In this Book

Indiana University Press
summary

Based on the rare diary of an 18th-century Russian provincial merchant, A Russian Merchant's Tale presents a revealing portrait of Russia's little-known commercial class. By recording his daily contacts with a wide array of individuals from lords to laborers for more than 40 years, Ivan Alekseevich Tolchënov opened a window onto the education, work, birth, death, marriage, business, civic, holiday, and religious practices of a social group about which little has been known. Using the tools of microhistory to interpret the diary, David L. Ransel vividly brings to life Tolchënov's self-construction, his relations with family and society, and his entire world of aspirations, achievements, and failures. Challenging prevailing stereotypes of Russian merchants as tradition-bound and narrow-minded, A Russian Merchant's Tale offers important new insights into the social history of imperial Russia.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Contents
  2. p. vii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. xi-xxvi
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  1. Maps
  2. pp. xxvii-xxx
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  1. 1 The Setting, Education, Youth, and Marriage
  2. pp. 1-23
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  1. 2 Local Politics during Ivan’s Youth
  2. pp. 24-45
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  1. 3 Junior Member of the Family Firm: Merchant Life in Dmitrov
  2. pp. 46-72
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  1. 4 Young Paterfamilias
  2. pp. 73-106
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  1. 5 Leading Citizen
  2. pp. 107-151
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  1. 6 Eminent Trickster
  2. pp. 152-189
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  1. 7 Moscow Townsman
  2. pp. 190-222
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  1. 8 A New Equilibrium
  2. pp. 223-251
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  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 252-256
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  1. Appendix: Genealogical Table for the Family of Boris Tolch
  2. pp. 257-262
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 263-290
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 291-304
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 305-320
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