Classroom and Empire tells the story of the politics of alphabets, languages, and schooling in the eastern empire of Russia from 1860 to 1917. Wayne Dowler presents an intriguing cast of characters, including Nikolai Il'minskii, whose method of schooling non-Russian children lay at the heart of nationalist controversy; Ismail Bey Gaspirali, whose new method schools attempted to reconcile Islam with modern secular philosophy and science; Konstantin Pobedonostsev, procurator of the Holy Synod and éminence grise of the reigns of Alexander III and his son Nicholas II; and Sophia Chicherina, feisty defender of the Il'minskii school.
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