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The Russian conquest of Central Asia was perhaps the nineteenth century's most dramatic and successful example of European imperial expansion, adding 1.5 million square miles and at least 6 million people - most of them Muslims - to the Tsar's domains. Alexander Morrison provides the first comprehensive military and diplomatic history of the conquest to be published for over a hundred years. From the earliest conflicts on the steppe frontier in the 1830s to the annexation of the Pamirs in the early 1900s, he gives a detailed account of the logistics and operational history of Russian wars against Khoqand, Bukhara and Khiva, the capture of Tashkent and Samarkand, and the bloody subjection of the Turkmen, as well as Russian diplomatic relations with China, Persia and the British Empire. Based on archival research in Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia and India, memoirs and Islamic chronicles, this book explains how Russia conquered a colonial empire in Central Asia, with consequences that still resonate today.
Exploring republican ideas and concepts that developed in sixteenth-century Poland under the impact of humanism and the Renaissance, as well as political and constitutional changes, this is a landmark study of republican discourse in sixteenth-century Poland-Lithuania. It provides a conceptual and contextual analysis of the rich political literature and debate which animated intellectual life and political reasoning during the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and effectively demonstrates its republican character. Using a comparative perspective, Dorota Pietrzyk-Reeves situates the Polish republican discourse within both the classical and early modern republican traditions, bringing together contexts and ideas that have traditionally been overlooked by scholars of early modern Europe. In addition, she also underlines the originality of Polish concepts such as the relationship between law, liberty and virtue as key elements of a well-ordered commonwealth and the vision of a mixed res publica that had a monarchical character. This book is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in European intellectual history and the early modern republican tradition.
Liberalism is a critically important topic in the contemporary world as liberal values and institutions are in retreat in countries where they seemed relatively secure. Lucidly written and accessible, this book offers an important yet neglected Russian aspect to the history of political liberalism. Vanessa Rampton examines Russian engagement with liberal ideas during Russia's long nineteenth century, focusing on the high point of Russian liberalism from 1900 to 1914. It was then that a self-consciously liberal movement took shape, followed by the founding of the country's first liberal (Constitutional-Democratic or Kadet) party in 1905. For a brief, revelatory period, some Russians - an eclectic group of academics, politicians and public figures - drew on liberal ideas of Western origin to articulate a distinctively Russian liberal philosophy, shape their country's political landscape, and were themselves partly responsible for the tragic experience of 1905.
The Russian Empire and its legal institutions have often been associated with arbitrariness, corruption, and the lack of a 'rule of law'. Stefan B. Kirmse challenges these assumptions in this important new study of empire-building, minority rights, and legal practice in late Tsarist Russia, revealing how legal reform transformed ordinary people's interaction with state institutions from the 1860s to the 1890s. By focusing on two regions that stood out for their ethnic and religious diversity, the book follows the spread of the new legal institutions into the open steppe of Southern Russia, especially Crimea, and into the fields and forests of the Middle Volga region around the ancient Tatar capital of Kazan. It explores the degree to which the courts served as instruments of integration: the integration of former borderlands with the imperial centre and the integration of the empire's internal 'others' with the rest of society.
Konstantin Stanislavsky (1863–1938) was one of the most innovative and influential directors of modern theatre and his system and related practices continue to be studied and used by actors, directors and students. Maria Shevtsova sheds new light on the extraordinary life of Stanislavsky, uncovering and translating Russian archival sources, rehearsal transcripts, production scores and plans. This comprehensive study rediscovers little-known areas of Stanislavsky's new type of theatre and its immersion in the visual arts, dance and opera. It demonstrates the fundamental importance of his Russian Orthodoxy to the worldview that underpinned his integrated System and his goals for the six laboratory research studios that he established or mentored. Stanislavsky's massive achievements are explored in the intricate and historically intertwined political, cultural and theatre contexts of Tsarist Russia, the 1917 Revolution, the volatile 1920s, and Stalin's 1930s. Rediscovering Stanislavksy provides a completely fresh perspective on his work and legacy.
