The initiative to publish selected works by M. belonged to V.M. Fritsche (1870-1929) and dated back to 1929. The first two volumes were gathered by 1931, but for a number of reasons the work stopped, the publication plan was revised in 1932, and the preparation was resumed only after the 45th anniversary of M.'s research activity, celebrated in 1933. The selection and arrangement of the assortment of his studies were made, in general, by M. himself. He managed to see only the vol. 1, so that the complete edition became posthumous. It came out unevenly: the vol. 1 was published in 1933, then the vol. 3 in 1934, the vol. 5 in 1935, the vol. 2 in 1936, and, finally, the vol. 4 in 1937. Their arrangement is thematic, and only the first volume follows the chronological sequence of writing, dedicated to the stages of development of the Japhetic theory and describing “the general picture of the dialectics of linguistic views’ of M. It opens with an editorial preface that sets out M.'s biography and accents the significance of his writings; there is also a detailed bibliography of his publications dating back to 1888.
The second volume is devoted to the “new doctrine of language”, which is presented from a linguistic angle. The central place in this volume is occupied with M.'s lectures of 1927 at the Baku University. The third volume emphasizes the links between the “new doctrine of language” and historical studies taken from the sociological point of view. The fourth volume covers the “unity of the glottogonic process’ in a global scale. The fifth volume includes works on the ethnogenesis of tribes and peoples of Eastern Europe and is of special interest for historians. In total, the collection contains more than 90 works by M. Their thematic, rather than chronological, distribution in the vol. 2-5 is explained in the editorial preface with the fact that M.'s thought developed quite discretely: he could suddenly revive an idea published many years earlier, but suddenly reject ideas that were completely fresh. The thematic arrangement made it possible, without going beyond the powers of the editor-compiler, to bring clarity and consistency in the M.'s concepts; prefaces to certain volumes served the same purpose. As the compilers themselves point out in the volume published during the lifetime of the author, the collection did not and should not include M.'s early Armenian and Caucasian studies, nor the materials on his excavations in Ani. The ‘Selected Works’ present M. primarily as the creator of the “new doctrine of language”, and the five-volume collection gives an idea how M. wanted to see himself at the end of his scholarly life.