The Military and Society in Russia: 1450-1917

The Military and Society in Russia: 1450-1917

The Military and Society in Russia: 1450-1917

The Military and Society in Russia: 1450-1917

Synopsis

This book explores the interaction of the Russian military and society in the early modern and modern period. In contrast to straightforward military histories, the volume is concerned with the myriad political, economic and cultural currents that shaped the Russian armed forces from their beginnings in Muscovite times to the end of World War I. The book begins with an attempt by the editors to provide a large frame in which to place the various contributions. What follows are three topical sections, including 22 detailed, often archival based monographic articles. The first section concerns The Military and Society in Muscovy; the second section focuses on The Military and Society in Imperial Russia. The third part analyzes Patriotism, Nationality, Religion and the Military.

Excerpt

Throughout Russian history, the army has played a vital role as a catalyst of historical development and social change. While the history of battles, strategy, and the army as an institution have all received a fair amount of attention from historians, the kind of sustained research and discussion of the relationships between the army and society evident in the historiographies of other countries has been lacking for the Russian case. This volume brings together new research and essays addressing this broad theme in Russian history.

The contributions address such persistent questions in Russian history as the interrelationships between war and military change on the one hand and social, political and economic change on the other. Individual authors assess the cultural and social role of the officer corps, the mobilization of resources for the military, the politics of defense spending, and the social aspects of military campaigns. A third of the papers focus on issues of nationalism, religion and patriotism that have moved to the center of contemporary debate about Russia, but have received remarkably scant attention in previous scholarship on the Russian military and society.

First and foremost, the editors are obliged to express our appreciation to Brill, and specifically Julian Deal, for initiating this project. Without Brill's support, this book would not exist. The volume benefited greatly from a three day authors' conference hosted by the Davis Center for Russian Studies at Harvard University in September 2000. The editors thank the Davis Center for its generous financial and logistical support. The project owes much to Kelly O'Neill for her extensive editorial and administrative assistance. This project had some twenty five silent partners—the scholars who vetted each and every paper in this book. Naturally we are grateful to them for improving the final product. Finally, thanks are due to the authors for their professionalism and enthusiasm.

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