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Indiana-Michigan Series in Russian and East European Studies

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Indiana-Michigan Series in Russian and East European Studies

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Blood Libel in Late Imperial Russia

The Ritual Murder Trial of Mendel Beilis

Robert Weinberg

On Sunday, March 20, 1911, children playing in a cave near Kiev made a gruesome discovery: the blood-soaked body of a partially clad boy. After right-wing groups asserted that the killing was a ritual murder, the police, with no direct evidence, arrested Menachem Mendel Beilis, a 39-year-old Jewish manager at a factory near the site of the crime. Beilis's trial in 1913 quickly became an international cause célèbre. The jury ultimately acquitted Beilis but held that the crime had the hallmarks of a ritual murder. Robert Weinberg's account of the Beilis Affair explores the reasons why the tsarist government framed Beilis, shedding light on the excesses of antisemitism in late Imperial Russia. Primary documents culled from the trial transcript, newspaper articles, Beilis's memoirs, and archival sources, many appearing in English for the first time, bring readers face to face with this notorious trial.

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Everyday Life in Russia Past and Present

Afterword by Sheila Fitzpatrick. Edited by Choi Chatterjee, David L. Ransel, Mary Cavender, and Karen Petrone

In these original essays on long-term patterns of everyday life in prerevolutionary, Soviet, and contemporary Russia, distinguished scholars survey the cultural practices, power relations, and behaviors that characterized daily existence for Russians through the post-Soviet present. Microanalyses and transnational perspectives shed new light on the formation and elaboration of gender, ethnicity, class, nationalism, and subjectivity. Changes in consumption and communication patterns, the restructuring of familial and social relations, systems of cultural meanings, and evolving practices in the home, at the workplace, and at sites of leisure are among the topics explored.

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Gender and War in Twentieth-Century Eastern Europe

Edited by Nancy M. Wingfield and Maria Bucur

This volume explores the role of gender on both the home and fighting fronts in eastern Europe during World Wars I and II. By using gender as a category of analysis, the authors seek to arrive at a more nuanced understanding of the subjective nature of wartime experience and its representations. While historians have long equated the fighting front with the masculine and the home front with the feminine, the contributors challenge these dichotomies, demonstrating that they are based on culturally embedded assumptions
about heroism and sacrifice. Major themes include the ways in which wartime experiences challenge traditional gender roles; postwar restoration of gender order; collaboration and resistance; the body; and memory and commemoration.

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The Great War in Russian Memory

Karen Petrone

Karen Petrone shatters the notion that World War I was a forgotten war in the Soviet Union. Although never officially commemorated, the Great War was the subject of a lively discourse about religion, heroism, violence, and patriotism during the interwar period. Using memoirs, literature, films, military histories, and archival materials, Petrone reconstructs Soviet ideas regarding the motivations for fighting, the justification for killing, the nature of the enemy, and the qualities of a hero. She reveals how some of these ideas undermined Soviet notions of military honor and patriotism while others reinforced them. As the political culture changed and war with Germany loomed during the Stalinist 1930s, internationalist voices were silenced and a nationalist view of Russian military heroism and patriotism prevailed.

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Heroes and Victims

Remembering War in Twentieth-Century Romania

Maria Bucur

Heroes and Victims explores the cultural power of war memorials in 20th-century Romania through two world wars and a succession of radical political changes -- from attempts to create pluralist democratic political institutions after World War I to shifts toward authoritarian rule in the 1930s, to military dictatorships and Nazi occupation, to communist dictatorships, and finally to pluralist democracies with populist tendencies. Examining the interplay of centrally articulated and locally developed commemorations, Maria Bucur's study engages monumental sites of memory, local funerary markers, rituals, and street names as well as autobiographical writings, novels, oral narratives, and film. This book reveals the ways in which a community's religious, ethnic, economic, regional, and gender traditions shaped local efforts at memorializing its war dead.

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The Muslim Question and Russian Imperial Governance

Elena I. Campbell

From the time of the Crimean War through the fall of the Tsar, the question of what to do about the Russian empire's large Muslim population was a highly contested issue among educated Russians both inside and outside the government. As formulated in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Muslim Question comprised a complex set of ideas and concerns that centered on the problems of reimagining and governing the tremendously diverse Russian empire in the face of the challenges presented by the modernizing world. Basing her analysis on extensive research in archival and primary sources, Elena I. Campbell reconstructs the issues, debates, and personalities that shaped the development of Russian policies toward the empire's Muslims and the impact of the Muslim Question on the modernizing path that Russia would follow.

