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The Human Tradition in Imperial Russia

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The Human Tradition in Imperial Russia. Edited by Christine D. Worobec. Part of The Human Tradition Around the World Series.(Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Lanham, Maryland: 2009. Pg. xvii, 179.) ISBN: 978-0-7425-3737-8.

Reviewed by Boris Segel - March 6, 2009

What was life really like in Russia under the Tzars? Russia was, and is a vast, multicultural and multinational country. To provide a comprehensive answer to this question would take volumes and would be an unpractical text for most college classes - or even for the casual reader with an abundant amount of spare time! The twelve essays in The Human Tradition in Imperial Russia strive to provide a panoramic, yet concise overview of what life was like - across the spectrum of society - for those living under Tzarist rule from 1682-1917.

Combined the twelve essays in this book serve to provide the reader with insights into some of the major themes related to the social history of Imperial Russia, as well as to provide insights into a number of issues ranging from serfdom and the feminist movement in Russia to social reforms and urbanization. Each essay in this collection begins with a brief introduction that places the essay within the historical context of which it is related, and each is followed by endnotes and a list of suggested readings that can be used to delve deeper into the topic under discussion. Without exception, all of the essays in this collection are eminently readable and each provides keen insights into Russian society and history.

You can truly begin to appreciate the scope of this book, just by skimming the titles of the essays included in this collection: The Human Tradition in Imperial Russia, edited by Christine D. Worobec will fascinate general readers, students of all ages, social historians, and anyone interested in Russian history. This book also will prove useful as a supplemental text in college-level courses in Russian history, as well as social history and anthropology courses. In addition, the essays can be profitably used as 'readings' in a variety of courses ranging from Jewish and Women's studies to politics and economics.

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