Between 1945 and 1950, approximately 130,000 Germans were interned in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany, including in former Nazi concentration camps. One third of detainees died, prompting comparisons with Nazi terror. But what about the western zones, where the Americans, British, and French also detained hundreds of thousands of Germans without trial? This first in-depth study compares internment by all four occupying powers, asking who was interned, how they were treated, and when and why they were arrested and released. It confirms the incomparably appalling conditions and death rates in the Soviet camps but identifies similarities in other respects. Andrew H. Beattie argues that internment everywhere was an inherently extrajudicial measure with punitive and preventative dimensions that aimed to eradicate Nazism and create a new Germany. By recognising its true nature and extent, he suggests that denazification was more severe and coercive but also more differentiated and complex than previously thought.
Showcasing the genius of Russian literature, art, music, and dance over a century of turmoil, within the dynamic cultural ecosystem that shaped it, The Firebird and the Fox explores the shared traditions, mutual influences and enduring themes that recur in these art forms. The book uses two emblematic characters from Russian culture - the firebird, symbol of the transcendent power of art in defiance of circumstance and the efforts of censors to contain creativity; and the fox, usually female and representing wit, cleverness and the agency of artists and everyone who triumphs over adversity - to explore how Russian cultural life changed between 1850 and 1950. Jeffrey Brooks reveals how high culture drew on folk and popular genres, then in turn influenced an expanding commercial culture. Richly illustrated, The Firebird and the Fox assuredly and imaginatively navigates the complex terrain of this eventful century.
When the Bolsheviks came to power in 1917, they announced the overthrow of a world scarred by exploitation and domination. In the very moment of revolution, these sentiments were put to the test as antisemitic pogroms swept the former Pale of Settlement. The pogroms posed fundamental questions of the Bolshevik project, revealing the depth of antisemitism within sections of the working class, peasantry and Red Army. Antisemitism and the Russian Revolution offers the first book-length analysis of the Bolshevik response to antisemitism. Contrary to existing understandings, it reveals this campaign to have been led not by the Party leadership, as is often assumed, but by a loosely connected group of radicals who mobilized around a Jewish political subjectivity. By examining pogroms committed by the Red Army, Brendan McGeever also uncovers the explosive overlap between revolutionary politics and antisemitism, and the capacity for class to become racialized in a moment of crisis.
Prokofiev considered himself to be primarily a composer of opera, and his return to Russia in the mid-1930s was partially motivated by the goal to renew his activity in this genre. His Soviet career coincided with the height of the Stalin era, when official interest and involvement in opera increased, leading to demands for nationalism and heroism to be represented on the stage to promote the Soviet Union and the Stalinist regime. Drawing on a wealth of primary source materials and engaging with recent scholarship in Slavonic studies, this book investigates encounters between Prokofiev's late operas and the aesthetics of socialist realism, contemporary culture (including literature, film, and theatre), political ideology, and the obstacles of bureaucratic interventions and historical events. This contextual approach is interwoven with critical interpretations of the operas in their original versions, providing a new account of their stylistic and formal features and connections to operatic traditions.
Geographically and linguistically diverse, by 1789 the Habsburg monarchy had laid the groundwork for a single European polity capable of transcending its unique cultural and historic heritage. Challenging the conventional notion of the Habsburg state and society as peculiarly backward, Charles W. Ingrao traces its emergence as a military and cultural power of enormous influence. In doing so, he unravels a web of social, political, economic and cultural factors that shaped the Habsburg monarchy during the period. Firmly established as the leading survey of the early modern Habsburg monarchy, this third edition incorporates a quarter of a century of new, international scholarship. Extending its narrative reach, Ingrao gives greater attention to 'peripheral' territories, manifestations of high culture, and suggests links between the early modern monarchy and the problems of contemporary Europe. This elegant account of a complex story is accessible to specialists and non-specialists alike.
The chroniclers of medieval Rus were monks, who celebrated the divine services of the Byzantine church throughout every day. This study is the first to analyze how these rituals shaped their writing of the Rus Primary Chronicle, the first written history of the East Slavs. During the eleventh century, chroniclers in Kiev learned about the conversion of the Roman Empire by celebrating a series of distinctively Byzantine liturgical feasts. When the services concluded, and the clerics sought to compose a native history for their own people, they instinctively drew on the sacred stories that they sang at church. The result was a myth of Christian origins for Rus - a myth promulgated even today by the Russian government - which reproduced the Christian origins myth of the Byzantine Empire. The book uncovers this ritual subtext and reconstructs the intricate web of liturgical narratives that underlie this foundational text of pre-modern Slavic civilization.
