On the basis of the work presented here, one can say that the future of American scholarship on imperial Russia is in good hands." -American Historial Review
... innovative and substantive research... " -The Russian Review
Anyone wishing to understand the 'state of the field' in Imperial Russian history would do well to start with this collection." -Theodore W. Weeks, H-Net Reviews
The essays are impressive in terms of research conceptualization, and analysis." -Slavic Review
Presenting the results of new research and fresh approaches, the historians whose work is highlighted here seek to extend new thinking about the way imperial Russian history is studied and taught. Populating their essays are a varied lot of ordinary Russians of the 18th and 19th centuries, from a luxury-loving merchant and his extended family to reform-minded clerics and soldiers on the frontier. In contrast to much of traditional historical writing on Imperial Russia, which focused heavily on the causes of its demise, the contributors to this volume investigate the people and institutions that kept Imperial Russia functioning over a long period of time.
Jane Burbank is Professor of History at the University of Michigan and author of Intelligentsia and Revolution: Russian Views of Bolshevism. David L. Ransel is Professor of History and Director of the Russian and East European Institute, Indiana University. He is author of Mothers of Misery and editor and translator of Village Life in Late Tsarist Russia.
Acknowledgments Introduction Jane Burbank and David L. Ransel Part 1: Autocracy: Politics, Ideology, Symbol 1. Kinship Politics/Autocratic Politics: A Reconsideration of Eighteenth-Century Autocratic Culture Valerie A. Kivelson 2. The Idea of Autocracy among Eighteenth-Century Russian Historians Cynthia Hyla Whittaker 3. The Russian Imperial Family as Symbol Richard Wortman Part 2: Imperial Imagination 4. Collecting the Fatherland: Early Nineteenth-Century Proposals for a Russian National Museum Kevin Tyner Thomas 5. Science, Empire and Nationality: The Case of the Russian Geographical Society, 1845-1855 Nathaniel Knight Part 3: Practices of Empire 6. Lines of Uncertainty: The Frontiers of the Northern Caucasus Thomas M. Barrett 7. An Empire of Peasants: Empire-Building, Interethnic Interaction, and Ethnic Stereotyping in the Rural World of the Russian Empire Willard Sunderland 8. The Serf Economy, the Peasant Family and the Social Order Steven L. Hoch 9. Institutionalizing Piety: The Church and Popular Religion, 1750-1850 Gregory L. Freeze Part 4: Individuals and Publics 10. An Eighteenth-Century Russian Merchant Family in Prosperity and Decline David L. Ransel 11. Freemasonry and the Public in Eighteenth-Century Russia Douglas Smith 12. Constructing the Meaning of: The Russian Press in the Age of the Great Reforms Irina Paperno In Place of a Conclusion Jane Burbank Contributors Index