Modernism and public reform in late imperial Russia : rural professionals and self-organization, 1905-30 /
Ilya V. Gerasimov.
Houndmills, Basingstoke ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.
x, 325 p.
0230229476 (hbk.), 9780230229471 (hbk.)
More Details
Houndmills, Basingstoke ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.
0230229476 (hbk.)
9780230229471 (hbk.)
contents note
pt. 1. Structures of mobilization -- Becoming "progressive" : structural settings and mental mapping of reformism -- Bringing up a new generation of intelligentsia -- Transfer of the Italian technology of modernization and birth of the Russian "public agronomy" project -- pt. 2. Dynamics of modernization -- The ambivalent role of the state : a conservative patron and a progressive rival -- The economic foundations of social mobilization -- From knowledge to influence : building a bridge to the new peasant -- At the crossroads : coping with modernization as routine -- pt. 3. Patterns of "nationalization" -- Nation as motherland -- Nation as the people -- Revolutionary nation -- The dissolution of the "imagined community" : nationalization as expropriation -- Postscript.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Ilya Gerasimov holds Russian and American PhDs, and is a founder and the Executive Editor of the international quarterly Ab Imperio dedicated to the study of new imperial history and nationalism in the post-Soviet space. He has published in several languages on Russian social history, the history of criminality and imperial history.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2010-07-01:
Gerasimov's focus in his new book is the cadre of professionally trained agronomists who, he argues, were committed to the "modernization" of the Russian countryside. He describes a substantial ideological shift in the generation of zemstvo employees who graduated from agricultural institutes after the revolution of 1905. These young experts shed the old intelligentsia mind-set in favor of working with agencies of the central government to rationalize peasant practice. Gone, too, was the old populist idealization of the commune, and while Gerasimov provides little specific data, he gives the impression that generally the young agronomists encouraged land privatization. In addition to empirical research on the numbers, standard of living, and ideology of his subjects, the author has larger interests in view--ideological concepts and analysis of social structures. Inevitably, such analytic depth combined with breadth of subject matter leaves little room to flesh out the agronomists and their lives. As so often happens in Russian history, the actual impact of this new dedication and expertise on peasant productivity remains unclear. Nonetheless, this is a valuable addition to the social history of early-20th-century Russia. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, faculty. J. Zimmerman emerita, University of Pittsburgh
Review Quotes
'Ilya Gerasimov's study of agricultural modernizers in early twentieth century Russia gently smashes long-standing historical conventions. Russians into Peasants reveals the goals and careers of young activists who, between the disappointing 1905 revolution and the collapse of 1917, turned away from extremist, anti-state politics and worked with rural people to create a progressive and productive agrarian society. This is history with a human touch; Gerasimov cares about salaries and housing, as well as tractors. His fresh, independent perspective normalizes both professionals and peasants, and brings to life a forgotten generation of people who thought they could improve their society without overthrowing or occupying the state. Based on rich and unusually diverse materials'agronomists' journals, provincial newspapers, the trans-Siberian train car devoted to increasing migrants' agricultural productivity, short courses and film shows addressed to the rural public'Gerasimov's innovative book should change the way we look at Russian society, before 1917 and after.' - Jane Burbank, New York University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 2010
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.
Bowker Data Service Summary
This book is a comprehensive reconstruction of the successful attempt by rural professionals in late Imperial Russia to engage peasants in a common public sphere. It covers a range of aspects, from personal income & the dynamics of the job market to ideological conflicts & psychological transformation.
Description for Bookstore
A comprehensive reconstruction of the successful attempt by rural professionals in late imperial Russia to engage peasants in a common public sphere. Based on hundreds of individual life stories
Long Description
This book is the story of a generation of Russians who sought to improve their personal lives but managed to effectively change the ways of the entire country during the decade following the abortive revolution of 1905. This happened largely beyond the administrative apparatus of the state and outside the organized, if collapsing, revolutionary movement. They formed a new social class of rural professionals: agronomists, physicians, educators, instructors, and managers of peasant cooperatives. Several tens of thousands strong by 1914, this group successfully bridged the proverbial gap between the educated elite and the 'œpeople' by establishing an intensive dialogue with the peasants. An attempt to turn Russian imperial villagers into self-conscious economic subjects through the 'œapolitical politics' of self-organization quite unexpectedly led to the creation of different versions of political nationhood by means of society's self-mobilization. These processes explain much about the events of 1917 and the outcome of the civil war.
Main Description
This book is a comprehensive reconstruction of the successful attempt by rural professionals in late imperial Russia to engage peasants in a common public sphere. Covers a range of aspects, from personal income and the dynamics of the job market to ideological conflicts and psychological transformation. Based on hundreds of individual life stories.
Table of Contents
List of Tablesp. viii
List of Archival Collections with Abbreviationsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Structures of Mobilization
Becoming "Progressive": Structural Settings and Mental Mapping of Reformismp. 11
Bringing Up a New Generation of Intelligentsiap. 32
Transfer of the Italian Technology of Modernization and Birth of the Russian "Public Agronomy" Projectp. 45
Dynamics of Modernization
The Ambivalent Role of the State: A Conservative Patron and a "Progressive" Rivalp. 67
The Economic Foundations of Social Mobilizationp. 88
From Knowledge to Influence: Building a Bridge to the New Peasantp. 99
At the Crossroads: Coping with Modernization as Routinep. 123
Patterns of "Nationalization"
Nation as Motherlandp. 139
Nation as the Peoplep. 156
Revolutionary Nationp. 168
The Dissolution of the "Imagined Community": Nationalization as Expropriationp. 185
Postscriptp. 215
Notesp. 220
Indexp. 314
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem