: Большая Советская Энциклопедия, БСЭ, Bolshaya Sovetskaya Entsiklopediya) is the largest and most comprehensive encyclopedia in Russian, issued by the Soviet Encyclopedia state publisher.

There were three editions. The first edition of 65 volumes (65,000 entries, plus a supplementary volume about the USSR) was published during 19261947, the chief editor being Otto Schmidt (until 1941). The second edition of 50 volumes (100,000 entries, plus a supplementary volume) was published in 19501958; chief editors: Sergei Vavilov (until 1951) and Boris Vvedenski (until 1969); two index volumes to this edition were published in 1960. The third edition of 19691978 contains 30 volumes (100,000 entries, plus an index volume issued in 1981), with about 50 million words, the chief editor being Alexander Prokhorov (since 1969).

An update of the encyclopedia removed all reference to the recently disgraced Lavrenty Beria after the death of Josef Stalin.

According to Maurice Hindus, an American writer who traveled extensively in the Soviet Union and wrote a number of books on Soviet life, the first edition of the Encyclopedia is superior to the second edition in political and philosophical areas, the second edition being biased and incomplete. For example, while in the first edition the philosopher William James is described respectfully and pragmatism is criticized, in the second edition he is characterized as "an American reactionary philosopher and psychologist, ideologue of the imperialist bourgeoisie...."

The third edition was translated into English, beginning in 1973, each volume being translated separately, so the index has to be used fully to locate specific items.

In 19571990 each year the Yearbook of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia was released, with up to date articles about the Soviet Union and all countries of the world.

The first online edition, an exact replica of text and graphics of the third (so-called Red) edition, was published by Rubricon.ru in 2000.

Bibliography

  • Great Soviet encyclopedia, ed. A. M. Prokhorov (New York: Macmillan, London: Collier Macmillan ,1974–1983) 31 volumes, three volumes of indexes. Translation of third Russian edition of Bol'shaya sovetskaya entsiklopediya

External links

eo:Granda Sovetia Enciklopedio it:Grande Enciclopedia Sovietica ja:ソビエト大百科事典 ko:소비에트 대백과사전 ru:Большая советская энциклопедия

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