'H. G. Wells and All Things Russian' is a fertile terrain for research and this volume will be the first to devote itself entirely to the theme. Wells was an astute student of Russian literature, culture and history, and the Russians, in turn, became eager students of Wells's views and works. During the Soviet years, in fact, no significant foreign author was safer for Soviet critics to praise than H. G. Wells. The reason was obvious. He had met – and largely approved of – Lenin, was a close friend of the Soviet literary giant Maxim Gorky and, in general, expressed much respect for Russia's evolving Communist experiment, even after it fell into Stalin's hands. While Wells's attitude towards the Soviet Union was, nevertheless, often ambivalent, there is definitely nothing ambiguous about the tremendous influence his works had on Russian literary and cultural life.
The drying up of the Aral Sea - a major environmental catastrophe of the late twentieth century - is deeply rooted in the dreams of the irrigation age of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a time when engineers, scientists, politicians, and entrepreneurs around the world united in the belief that universal scientific knowledge, together with modern technologies, could be used to transform large areas of the planet from 'wasteland' into productive agricultural land. Though ostensibly about bringing modernity, progress, and prosperity to the deserts, the transformation of Central Asia's landscapes through tsarist- and Soviet-era hydraulic projects bore the hallmarks of a colonial experiment. Examining how both regimes used irrigation-age fantasies of bringing the deserts to life as a means of claiming legitimacy in Central Asia, Maya K. Peterson brings a fresh perspective to the history of Russia's conquest and rule of Central Asia.
The 'graphosphere' is the dynamic space of visible words. Graphospheres mutate, they are reconfigured with changes in technology, in modes of production, in social structures, in fashion and taste. The graphospheric environment can be public or private, monumental or ephemeral. This book explores a new approach to the study of writing, with a focus on Russia during its 'long early modernity' from the late fifteenth century to the early nineteenth century. Taking an inclusive approach, it charts unmapped territory, uncovers sources that have almost entirely escaped attention and therefore provides, in the first instance, a unique reference guide to cultures of writing in Russia over four hundred years. Besides generating fresh insights into distinctive features of Russian culture, this outward-looking and accessible book offers a pioneering case study for the wider comparative exploration of the significance of technologies of the word.
Commercial competition between Britain and Russia became entangled during the eighteenth century in Iran, the Middle East, and China, and disputes emerged over control of the North Pacific. Focusing on the British Russia Company, Matthew P. Romaniello charts the ways in which the company navigated these commercial and diplomatic frontiers. He reveals how geopolitical developments affected trade far more than commercial regulations, while also challenging depictions of this period as a straightforward era of Russian economic decline. By looking at merchants' and diplomats' correspondence and the actions and experiences of men working in Eurasia for Russia and Britain, he demonstrates the importance of restoring human experiences in global processes and provides individual perspective on this game of empire. This approach reveals that economic fears, more than commodities exchanged, motivated actions across the geopolitical landscape of Europe during the Seven Years' War and the American and French Revolutions.
Poland is a tenacious survivor-state: it was wiped off the map in 1795, resurrected after the First World War, apparently annihilated again in the Second World War, and reduced to satellite status of the Soviet Union after 1945. Yet it emerged in the vanguard of resistance to the USSR in the 1980s, albeit as a much more homogeneous entity than it had been in its multi-ethnic past. This book outlines Poland's turbulent and complex history, from its medieval Christian origins to the reassertion of that Christian and European heritage after forty-five years of communism. It describes Poland's transformation since 1989, and explains how Poland navigated its way into a new Commonwealth of Nations in the European Union. Recent years have witnessed significant changes within Poland, Eastern Europe and the wider world. This new edition reflects on these changes, and examines the current issues facing a Poland which some would accuse of being out of touch with 'European values'.
Placing Stalinism in its international context, David L. Hoffmann presents a new interpretation of Soviet state intervention and violence. Many 'Stalinist' practices - the state-run economy, surveillance, propaganda campaigns, and the use of concentration camps - did not originate with Stalin or even in Russia, but were instead tools of governance that became widespread throughout Europe during the First World War. The Soviet system was formed at this moment of total war, and wartime practices of mobilization and state violence became building blocks of the new political order. Communist Party leaders in turn used these practices ruthlessly to pursue their ideological agenda of economic and social transformation. Synthesizing new research on Stalinist collectivization, industrialization, cultural affairs, gender roles, nationality policies, the Second World War, and the Cold War, Hoffmann provides a succinct account of this pivotal period in world history.