This book provides a remarkable overview of significant themes in Russian history and culture, in each case starting well before the eighteenth century, while frequently following them up into the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Robin Milner-Gulland shows how the public face of Russia developed and evolved through its distinct architecture, astonishing art, and its varied public spaces. What emerges is a clear picture of how Russians fashioned their identity, and the national monuments associated with it, in their setting: the Russian natural landscape as well as distinctive elements of traditional material culture. Tellingly illustrated, concise and free of jargon, Patterns of Russia will appeal to all those with an interest in the history and culture of this complex—and much discussed—country.
The reforms initiated by Peter the Great transformed Russia not only into a European power, but into a European culture--a shift, argues James Cracraft, that was nothing less than revolutionary. The author of seminal works on visual culture in the Petrine era, Cracraft now turns his attention to the changes that occurred in Russian verbal culture.
The forceful institutionalization of the tsar's reforms--the establishment of a navy, modernization of the army, restructuring of the government, introduction of new arts and sciences--had an enormous impact on language. Cracraft details the transmission to Russia of contemporary European naval, military, bureaucratic, legal, scientific, and literary norms and their corresponding lexical and other linguistic effects. This crucial first stage in the development of a "modern" verbal culture in Russia saw the translation and publication of a wholly unprecedented number of textbooks and treatises; the establishment of new printing presses and the introduction of a new alphabet; the compilation, for the first time, of grammars and dictionaries of Russian; and the initial standardization, in consequence, of the modern Russian literary language. Peter's creation of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, the chief agency advancing these reforms, is also highlighted.
In the conclusion to his masterwork, Cracraft deftly pulls together the Petrine reforms in verbal and visual culture to portray a revolution that would have dramatic consequences for Russia, and for the world.
Table of Contents:
Figures Preface Note on Dates and Transliteration
1. Introduction Historiography Language, Culture, Modernity Russian before Peter
2. The Nautical Turn Russia in Maritime Europe The Naval Statute of 1720 Other Nautical Texts Institutionalization
3. Military Modernization Military Revolutions: Europe to Russia The Military Statute of 1716 Textbooks and Schools
4. Bureaucratic Revolution Advent of the Modern European State The Petrine State The General Regulation of 1720 Regulations and Justifications
5. Science and Literature Geometry, Geography, History Eloquence, Theology, Philosophy The Academy
6. The Language Question The Print Revolution in Russia Lexical Proliferation Dictionaries and Grammars Russian after Peter
7. Conclusion The Petrine Revolution in Russia The Persistence of Muscovy
Abbreviations Appendix I: Texts Appendix II: Words Notes Bibliography Index
No previous author has attempted to document the changes in the Russian language during Peter the Great's reign by setting such a wide range of texts in historical context -- with full reference to the European background -- in a discussion accessible to non-specialists. James Cracraft extends the definition of literature beyond belles lettres and private writings, in which the Petrine era is relatively poor, to 'verbal culture,' in which it is rich, thereby offering a much wider range of material from a crucial age of reform and allowing exploration of such phenomena as the vocabulary of political power. In no other work in print in English can one find such detailed expositions of the publishing history and contents of such key texts as the Naval Statute and Military Statutes. Cracraft's judicious interpretation will be invaluable to serious students of Russian history. This is a work of immense erudition and a major contribution to scholarship. --Lindsey Hughes, University College London
Foreign investment increased from 17 percent of the capital of industrial corporations in Imperial Russia in 1880 to 47 percent in 1914, coinciding with the rapid development of Russian industrialization before World War I. John McKay's study, based largely on intensive research in numerous archives and utilizing many previously unexplored private business records, is the first detailed analysis of the impact of foreign enterprise on Russian industry during this period. His conclusions are significant for historians, economists, and those interested in the development of modern industrial society.
Baron brings together eleven articles published between 1958 and 1986 with a new introduction and an autobiographical essay that serves as a coda to the collection. The essays examine Georgi V. Plekhanov's ideas about history and their relationship to Soviet historiography, most especially his concept of poet-primitive Russia not as a Western feudal society but rather an Oriental despotism, and his views on the prospect for socialism in the United States. Baron also includes two pieces that revise his earlier thinking about Plekhanov, retracing his steps and exploring paths he neglected in his earlier research for his major biography, Plekhanov: The Father of Russian Marxism (1963).
In this extraordinary rich and subtle work, Arcadius Kahan analyzes a massive collection of documents which revise traditional interpretations of eighteenth-century Russian economic history. Kahan stresses economic rationality in the context of social constraints, offering the fullest and most convincing explanation yet of the economic foundations of Russia's power. He shows that what have been taken as major failings in the Russian economy were in fact resourceful and even ingenious methods of circumventing deeply rooted structural obstacles to change. Kahan also escapes two extremes that have bedeviled Russian historians since the nineteenth century: he avoids depicting the state as an autonomous structure that acted with impunity upon a passive society, and he refutes the notion of the state as a mere instrument for advancing selfish class interests.
In The Popular Theatre Movement in Russia, Gary Thurston illuminates the “popular theater” of prerevolutionary Russia, which existed alongside the performing arts for the nation’s economic elite. He shows how from Peter the Great's creation of Europe's first theater for popular enlightenment to Lenin's decree nationalizing all Soviet theaters, Russian rulers aggressively exploited this enduring art form for ideological ends rather than for its commercial potential.
After the emancipation of the serfs in 1861, educated Russians began to present plays as part of a crusade to "civilize" the peasants. Relying on archival and published material virtually unknown outside Russia, this study looks at how playwrights criticized Russian social and political realities, how various groups perceived their plays, and how the plays motivated viewers to change themselves or change their circumstances. The picture that emerges is of a potent civic art influential in a way that eluded and challenged authoritarian control.