Working the Rough Stone: Freemasonry and Society in Eighteenth-Century Russia

Working the Rough Stone: Freemasonry and Society in Eighteenth-Century Russia

by Douglas Smith


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Using a wealth of archival sources previously unavailable to scholars, Smith examines the forces that attracted many social and intellectual leaders of eighteenth-century Russia to Freemasonry as an instrument for change and progress. By "working the rough stone" of their inner thoughts and feelings, such men sought to become champions of moral enlightenment and to create a vision of social action that could bring about change without challenging the social and political precepts on which Russia's stability depended.

By challenging a number of long-held notions about Russian society, Smith broadens our understanding of the complex history of eighteenth-century Russia. Engagingly written and richly illustrated with rare engravings of Masonic life and ritual, this volume will appeal to readers interested in Russia, Europe, the Enlightenment, and the history of Freemasonry.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780875802466
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 05/01/1999
Series: NIU Series in Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
Edition description: 1
Pages: 267
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Douglas Smith is editor and translator of Love and Conquest: Personal Correspondence of Catherine the Great and Prince Grigory Potemkin, which won the 2004 Heldt Prize for Translation. He lives in Seattle.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
1. Life in the Lodges
2. The Russian Public; or, Civil Society in the Eighteenth Century
3. Virtue's Refuge, Wisdom's Temple
4. The Image of the Mason
Selected Bibliography

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