The Modernisation of Russia, 1676-1825

The Modernisation of Russia, 1676-1825

The Modernisation of Russia, 1676-1825

The Modernisation of Russia, 1676-1825

Synopsis

This is an analytical account of a colorful period in Russian history, which is accessible to undergraduates of European and Russian history, as well as to the nonspecialist reader. Central to a discussion that emphasizes Russia's place in Europe are the much misunderstood personalities of some remarkable rulers, such as Peter the Great, Catherine the Great and Alexander I. Their reigns are set in the context of wider developments in social, economic, cultural and intellectual history that help to account for Russia's emergence as a great power.

Excerpt

Though flashes of originality may be detected in my arguments, a book of this kind naturally draws heavily on the researches of others. I should like to have been able to acknowledge each debt individually. But whilst authors experience a frisson of conceit to see their reading recorded in copious footnotes (where its limits may be exposed), many readers merely shudder at the sight of such a cumbersome apparatus. Following the pattern of the series, I have kept references to a minimum: they identify quotations and mention works that might otherwise have escaped the bibliographical notes. To satisfy the book's anticipated readership, these highly selective reading lists are heavily slanted towards work in English, though it would have been impertinent to omit the most important Russian and continental scholarship. There is also a bias towards publications from the last two decades, not because I have confused novelty with excellence, but because recent works in turn refer to older ones, some of which are conveniently listed by P. Clendenning and R. Bartlett, Eighteenth-Century Russia: A Select Bibliography of Works Published Since 1955 (Newtonville, MA, 1981). Dates are given in the Old Style–ten days behind the Western calendar in the seventeenth century, eleven in the eighteenth, and twelve in the nineteenth–except in the case of the events of the Napoleonic invasion where both Old and New Style dates appear. For the sake of simplicity, place names, subject . . .

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