Cover: Dilemmas of Russian Capitalism: Fedor Chizhov and Corporate Enterprise in the Railroad Age, from Harvard University PressCover: Dilemmas of Russian Capitalism in HARDCOVER

Harvard Studies in Business History 44

Dilemmas of Russian Capitalism

Fedor Chizhov and Corporate Enterprise in the Railroad Age

Product Details


$82.50 • £71.95 • €75.95

ISBN 9780674015494

Publication Date: 02/28/2005


292 pages

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

9 halftones, 1 map, 3 tables

Harvard Studies in Business History


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Thomas C. Owen is a leading scholar of Russian economic history, and this book is in line with his previous works on the Moscow merchantry, tsarist corporate law, and the evolution of Russian corporations… This book should be of interest to scholars concerned with theories of economic growth derived from Joseph Schumpeter (entrepreneurial dynamism) and Max Weber (Protestantism)… Owen’s outstanding biography of a tsarist industrialist and ideologist of economic development sheds light on one of the most vital processes in the history not only of Russia but of the entire modern world.—Steven G. Marks, American Historical Review

Provides a fascinating insight into the economy, politics and culture on Russia in the period following the Crimean War. Owen integrates the genre of biography with a thorough analysis of economic ideas, political and legal institutions. The volume is a valuable contribution to the debate on how economic and cultural institutes form economic performance and business culture, and to the studies on economic nationalism as well.—Agnes Pogany, Business History

Owen’s knowledge of corporate practices and intricacies of doing business in nineteenth-century Russia is without peer… [H]e has written a valuable biographical work that will appeal to economic and business historians interested in the Tsarist economy, corporate practices in nineteenth-century Europe, and the ways in which institutional inadequacies may undermine the efforts of the entrepreneurial classes.—Steven Nafziger, EH.net

Owen relies heavily for his documentation on the unpublished diary of Chizhov, over three thousand handwritten pages, in the Manuscript Division of the Russian National Library (formerly the Lenin Library). He also draws from his own immense electronic database compiled over the past three decades. This makes it possible for him to provide an unparalleled analysis of the financial side of Chizhov’s operations… [W]e are unlikely ever to have a more comprehensive picture of a Russian businessman in the nineteenth century than this, due in part to Owen’s efforts and in part to Chizhov himself, who was, after all, incomparable.—Alfred Rieber, Journal of Modern History

Over the course of his career, Thomas C. Owen has established himself as this country’s foremost specialist on Russian entrepreneurial history and has set a high standard for meticulous scholarship… Owen’s mastery of his craft leaves little for a reviewer to quibble over… Owen’s study represents a revealing chapter in the intellectual history of Russian economic nationalism. The many paradoxes inherent in Chizhov’s ‘Slavophile capitalism’ provide valuable perspective on subsequent, as well as contemporary, attempts to chart a ‘Russian Way’ to economic modernity.—James L. West, Slavic Review

A work of great erudition. Drawing on the unpublished diary of Fedor Chizhov, Thomas Owen brings to life a key figure in the economic and intellectual world of pre-revolutionary Russia. He sheds light on the difficulty for tsarist rulers of managing a large, multi-ethnic empire at a time of growing economic challenges from western European states. Written in a lucid, readable, and often vivid style, this is an important contribution to our knowledge of business and politics in nineteenth-century Europe.—Peter Gatrell, University of Manchester

A fine combination of biography, business history, and intellectual history. Through the life and activities of Fedor Chizhov, Owen delves deeply into the businesses, financial practices, and entrepreneurial difficulties of one of the most important and successful business leaders in tsarist Russia during the reform era after the Crimean War. In the process he grapples with one of the most significant and vexing questions in Russian history: why were there so few Russian entrepreneurs? His analysis of Chizhov’s entrepreneurship is the richest, most detailed account of a Russian businessman in any language.—Jonathan A. Grant, Florida State University

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