Engineer of Revolutionary Russia : Iurii V. Lomonosov (1876–1952) and the Railways book cover
1st Edition

Engineer of Revolutionary Russia
Iurii V. Lomonosov (1876–1952) and the Railways

ISBN 9781138259294
Published October 26, 2016 by Routledge
454 Pages

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Book Description

This book is the first substantial study in any language of one of revolutionary Russia's most distinguished and controversial engineers - Iurii Vladimirovich Lomonosov (1876-1952). Not only does it provide an outline of his remarkable life and career, it also explores the relationship between science, technology and transport that developed in late tsarist and early Soviet Russia. Lomonosov's importance extends well beyond his scientific and engineering achievements thanks to the rich variety and public prominence of his professional and political activities. His generation - Lenin's generation - was inevitably at the forefront of Russian life from the 1910s to the 1930s, and Lomonosov took his place there as one of the country's best known and ultimately notorious engineers. As well as an innovative engineer who campaigned to enhance the role of science, he played a major role in shaping and administering the Russian railways, and undertook several diplomatic and scientific missions to the West during the early years of the Revolution. Falling from political favour during an assignment in Germany (1923-1927), he achieved notoriety in Russia as a 'non-returner' by apparently declining to return home. Thereby escaping probable arrest and execution, he began a new life abroad (1927-1952) which included a research post at the California Institute of Technology in 1929-1930, collaborative projects with the famous physicist P.L. Kapitsa in Cambridge, a long-time association with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London, and work for the British War Office during the Second World War. From Marxist revolutionary to American academic, this study reveals Lomonosov's extraordinary life. Drawing on a wide variety of official Russian sources, as well as Lomonosov's own diaries and memoirs, a vivid portrait of his life is presented, offering a better understanding of how science, technology and politics interacted in early-twentieth-century Russia.



Dr Anthony Heywood is Senior Lecturer at the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy, King's College, University of Aberdeen, UK


'... an outstanding achievement, the story of a remarkable man’s life that also sheds light on important themes in twentieth-century Russian and world history. Engineer also may serve as an unsurpassed exemplar of meticulous research... an outstanding contribution to a number of fields, starting with Russian/Soviet history.' Revolutionary Russia '... [Heywood's] interpretations provide a rich and rather sympathetic portrait of this gifted engineer. Along the way, [he] offers some of the finest history of the Russian and Soviet railways available anywhere, supplemented by a very useful technical glossary.' Michael D. Gordin, Princeton University, in the Russian Review ’This is a thoroughly researched book which has much of interest to both historians of Russia and of railways, each of whom will find it a comfortable and enlightening read throughout. The publisher is to be commended on the design and production standards: the book is pleasant to handle, the well-chosen pictures are carefully reproduced, there are footnotes rather than endnotes, and sub-editorial slips are rare and minor.’ Slavonic and East European Review 'Anthony Heywood has written a model of a biography, admirably showing his decades of study of the well-documented life of Yuri Vladimirovich Lomonosov... the reader leaves with a strong sense of context as well as the person.' Technology and Culture '... Heywood has written a commendable work on an important, if largely too-long neglected, figure in the history of the development of the Russian railway system in the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries, Iurii V. Lomonosov. He has managed to achieve this not only thanks to very careful and meticulous archival research in Britain, Europe and the USA, but also in being an objective and dispassionate reader of the voluminous diaries/correspondence left by Lomonosov, charting the many twists and turns in his professional as well as his personal life... Given the comprehensiveness of the