Russia and the Golden Horde: The Mongol Impact on Medieval Russian History

Russia and the Golden Horde: The Mongol Impact on Medieval Russian History

Russia and the Golden Horde: The Mongol Impact on Medieval Russian History

Russia and the Golden Horde: The Mongol Impact on Medieval Russian History

Synopsis

..". an imaginative and dispassionate re-examination of the significance of the Mongol Conquest and its aftermath for Russia's historical development." -- Slavic Review "On all counts Russia and the Golden Horde infuses the subject with fresh insights and interpretations." -- History "Combining rigorous analysis of the major scholarly findings with his own research, Halperin has produced both a much-needed synthesis and an important original work." -- Library Journal "Halperin's new book combines sound scholarship and a flair for storytelling that should help publicize this all too unfamiliar tale in the West." -- Virginia Quarterly Review "It is a seminal work that will be repeatedly cited in the future... " -- The Historian..". ingenious and highly articulate... " -- Russian Review

Excerpt

Among historians of Russia, neglect of the period of Mongol domination has been the rule rather than the exception. As Michael Cherniavsky aptly observed, “There seems to have prevailed a vague desire to get rid of, to bypass, the whole question as quickly as possible.” Most specialists in medieval Russian history have described the Mongol influence as negligible or entirely deleterious and then moved on rapidly to other topics of investigation. Russia’s historical experience since the “Tatar Yoke” has itself contributed to this traditional prejudice among Russian writers. During the imperial period, when Russia was constantly at war with such Asiatics as the Ottoman Turks, the Central Asian Muslims, and the Japanese, the Russian populace tended to regard Muslims, nomads, and Asians with contempt and suspicion. Westernization, initiated by Peter the Great, introduced European feelings of superiority into eighteenth-century Russian historiography and racist and colonialist ideologies into nineteenth-century Russian historical writings. Imperial Russian policy toward minorities at the turn of the twentieth century engendered rabid chauvinism. the scholarly discipline of Inner Asian studies bloomed only at the end of the nineteenth century in Russia, too late to influence the treatment of Russo-Tatar relations in the classic multivolume histories of Russia. Even the early Russian oriental studies reflect all the prejudices of their times against nomads and Muslims.

Soviet scholarship since the Russian Revolution has made great strides in the study of medieval Russia and the Mongol Empire. At the same time, it has perpetuated some of the prejudices of Imperial Russian historiography and interpolated some newer dogmas. Among Russian emigré scholars, the Eurasian movement of the 1920s tried to reinterpret Russia’s relationship with the steppe but foundered in metaphysical partisanship. Eurasianism did inspire George Vernadsky, the recognized . . .

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