Cover: The Petrine Revolution in Russian Culture, from Harvard University PressCover: The Petrine Revolution in Russian Culture in HARDCOVER

The Petrine Revolution in Russian Culture

Add to Cart

Product Details


$86.50 • £69.95 • €78.00

ISBN 9780674013162

Publication Date: 07/30/2004


576 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

5 halftones, 48 line illustrations

Belknap Press


[This is] the third volume of James Cracraft’s authoritative study of what he terms Peter’s ‘cultural revolution’… In his first two volumes Cracraft dealt with architecture and the arts. In The Petrine Revolution in Russian Culture, the focus is on ‘verbal culture’: the creation of what was virtually a new language, with a greatly expanded vocabulary, written in a ‘civil script’ suited to printed publication… James Cracraft provides a solid and thorough evaluation of Petrine Russia’s great leap forward in the arts of civilization.—John Keep, The Times Literary Supplement

This volume is the third, final, and most synthetic of the massive study of Petrine culture that James Cracraft undertook nearly two decades ago. Taken together, the works amount to an unquestionable tour de force by an outstanding historian of early modern Russia… As ever, Cracraft is an elegant expositor whose points of view are equally accessible to specialists and general readers… What we have, then, is something more than the proverbial welcome addition to the field. Cracraft has provided us with a genuinely important work, the capstone of decades of study, that deserves a wide audience and discussion.—Gary Marker, American Historical Review

The work demonstrates for historians and political scientists how new avenues might be taken to illuminate the State’s exercise of power in Russia. Furthermore, it should serve as a spur for novel approaches in the study of statecraft in general.—Andrew Gentes, Australian, Slavic, and East European Studies

No previous author has attempted to document the changes in the Russian language during Peter the Great’s reign by setting such a wide range of texts in historical context—with full reference to the European background—in a discussion accessible to non-specialists. James Cracraft extends the definition of literature beyond belles lettres and private writings, in which the Petrine era is relatively poor, to ‘verbal culture,’ in which it is rich, thereby offering a much wider range of material from a crucial age of reform and allowing exploration of such phenomena as the vocabulary of political power. In no other work in print in English can one find such detailed expositions of the publishing history and contents of such key texts as the Naval Statute and Military Statutes. Cracraft’s judicious interpretation will be invaluable to serious students of Russian history. This is a work of immense erudition and a major contribution to scholarship.—Lindsey Hughes, University College London

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: Atomic Doctors: Conscience and Complicity at the Dawn of the Nuclear Age, by James L. Nolan, Jr., from Harvard University Press

Remembering Hiroshima

On this day 75 years ago, the United States dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. James L. Nolan Jr.’s grandfather was a doctor who participated in the Manhattan Project, and he writes about him in Atomic Doctors: Conscience and Complicity at the Dawn of the Nuclear Age, an unflinching examination of the moral and professional dilemmas faced by physicians who took part in the project. Below, please find the introduction to Nolan’s book. On the morning of June 17, 1945, Captain James F. Nolan, MD, boarded a plane