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Russia : Inventing the Nation - Vera Tolz

Russia

Inventing the Nation

By: Vera Tolz

Paperback Published: 31st March 2001
ISBN: 9780340677056
Number Of Pages: 324

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The question of national identity is central to the future of Russia. This extensive analysis, spans three centuries of Russian cultural history to place post-communist Russia within a broad historical background. The author focuses on three ways of defining Russia and Russians: Russia as a counterpart to the West; Russians as creators of a unique multi-ethnic community; and Russians as members of the community of Eastern Slavs. She then demonstrates how these three perspectives have dominated the views of Russia in the modern era and traces their origins back to writers and historians in the eighteenth century. Combining a rich historical study with a rigorous analytical framework, the book is an essential tool for understanding contemporary Russia. Vera Tolz is Professor of Russian Studies, University of Manchester. The question of national identity is central to the future of Russia. In this analysis, which spans three centuries of Russian cultural history, Vera Tolz places post-communist Russia in a broad historical background. She focuses on three ways of defining Russia and Russians: Russia as a counterpart to the West; Russians as creators of a unique multi-ethnic community; and Russians as members of the community of Eastern Slavs. She demonstrates how these three perspectives have dominated the views of Russia in the modern era and traces their origins back to writers and historians in the eighteenth century. Combining a rich historical study with a rigorous analytical framework, the book is an essential tool for understanding contemporary Russia. “…[A] major contribution towards elucidating how Russians' own understanding of themselves has evolved over the past three centuries. Most previous Western histories have treated the Soviet Union as an irrelevant or regressive period in the evolution of Russian nationhood. Tolz ‘brings back the Soviet Union,’ not idealizing it but showing that it played its own paradoxical and ambivalent role.”—Times Literary Supplement "[A] substantive and solid overview of the basic concepts and formative issues related to Russian nationalism...[A] valuable addition to the existing studies on these issues."—Slavic and East European Journal
“…[A] major contribution towards elucidating how Russians' own understanding of themselves has evolved over the past three centuries. Most previous Western histories have treated the Soviet Union as an irrelevant or regressive period in the evolution of Russian nationhood. Tolz ‘brings back the Soviet Union,’ not idealizing it but showing that it played its own paradoxical and ambivalent role.”—Times Literary Supplement

“…[Thoroughly] researched and clearly written…Reading the book is illuminating…”—History: Reviews of New Books

“Although a volume so kaleidoscopic in content, so allusive in argument, and so multilayered in construction necessarily yields more to those familiar with the subject than it can to the novice, Tolz writes vigorously throughout, and readers at all levels of sophistication will have something to learn from her consistently interesting book.”—Slavonica

Industry Reviews

"[A] substantive and solid overview of the basic concepts and formative issues related to Russian nationalism...[A] valuable addition to the existing studies on these issues."--"Slavic and East European Journal"
."..[A] major contribution towards elucidating how Russians' own understanding of themselves has evolved over the past three centuries. Most previous Western histories have treated the Soviet Union as an irrelevant or regressive period in the evolution of Russian nationhood. Tolz 'brings back the Soviet Union, ' not idealizing it but showing that it played its own paradoxical and ambivalent role."--"Times Literary Supplement"

."..[Thoroughly] researched and clearly written...Reading the book is illuminating..."--"History: Reviews of New Books"

"Although a volume so kaleidoscopic in content, so allusive in argument, and so multilayered in construction necessarily yields more to those familiar with the subject than it can to the novice, Tolz writes vigorously throughout, and readers at all levels of sophistication will have something to learn from her consistently interesting book."--"Slavonica"""

List of illustrationsp. vi
General Editor's Prefacep. vii
Acknowledgementsp. ix
The territory of the Moscow Principality in the early sixteenth centuryp. x
The Russian empire at its greatest extentp. xi
Introduction: Russian identity between empire and the Westp. 1
Laying the foundation
The reign of Peter the Great: the beginning of modern Russiap. 23
Peter's legacy: the emergence of intellectual debatep. 45
Russian identity and the 'other'
Russia and the Westp. 69
Russia and the Eastp. 132
Defining Russian identity
Imaginative geography: Russian empire as a Russian nation-statep. 155
Imaginative ethnography: who are the Russians?p. 191
Ukraine in the Russian national consciousnessp. 209
Russia and the Russians today
National identity and nation-building after the USSRp. 235
Conclusions: Russian tradition and the post-communist concept of nationhoodp. 270
Selected bibliographyp. 275
Indexp. 291
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780340677056
ISBN-10: 0340677058
Series: Inventing the Nation Inventing the Nation
Audience: BAC
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 324
Published: 31st March 2001
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.3 x 15.4  x 2.52
Weight (kg): 0.49
Edition Number: 1

Earn 241 Qantas Points
on this Book