Nikolai Krementsov

Published On


Page Range

pp. 351-408

Print Length

57 pages

7. Afterlife: Medical Genetics and “Racial” Eugenics

The next chapter examines the punctuated life of Florinskii’s book in the late-Soviet and post-Soviet eras. In the early 1970s, Ivan Kanaev, a geneticist-turned-historian, published the first Russian language biography of Galton’s and an extensive analysis of Florinskii’s treatise. This time, however, Florinskii’s tract was presented as a foundational work not of eugenics, but of … medical genetics! References to Florinskii and his book began to appear in popular articles and introductions to the textbooks on the subject. But it took more than twenty years and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, until Florinskii’s treatise was reprinted again in 1995, through the efforts of Valerii Puzyrev, director of the Tomsk Institute of Medical Genetics. In 2012, the book was reissued once more, this time as the opening piece in a ‘reader on Russian eugenics,’ compiled by the self-styled ‘racial encyclopedist’ and ‘bio-politician’ Vladimir Avdeev. This chapter scrutinizes the renewed interest in Human Perfection and Degeneration and explores various factors that contributed to its long quiescence and inspired its new revival in late-Soviet and post-Soviet Russia.


Nikolai Krementsov