In this highly original book James Cracraft provides a major case study of the cultural revolution in Russia initiated by Peter the Great, tsar and first emperor (1682-1725). He recounts in fascinating detail how modern standards of architecture supplanted traditional norms in Russia following a massive injection of European expertise and indicates how, thereby, the modern Russian built world came into being. The first comprehensive study of the Petrine revolution in Russian architecture to be published in any language, the book includes nearly 250 illustrations, many of them original photographs appearing here for the first time.
The Petrine Revolution in Russian Imagery is the second volume of James Cracraft's comprehensive study of the cultural revolution engineered in Russia by Peter the Great. Throughout the study, Cracraft explores how medieval Muscovey became modern Russia, and situates the Petrine revolution in Russian visual and verbal culture in its wider political, economic, and social setting.
In this second volume of the series, Cracraft considers the impact of Peter's intensive program of Europeanization on the visual arts, and shows how modern forms of imagery came into being in Russia along with allied techniques of image-making.
Drawing on a wealth of primary sources as well as numerous secondary works in Russian and other languages, Cracraft discusses the advent in Russia of painting in the Renaissance tradition, bronze and stone sculpture, and the modern graphic arts. He also discusses the decline of manuscript illumination, the rise of modern coinage, the production of new-style flags and altar cloths, and the arrival in Russia of the new cartography and the new heraldry. Cracraft draws special attention to the early history of the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts, and to the impact of Peter's program on popular imagery and on the cult art of the Russian Orthodox Church. He argues in sum that the imagery of the Russian Empire can tell us as much or more about its dominant ethos and ideology as can the written texts normally studied by historians.
Like its predecessor, The Petrine Revolution in Russian Architecture, this second volume presents a highly original argument supported by numerous illustrations, many of them not previously published. It will appeal to art historians as well as to those more generally interested in European or modern history.
This newly revised and expanded second edition of The Soviet Union Today provides a comprehensive introduction to contemporary Soviet reality. Written by thirty experts, the book is divided into eight general sections: history, politics, the armed forces, the physical context, the economy, science and technology, culture, and society. The individual chapters, which are intended to respond to the questions most frequently asked about the Soviet Union, are devoted to everything from the Lenin cult to the KGB; from Soviet architecture to Soviet education; from the status of women and ethnic minorities to the question of religion. All of the chapters from the first edition have been updated, and five new chapters—on the Soviet cinema, mass media, foreign trade, arms control, and the legal system—have been added. An annotated list of further reading suggestions and a special "Note for Travelers" enhance this volume's usefulness. Students, teachers, journalists, prospective tourists, and anyone interested in Soviet life will find this new edition of The Soviet Union Today an essential and stimulating guide to understanding the world's largest country.