This is a study of the impact of liberal academic ideas on the concept of civil society in Russia in the years following the revolution of 1905. The changes that resulted from the revolution were in the direction of greater autonomy for the individual and a lessening of arbitrary rule. David Wartenweiler shows how, in its efforts to further the cause of civil society, the academic community combined liberal notions of the individual and the citizen with their own professional claim to cultural leadership. Throughout an era when Russia hovered on the brink of a new revolution, academics embarked on various new enterprises - such as people's universities and private or semi-public institutions of higher education - aimed at reaching out to a wider section of the population and offering opportunities for peaceful and progressive reform.
`This is an important book. Clearly written and well argued, it is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of Russian liberalism.'
Samuel D Kassow, American Historical Review, April 2001