By Vera Tolz
The query of nationwide id is imperative to the way forward for Russia. This vast research, spans 3 centuries of Russian cultural historical past to put post-communist Russia inside a large historic history. the writer specializes in 3 ways of defining Russia and Russians: Russia as a counterpart to the West; Russians as creators of a different multi-ethnic neighborhood; and Russians as contributors of the group of japanese Slavs. She then demonstrates how those 3 views have ruled the perspectives of Russia within the smooth period and strains their origins again to writers and historians within the eighteenth century. Combining a wealthy ancient examine with a rigorous analytical framework, the booklet is an important software for knowing modern Russia. Vera Tolz is Professor of Russian experiences, collage of Manchester. The query of nationwide identification is primary to the way forward for Russia. during this research, which spans 3 centuries of Russian cultural background, Vera Tolz locations post-communist Russia in a large historic heritage. She specializes in 3 ways of defining Russia and Russians: Russia as a counterpart to the West; Russians as creators of a special multi-ethnic group; and Russians as individuals of the group of jap Slavs. She demonstrates how those 3 views have ruled the perspectives of Russia within the smooth period and strains their origins again to writers and historians within the eighteenth century. Combining a wealthy old examine with a rigorous analytical framework, the booklet is an important software for knowing modern Russia. “…[A] significant contribution in the direction of elucidating how Russians' personal realizing of themselves has developed over the last 3 centuries. such a lot prior Western histories have handled the Soviet Union as an inappropriate or regressive interval within the evolution of Russian nationhood. Tolz ‘brings again the Soviet Union,’ now not idealizing it yet exhibiting that it performed its personal paradoxical and ambivalent role.”—Times Literary complement "[A] sizeable and good evaluation of the fundamental options and formative matters with regards to Russian nationalism...[A] invaluable addition to the present reviews on those issues."—Slavic and East ecu Journal“…[A] significant contribution in the direction of elucidating how Russians' personal realizing of themselves has developed during the last 3 centuries. so much prior Western histories have handled the Soviet Union as an beside the point or regressive interval within the evolution of Russian nationhood. Tolz ‘brings again the Soviet Union,’ now not idealizing it yet displaying that it performed its personal paradoxical and ambivalent role.”—Times Literary complement “…[Thoroughly] researched and obviously written…Reading the ebook is illuminating…”—History: stories of recent Books “Although a quantity so kaleidoscopic in content material, so allusive in argument, and so multilayered in building unavoidably yields extra to these accustomed to the topic than it could possibly to the amateur, Tolz writes vigorously all through, and readers in any respect degrees of class can have whatever to profit from her regularly attention-grabbing book.”—Slavonica
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Extra info for Russia (Inventing the Nation)
Elsewhere in Europe, loyalty to the ruler began to be accompanied by a sense of identification with a particular state. These rulers began to see their own role as a service for the common good (bien public) of the people. Lower class women had never been confined to terem, as they could not afford to lead lives of idleness. In 1721, Russia established control over the Baltic provinces. Following the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, these areas became the independent states of Estonia and Latvia. 28 Russia Again, it was under the tsar Aleksei that the new concepts had started to enter Russian political vocabulary.
The message of the Old Believers was also profoundly anti-foreign. Christ was being depicted as a beer-bellied, red-faced German, Avvakum complained. Being inexperienced in dealing with mass opposition, the official Church, in turn, could do little against the spread of Old Belief other than to rely on government persecution of the schismatics. Indeed, it was in the second half of the seventeenth century that the Russian state began its first attempts at secularization as theatre, ballet and portrait painting came to the court of the tsar Aleksei.
Despite his enthusiastic rhetoric about the tsar's service to the state and the common good, Peter exercised his powers more absolutely than his predecessors. Moreover, during Peter's reign there developed an ideology of secular absolutism, which had not been present in Muscovite or Byzantine thought. It was most clearly spelled out in the 1722 work The Right of the Monarch's Will (Pravda voli monarshei) attributed to Prokopovich, which stated that the form of government in which 'all power is held in the hands of a single person is called Monarchy, that is Autocracy' (Monarkhiia, to est Samoderzhavstvo}.