This is the first full-scale anthropometric history of Imperial Russia (1700-1917). It mobilizes an immense volume of archival material to chart the growth, weight, and other anthropometric indicators of the male and female populations in order to chart how the standard of living in Russia changed over slightly more than two centuries. It draws on a wide range of data—statistics on agricultural production, taxation, prices and wages, nutrition, and demography—to draw conclusions on the dynamics in the standard of living over this long period of time. The economic, social, and political interpretation of these findings make it possible to reconsider the prevailing views in the historiography and to offer a new perspective on Imperial Russia.
Table of Contents
1. Living Standards in Imperial Russia as Portrayed in Domestic and Foreign Historiography 2. Historical Anthropometrics: Goals, Biological Foundations, Methodology 3. The Sources of Anthropometric Data: Representativeness, Accuracy, and Homogeneity 4. Biological Status: The Eighteenth Century 5. Biological Status: The Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries 6. The Geography of Russian Biological Status 7. Consumption, Health, and Biological Status 8. Wages and Prices in Russia from the Eighteenth to the Early Twentieth Century 9. Contemporary Observations on the Population's Standard of Living 10. The Modernization of Russia and the Well-Being of the Population 11. Conclusion
Boris Mirinov is Professor at St. Petersburg State University and Senior Research Scholar at the St. Petersburg Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia