ISBN-10:
0674015495
ISBN-13:
9780674015494
Pub. Date:
02/28/2005
Publisher:
Harvard
Dilemmas of Russian Capitalism: Fedor Chizhov and Corporate Enterprise in the Railroad Age

Dilemmas of Russian Capitalism: Fedor Chizhov and Corporate Enterprise in the Railroad Age

by Thomas C. Owen

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Overview

Fedor Chizhov built the first railroad owned entirely by Russian stockholders, created Moscow's first bank and mutual credit society, and launched the first profitable steamship line based in Archangel. In this valuable book, Thomas Owen vividly illuminates the life and world of this seminal figure in early Russian capitalism.

Chizhov condemned European capitalism as detrimental to the ideal of community and the well-being of workers and peasants. In his strategy of economic nationalism, Chizhov sought to motivate merchants to undertake new forms of corporate enterprise without undermining ethnic Russian culture. He faced numerous obstacles, from the lack of domestic investment capital to the shortage of enlightened entrepreneurial talent. But he reserved his harshest criticism for the tsarist ministers, whose incompetence and prejudice against private entrepreneurship proved his greatest hindrance.

Richly documented from Chizhov's detailed diary, this work offers an insightful exploration of the institutional impediments to capitalism and the rule of law that plagued the tsarist empire and continue to bedevil post-Soviet Russia.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674015494
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 02/28/2005
Series: Harvard Studies in Business History , #44
Pages: 292
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Thomas C. Owen was Katheryn, Lewis, and Benjamin Price Professor of History, Louisiana State University and is now an Associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University.

Table of Contents

Preface

Author's Note

Introduction: Biography and Business History

1. The Search for a Vocation

From Mathematics to Romantic Nationalism

Arrest and Internal Exile

Personality and Entrepreneurship

2. Economic Nationalism in Theory

Economic Journalism in the Era of the Great Reforms

Corporate Capitalism and Railroads

Tariff Protection for Domestic Industries: German Theories and Russian Realities

The Origins of Slavophile Capitalism

3 Economic Nationalism in Practice

The Trinity Railroad

The First Banks in Moscow

The Moscow-Kursk Railroad

The Archangel-Murmansk Steamship Company

4. Chizhov's Legacy

Limits to Success

Merchants and Gentry as Corporate Entrepreneurs

The Political Context: Military-Autocratic Rule

Unresolved Dilemmas

Conclusion: The Death of Fedor Vasilievich

Notes

Bibliographical Essay

Index

What People are Saying About This

A work of great erudition. Drawing on the unpublished diary of Fedor Chizhov, Thomas Owen brings to life a key figure in the economic and intellectual world of pre-revolutionary Russia. He sheds light on the difficulty for tsarist rulers of managing a large, multi-ethnic empire at a time of growing economic challenges from western European states. Written in a lucid, readable, and often vivid style, this is an important contribution to our knowledge of business and politics in nineteenth-century Europe.

Jonathan A. Grant

A fine combination of biography, business history, and intellectual history. Through the life and activities of Fedor Chizhov, Owen delves deeply into the businesses, financial practices, and entrepreneurial difficulties of one of the most important and successful business leaders in tsarist Russia during the reform era after the Crimean War. In the process he grapples with one of the most significant and vexing questions in Russian history: why were there so few Russian entrepreneurs? His analysis of Chizhov's entrepreneurship is the richest, most detailed account of a Russian businessman in any language.
Jonathan A. Grant, Florida State University

Peter Gatrell

A work of great erudition. Drawing on the unpublished diary of Fedor Chizhov, Thomas Owen brings to life a key figure in the economic and intellectual world of pre-revolutionary Russia. He sheds light on the difficulty for tsarist rulers of managing a large, multi-ethnic empire at a time of growing economic challenges from western European states. Written in a lucid, readable, and often vivid style, this is an important contribution to our knowledge of business and politics in nineteenth-century Europe.
Peter Gatrell, University of Manchester

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