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Russian ReviewHistorians of Anglo-Russian relations and Protestantism in early nineteenth century Russia will find much of interest here.
— Susan Smith-Peter
This compelling set of essays presents richly human stories of individual and group experiences, as well as of key events in the history of Imperial Russia. Beginning with Peter I's dress reforms in the early eighteenth century and concluding with poets arising out of a stratified and largely urban working class between the revolutions of 1905 and 1917, the essays introduce readers to many of the major changes in Imperial Russian history and their consequences. We see the effects of reforms; the consequences of an economy and society built on serfdom; as well as the development of a civil society, the "woman question," urbanization, secularization, and modernity.
At the same time, the contributors' nuanced reconstruction of personal and group histories provides important correctives to the traditional grand narratives of Russian history. These microhistories reveal individuals' daily negotiations with authority figures, be they government officials, religious leaders, individuals of another class, or even members of their own class. As this book vividly shows, individuals, groups, and events raised out of obscurity remind us of the messiness of everyday life; of people's dreams, frustrations, and transformations; as well as of their sense of self and the community around them.
Contributions by: Rodney D. Bohac, Barbara Alpern Engel, ChaeRan Y. Freeze, William B. Husband, Laura L. Phillips, David L. Ransel, Christine Ruane, Rochelle G. Ruthchild, Rebecca Spagnolo, Mark D. Steinberg, Elise Kimerling Wirtschafter, and Christine D. Worobec
Chapter 1: Fashion and the Rise of Consumer Capitalism in Russia
Chapter 2: How One Runaway Peasant Challenged the Authority of the Russian State: The Case Against Maria Semenova
Chapter 3: Life on the River: The Education of a Merchant Youth
Chapter 4: The Good Society of Russian Enlightenment Theater
Chapter 5: The 1827 Peasant Uprising at Bernovo
Chapter 6: Reframing Public and Private Space in Mid-Nineteenth Century Russia: The Triumvirate of Anna Filosofova, Nadezhda Stasova, and Mariia Trubnikova
Chapter 7: Happy Birthday, Siberia! Reform and Public Opinion in Russia's "Colony," 1881–1882
Chapter 8: Life in the Big City: Migrants Cope with "Daily Events"
Chapter 9: Freedom and its Limitations: A Peasant Wife Seeks to Escape her Abusive Husband
Chapter 10: "She Done Him In": Marital Breakdown in a Jewish Family
Chapter 11: Serving the Household, Asserting the Self: Urban Domestic Servant Activism, 1900–1917
Chapter 12: Plebeian Poets in Fin de Siècle Russia: Stories of the Self