Cover: Voluntary Associations in Tsarist Russia: Science, Patriotism, and Civil Society, from Harvard University PressCover: Voluntary Associations in Tsarist Russia in HARDCOVER

Voluntary Associations in Tsarist Russia

Science, Patriotism, and Civil Society

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Product Details


$74.00 • £59.95 • €66.50

ISBN 9780674032798

Publication Date: 06/30/2009


384 pages

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

25 halftones


This outstanding book presents an important new perspective on prerevolutionary Russian social and political history through its focus on private nongovernmental associations. While most other scholars have emphasized the paucity of voluntary associations and the overwhelming dominance of the state throughout Russian history, this exemplary study convincingly rebuts those viewpoints and argues that by the end of the 19th century, the burgeoning network of associations and societies had created the institutional basis for civil society in Russia.—N. M. Brooks, Choice

Bradley adds significantly to our understanding of social processes and state-society relations in tsarist Russia. Educated Russians seized opportunities provided by the country’s need for science and education and within the constraints maintained by the regime, they created something plausibly described as civil society. A major strength of the book is the consistent comparison with associational activity in Europe. Bradley makes an important contribution in showing that nineteenth-century Russia was not as different from its Western neighbors as many less well-documented accounts suggest.—Harley Balzer, Georgetown University

This splendid book is lucidly written, shrewdly organized, well researched and forcefully argued. Bradley’s contention that voluntary organizations played an indispensable role in the formation of Russian civil society is sound. His exploration of the relationship between voluntary associations and Russia’s central government is both intelligent and richly suggestive for historians of Russian political culture. This is a first-rate book that will secure wide readership in Russian imperial history and modern European history.—Gary M. Hamburg, Claremont McKenna College

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