This study of drinking provides insights into changes and continuities in everyday life among St Petersburg's revolutionary workers. Drawing on a wide range of sources, it offers insight into issues of revolutionary change, class and gender probing the tenacious resiliency of alcohol-centred culture in the face of state efforts at prohibition. The book provides a useful examination of workers' drinking habits and tavern life as fundamental elements of masculine sociability, reflecting broader issues of working-class identity and relations with authority. The author juxtaposes the world of rank-and-file working men, where the steady flow of alcohol facilitated comradeship and celebration, against that of political activists who encouraged self-improvement through sober pursuits such as education and increased productivity. Because working men were husbands and fathers, she also assesses the complex reactions that women and children had to this drinking culture. Phillips' provocative argument that revolution simultaneously empowered both champions and opponents of drink among the working class should invigorate scholarly debate about worker culture in Russia.
It should appeal to readers interested in alcohol studies, gender studies, working-class culture and Russian history.