The reign of Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II, from 1894 to 1917, constitutes a period of continuing controversy among historians. Interesting in its own right, it is also a time of great importance to an understanding of the cataclysmic events which followed in Russian history. In this volume eight scholars contribute interpretive essays on some of the most significant forces and issues in Imperial Russia during the two decades before the revolutions. Professor Stavrou writes an introductory essay. The other essays and authors are: “on Interpreting the Fate of Imperial Russia” by Arthur Mendel, University of Michigan; “Russian Conservative Thought before the Revolution” by Robert F. Brynes, Indiana University; “Russian Radical Thought, 1894-1917” by Donald W. Treadgold, University of Washington; “Russian Constitutional Developments” by Thomas Riha, University of Colorado; “Problems of Industrialization in Russia” by Theodore Von Laue, Washington University; “Politics, Universities, and Science” by Alexander Vucinich, University of Illinois; “The Cultural Renaissance” by Gleb Struve, formerly of the University of California, Berkeley; and “Some Imperatives of Russian Foreign Policy” by Roderick E. McGrew, Temple University. The book is illustrated with photographs of some of the principal figures in the history of the period, and there are a bibliography and index. As Professor Stavrou points out in his preface, the contributors did not consult with one another before preparing their respective essays, and the various approaches are refreshingly different in their assessments of the period. The book as a whole provides a panoramic view of the fascinating Russia of Nicholas and Alexandra. It will be interesting to general readers and especially useful as a textbook for courses in Russian or modern European history.
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