Russian Rebels, 1600-1800by Paul Avrich
“Paul Avrich’s latest book is an admirable blend of serious scholarship and appealing writing. His purpose is to tell the story of popular uprisings in Russia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with particular emphasis on those led by Bolotnikov, Razin, Bulavin, and Pugachev. To do so, he has made careful and intelligent use of a large body of published materials and from them has woven a lively and engrossing narrative. More than that, drawing on the previous work of Hobsbawm and others, he has offered perceptive explanations of the outbreak, course, and outcome of each revolt. Throughout the work, the author compares the principal revolts and searches, above all, for a general characterization of the tradition of mass revolt in premodern Russia.” Robert O. Crummey, Yale University in Journal of Modern History
The aim of this book is to unravel the tangled story of the four revolts, to examine their nature, course, and outcome, and to analyze their ultimate historical significance. Who were the rebels? What were their motives, social origins, and modes of behavior? What did they want and what did they achieve? Such are the questions this work will try to answer. Comparisons between the revolts will be made throughout the text, and especially in the concluding section of each chapter, while a final chapter will evaluate the overall significance of the revolts and their impact on the subsequent history of Russia. In particular, an effort will be made to determine the extent to which they foreshadowed the revolutions of 1905 and 1917, which so profoundly affected the course of contemporary history.
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