Catalogue


The Revolution of Peter the Great /
James Cracraft.
imprint
Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press, 2003.
description
ix, 192 p. : ill.
ISBN
0674011961 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press, 2003.
isbn
0674011961 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
5027822
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
James Cracraft is Professor of History, University of Illinois at Chicago.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2004-06-01:
In this diminutive volume, Cracraft (Univ. of Illinois at Chicago) makes his larger opus generally accessible, a tradition in Petrine studies most recently honored by Lindsey Hughes's concise Peter the Great (2002). The novelty of Cracraft's interpretation readily emerges when compared with another of the best, L. Jay Oliva's insightful Russia in the Era of Peter the Great (1969). Oliva placed Peter and his revolution squarely in early modern Europe; Cracraft proceeds according to the canons of a newer anthropological approach. He opens with a biographical chapter followed by two more on military and political revolutions. The heart of the book is the fourth chapter, which presents Petrine history's greatest historical significance as a cultural revolution transcending all other major changes in Russian life. Cracraft concludes with a chapter on the oft-neglected resistance to Peter's policies, a chapter on St. Petersburg as the enduring symbol of its founder's legacy, and a brief summary conclusion. A generous publisher supplies many aptly chosen illustrations, and a nice bibliography sets readers on the path to further explorations. This impressive little book, at once informative and intellectually interesting, is ideal for classroom use and library collections. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All public and academic libraries. E. A. Cole Grand Valley State University
Appeared in Library Journal on 2003-10-15:
Here, Cracraft (history, Univ. of Illinois) takes three previous books (The Petrine Revolution in Russian Imagery, The Petrine Revolution in Russian Architecture, and The Church Reform of Peter the Great) and creates a light and readable compilation. He argues that the Petrine Revolution was cultural, taking in architecture, imagery (including all facets of art), and verbal expression (including speaking and writing). Reform of the church hierarchy was paramount to the success of the cultural revolution and is an underlying theme throughout. Unfortunately, a major drawback is this work's being disconnected from the rest of Russian and contemporary European history. Those who know Russian history well enough to fill in the holes will not need this book, while those who read only this book will get a less than clear understanding of the Petrine Revolution. Thus, readers should also turn to Lindsey Hughes's Peter the Great: A Biography and/or the first three chapters of Stephen Lovell's Summerfolk: A History of the Dacha, 1710-2000 to get a better feel for Peter's life and times.-Harry Willems, Southeast Kansas Lib. Syst., Iola (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
This book represents a distillation of James Cracraft's magisterial work The Petrine Revolution , the three volumes of which cover Russian architecture, imagery and verbal culture. It is firmly rooted in a lifetime of research and a formidable body of sources, but targets the general reader in the form of an accessible, lightly-footnoted interpretative history of the reforms of Russia's most important ruler, who reigned from 1682 to 1725.
Cracraft's interpretive history, grounded in his considerable expertise and reputation, is a welcome addition. His writing is engaging, free of jargon, and very accessible for both students and general readers with an interest in Russia.
This impressive little book [is] at once informative and intellectually interesting.
Anglo-American historians have spent a great deal of effort on Peter and his reign in the last decades, the pioneer among them Cracraft himself. He has used his own work and that of his colleagues with thoroughness and tact to provide his own synthesis of the events and their meaning... Cracraft has succeeded in conveying the latest understanding of Peter's time, one that he himself has been so central in creating, in an elegant and highly readable form.
Essential reading for those seeking the origin of Russia's ongoing friction between Westernizers and nationalists.
This book represents a distillation of James Cracraft's magisterial work The Petrine Revolution, the three volumes of which cover Russian architecture, imagery and verbal culture. It is firmly rooted in a lifetime of research and a formidable body of sources, but targets the general reader in the form of an accessible, lightly-footnoted interpretative history of the reforms of Russia's most important ruler, who reigned from 1682 to 1725.
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, October 2003
Booklist, November 2003
Choice, June 2004
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Many books chronicle the remarkable life of Russian tsar Peter the Great, but none analyze how his famous reforms actually took root and spread in Russia. In The Revolution of Peter the Great, James Cracraft offers a brilliant new interpretation of this pivotal era. Linking together and transcending Peter's many reforms of state and society, Cracraft argues, was nothing less than a cultural revolution. New ways of dress, elite social behavior, navigation, architecture, and image-making emerged along with expansive vocabularies for labeling new objects and activities. Russians learned how to build and sail warships; train, supply, and command a modern army; operate a new-style bureaucracy; conduct diplomacy on a par with the other European states; apply modern science; and conceptualize the new governing system. Throughout, Peter remains the central figure, and Cracraft discusses the shaping events of the tsar's youth, his inner circle, the resistance his reforms engendered, and the founding of the city that would embody his vision--St. Petersburg, which celebrated its tercentenary in 2003. By century's end, Russia was poised to play a critical role in the Napoleonic wars and boasted an elite culture about to burst into its golden age. In this eloquent book, Cracraft illuminates an astonishing transformation that had enormous consequences for both Russia and Europe, indeed the world.
Main Description
Many books chronicle the remarkable life of Russian tsar Peter the Great, but none analyze how his famous reforms actually took root and spread in Russia. In The Revolution of Peter the Great , James Cracraft offers a brilliant new interpretation of this pivotal era. Linking together and transcending Peter's many reforms of state and society, Cracraft argues, was nothing less than a cultural revolution. New ways of dress, elite social behavior, navigation, architecture, and image-making emerged along with expansive vocabularies for labeling new objects and activities. Russians learned how to build and sail warships; train, supply, and command a modern army; operate a new-style bureaucracy; conduct diplomacy on a par with the other European states; apply modern science; and conceptualize the new governing system. Throughout, Peter remains the central figure, and Cracraft discusses the shaping events of the tsar's youth, his inner circle, the resistance his reforms engendered, and the founding of the city that would embody his vision--St. Petersburg, which celebrated its tercentenary in 2003. By century's end, Russia was poised to play a critical role in the Napoleonic wars and boasted an elite culture about to burst into its golden age. In this eloquent book, Cracraft illuminates an astonishing transformation that had enormous consequences for both Russia and Europe, indeed the world.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Linking together Peter the Great's many reforms of state and society, Cracraft argues, was nothing less than a cultural revolution. By the end of the 18th century, Russia was poised to play a critical role in the Napoleonic wars and boasted an elite culture about to burst into its golden age.
Main Description
Many any books chronicle the remarkable life of Russian tsar Peter the Great, but none analyzes how his famous reforms actually took root and spread in Russia. In The Revolution of Peter the Great, James Cracraft offers a brilliant new interpretation of this pivotal era.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. vii
Peter and Companyp. 1
Military and Naval Revolutionsp. 29
Diplomatic and Bureaucratic Revolutionsp. 54
Cultural Revolutionp. 75
Revolution and Resistancep. 114
St. Petersburgp. 135
Conclusionp. 157
Chronologyp. 169
Notesp. 173
Further Readingp. 185
Indexp. 189
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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