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Kantorovich, V.

Sakhalin Sketches. Sakhalin in 1930s.

Sakhalin Sketches. Sakhalin in 1930s.

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Kantorovich, V. [Sakhalin Sketches]. Sakhalinskie Ocherki. 

Series Biblioteka ekspeditcii i puteshestvii (Library of Expeditions and Travels). 
Second edition, expanded. 
Cover design by Gutnov, Gladisheva and Amusev. 

[Moscow], OGIZ, Molodaia gvardiia, 1934. 
8vo, 238, [2] pp., ill., map.  

In original pictorial wrappers with photomontage. Partly unopened copy.  
Near very good condition, light overall wear, minor losses to bottom spine extremity, some spotting to wrappers.  

One of 15 000 copies published.

After the 1917 Revolution and subsequent Civil War, Northern Sakhalin fell under Japanese occupation on April 1920, a response to the Nikolayevsk incident—a conflict in Nikolayevsk-on-Amur between Japan and the Far Eastern Republic during the Japanese intervention. This occupation persisted until May 1925 when the Soviet-Japanese Basic Convention was signed. Under this agreement, Japan gained rights to establish concessions primarily for mineral resources such as coal and petroleum, as well as timber and other natural resources.
Upon the withdrawal of Japanese forces from Northern Sakhalin, the Soviet government promptly dispatched a significant mining and geological expedition and initiated the construction of the Sakhalinneft trust (officially founded in 1928). By 1930, the trust completed construction of the first Okha-Moskalvo oil pipeline in the north of the island, enabling the transport of Sakhalin oil to the mainland via the seaport. 
Following the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937, oil production in the concessions began to decline, leading the Soviet government to request their dissolution. The Japanese government later proposed selling Northern Sakhalin to Japan, an offer that Stalin rejected. It wasn't until 1944 that a protocol was signed, facilitating the transfer of Japanese oil and coal concessions to the USSR.
The author of these sketches, Vladimir Kantorovich (1901-1977), an economist, writer, and journalist, extensively traveled across the USSR, with a particular focus on Sakhalin, which at that time was considered 'the main oil base for the industrialization of the Far Eastern Territory'.
The first edition of his book dedicated to Sakhalin was published in 1932 and underwent three subsequent republications. In this work, Kantorovich places emphasis on the petroleum industry and accompanies the text with photographs of oil rigs and storage facilities in the port. The book concludes with a detailed map of Northern Sakhalin illustrating the author's route and the region's railway infrastructure.
It is noteworthy that Vladimir's brother, Anatolii, a diplomat and specialist in Chinese economic history, was arrested and executed in September 1937. Vladimir himself was arrested in November of the same year and sentenced to five years in a labor camp, ostensibly due to his public opposition to the Decree prohibiting abortion.

OCLC locates four copies of this edition: in the University of Glasgow, the Harvard Library, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Library and the National Library of Israel. 

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