Rethinking the Russian Revolution as Historical Divide  book cover
1st Edition

Rethinking the Russian Revolution as Historical Divide

ISBN 9781138945623
Published November 22, 2017 by Routledge
277 Pages

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Book Description

The Russian Revolution of 1917 has often been presented as a complete break with the past, with everything which had gone before swept away, and all aspects of politics, economy, and society reformed and made new. Recently, however, historians have increasingly come to question this view, discovering that Tsarist Russia was much more entangled in the processes of modernisation, and that the new regime contained much more continuity than has previously been acknowledged. This book presents new research findings on a range of different aspects of Russian society, both showing how there was much change before 1917, and much continuity afterwards; and also going beyond this to show that the new Soviet regime established in the 1920s, with its vision of the New Soviet Person, was in fact based on a complicated mixture of new Soviet thinking and ideas developed before 1917 by a variety of non-Bolshevik movements.

Table of Contents

Crossing the Divide: Tradition, Rupture, and Modernity in Revolutionary Russia

Andy Willimott and Matthias Neumann

Part I – The New State, The Past, and the People

1. The Problem of Persistence

J. Arch Getty

2. How Revolutionary was Revolutionary Justice? Legal Culture in Russia across the Revolutionary Divide

Matthew Rendle

3. 'Taking a Leap across the Tsarist Throne': Revolutionizing the Russian Circus

Miriam Neirick

4. The Communist Youth League and the Construction of Soviet Obshchestvennost'

Matthias Neumann

Part II – The People, the Past, and the New State

5. For the People: The Image of Ukrainian Teachers as Public Servants

Matthew D. Pauly

6. 'The Woman of the Orient is not the Voiceless Slave Anymore' – the Non-Russian Women of Volga-Ural Region and ‘Women’s Question'

Yulia Gradskova

7. Devotion and Revolution: Nursing Values

Susan Grant

8. What did Historians do at the Time of the Great Revolution?

Vera Kaplan

9. Speaking more than Bolshevik: Humour, Subjectivity, and Crosshatching in Stalin's 1930s

Jonathan Waterlow

Epilogue: The Russian Tradition? Discourses of Tradition and Modernity

Peter Waldron



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Matthias Neumann is a senior lecturer in History at the University of East Anglia, UK.

Andy Willimott is a lecturer in History at the University of Reading, UK.