From Supplication to Revolution: A Documentary Social History of Imperial Russia

Synopsis

The first authoritative collection of primary documents on the social history of Imperial Russia, this volume delineates the basic issues of social structure and change in pre-revolutionary Russian society as it headed toward the cataclysm of 1917. Gregory Freeze has collected and translated original materials from the Soviet archives, including many never before published, in which members of the major social groups of Russian society--the nobility, military and civil service groups, clergy, townspeople, peasantry, workers, professionals and educated elites, and minorities--articulate their experiences. Organized into three chronological sections--the reign of Catherine the Great in the 1760s, the reform movements of the 1860s, and the rising tide of revolution in 1905-06--the book offers a unique and valuable comparative analysis of various groups with each other, of a single group over time, and of the relative patterns of change among several groups over time. As the collective statements change in form, tone, and substance, they provide a dramatic sense of how Russian society evolved and why the Imperial autocracy collapsed.

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