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Polish Encounters, Russian Identity

Edited by David L. Ransel and Bozena Shallcross

At a time when Poland is emphasizing its distance from Russia, Polish Encounters, Russian Identity points to the historical ties and mutual influences of these two great Slavic peoples. Whether Poland adopted a hostile or a friendly stance toward Russia, the intense responses of Russian thinkers, writers, and political leaders to Poland and to Polish culture shaped Russians' idea of themselves and their place in the world. Countering the recent trend to deny the rich interactions between Russia and Poland, this collection reminds readers that these longstanding, if often difficult, contacts constitute an important and enduring element in the consciousness of the peoples of both countries.

The contributors are Manon de Courten, Megan Dixon, Halina Goldberg, Leonid Efremovich Gorizontov, Irina Grudzinska, Beth Holmgren, Judith Deutsch Kornblatt, Matthew Pauly, Nina Perlina, Robert Przygrodski, David L. Ransel, Bozena Shallcross, Barbara Skinner, and Andrzej Walicki.

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Red Priests

Renovationism, Russian Orthodoxy, and Revolution, 1905-1946

Edward E. Roslof

The 1917 revolutions that gave birth to Soviet Russia had a profound impact on Russian religious life. Social and political attitudes toward religion in general and toward the Russian Orthodox Church in particular remained in turmoil for nearly 30 years. During that time of religious uncertainty, a movement known as "renovationism," led by reformist Orthodox clergy, pejoratively labeled "red priests," tried to reconcile Christianity with the goals of the Bolshevik state. But Church hierarchy and Bolshevik officials alike feared clergymen who proclaimed themselves to be both Christians and socialists. This innovative study, based on previously untapped archival sources, recounts the history of the red priests, who, acting out of religious conviction in a hostile environment, strove to establish a church that stood for social justice and equality. Red Priests sheds valuable new light on the dynamics of society, politics, and religion in Russia between 1905 and 1946.

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Russia's Sputnik Generation

Soviet Baby Boomers Talk about Their Lives

Translated and edited by Donald J. Raleigh

Russia's Sputnik Generation presents the life stories of eight 1967 graduates of School No. 42 in the Russian city of Saratov. Born in 1949/50, these four men and four women belong to the first generation conceived during the Soviet Union's return to "normality" following World War II. Well educated, articulate, and loosely networked even today, they were first-graders the year the USSR launched Sputnik, and grew up in a country that increasingly distanced itself from the excesses of Stalinism. Reaching middle age during the Gorbachev Revolution, they negotiated the transition to a Russian-style market economy and remain active, productive members of society in Russia and the diaspora.

In candid interviews with Donald J. Raleigh, these Soviet "baby boomers" talk about the historical times in which they grew up, but also about their everyday experiences -- their family backgrounds; childhood pastimes; favorite books, movies, and music; and influential people in their lives. These personal testimonies shed valuable light on Soviet childhood and adolescence, on the reasons and course of perestroika, and on the wrenching transition that has taken place since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

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Russia's Steppe Frontier

The Making of a Colonial Empire, 1500-1800

Michael Khodarkovsky

"... a tremendously important contribution to the field of Russian history and the comparative study of empires and frontiers. There is no comparable work in any language.... The book presents an intricate and gripping narrative of a vast sweep of histories, weaving them together into a comprehensive and comprehensible chronology." -- Valerie Kivelson

From the time of the decline of the Mongol Golden Horde to the end of the 18th century, the Russian government expanded its influence and power throughout its southern borderlands. The process of incorporating these lands and peoples into the Russian Empire was not only a military and political struggle but also a contest between the conceptual worlds of the indigenous peoples and the Russians. Drawing on sources and archival materials in Russian and Turkic languages, Michael Khodarkovsky presents a complex picture of the encounter between the Russian authorities and native peoples.

Russia's Steppe Frontier is an original and invaluable resource for understanding Russia's imperial experience.

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