Tolstoy and his Disciples: The History of a Radical International Movement

Overview

As the vast empire of Imperial Russia struggled with the emancipation of the serfs after 1861 and creeped inexorably towards revolution, Leo Tolstoy underwent what he termed a 'spiritual awakening'. Advocating an extreme internationalism and the principles of non-violence, Tolstoy inspired a legion of followers who formed thousands of cooperatives and collective farms across Russia and Europe. These disciples had a major impact: in revolutionary Russia, these 'Tolstoyans' were seen as a threat to the Bolsheviks, ...

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Overview

As the vast empire of Imperial Russia struggled with the emancipation of the serfs after 1861 and creeped inexorably towards revolution, Leo Tolstoy underwent what he termed a 'spiritual awakening'. Advocating an extreme internationalism and the principles of non-violence, Tolstoy inspired a legion of followers who formed thousands of cooperatives and collective farms across Russia and Europe. These disciples had a major impact: in revolutionary Russia, these 'Tolstoyans' were seen as a threat to the Bolsheviks, and Lenin singled them out for repression. Decades later, Mahatma Gandhi would cite the movement as an inspiration for his campaign of peaceful resistance against the British Empire. Here, Charlotte Alston provides the first in-depth historical account of this remarkable phenomenon and its impact on European and Russian history, providing an important re-assessment of Tolstoy's impact on the political history of the modern world.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Charlotte Alston is Senior Lecturer in History at Northumbria University, UK, and is the author of Russia's Greatest Enemy: Harold Williams and the Russian Revolutions (I.B.Tauris, 2007).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Note on Transliteration
Introduction
1. The Russian Context
2. Translations and Conversions
3. International Tolstoyism: Britain and Beyond
4. Tolstoyism in Practice: Communities, Societies and Publishing Houses
5. Contexts and Convictions
6. Tolstoyan Legacies
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography

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