A Generation of Revolutionaries: Nikolai Charushin and Russian Populism from the Great Reforms to Perestroika

A Generation of Revolutionaries: Nikolai Charushin and Russian Populism from the Great Reforms to Perestroika

A Generation of Revolutionaries: Nikolai Charushin and Russian Populism from the Great Reforms to Perestroika

A Generation of Revolutionaries: Nikolai Charushin and Russian Populism from the Great Reforms to Perestroika

Synopsis

Nikolai Charushin's memoirs of his experience as a member of the revolutionary populist movement in Russia are familiar to historians, but A Generation of Revolutionariesprovides a broader and more engaging look at the lives and relationships beyond these memoirs.It shows how, after years of incarceration, Charushin and friends thrived in Siberian exile, raising children and contributing to science and culture there. While Charushin's memoirs end with his return to European Russia, this sweeping biography follows this group as they engaged in Russia's fin de siecle society, took part in the 1917 revolution, and struggled in its aftermath. A Generation of Revolutionaries provides vibrant and deeply personal insights into the turbulent history of Russia from the Great Reforms to the era of Stalinism and beyond. In doing so, it tells the story of a remarkable circle of friends whose lives balanced love, family and career with exile, imprisonment, and revolution.

Excerpt

The scholar of Russian history always needs to address a number of minor but thorny issues pertaining to transliteration, Russian names, and dates. We have used the Library of Congress system, except for proper names or geographic sites that are already familiar to the reader by another spelling. Thus we have Leo Tolstoy instead of Lev Tolstoi, Moscow instead of Moskva, Yakutsk instead of Iakutsk. Since Russian is an inflected language, the endings of proper names will often, but not always, change depending on whether we are talking about males or females—the spelling of surnames usually changes, depending on which gender we are referring to. Likewise, the forms of address people use with each other depend on social hierarchies and degrees of intimacy and are further complicated by the addition of patronymics in polite social discourse. Just in case the reader has managed to grasp all this, the Russian language has added a bewildering number of diminutive versions of names to express degrees of affection for the person on whom the nickname is bestowed. We have tried to avoid inserting Russian words into the text, but a few whose exact translation is difficult or cumbersome, such as meshchanstvo (roughly: petty bourgeoisie), kustarnyi sklad (cottage industry warehouse), uprava (executive board), zemstvo (local self-government council), kraeved and kraevedenie (local historian and local history), and gosudarstvennost’ (statism) are unavoidable because they convey a nuance not present in the English-language near-equivalent. Similarly, we have occasionally inserted the word Chaikovtsy from the Russian, designating the members of the . . .

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