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The Revolution of Peter the Great

by James Cracraft

The Revolution of Peter the Great Synopsis

Many books chronicle the remarkable life of Russian tsar Peter the Great, but none analyze how his famous reforms actually took root and spread in Russia. In The Revolution of Peter the Great, James Cracraft offers a brilliant new interpretation of this pivotal era. Linking together and transcending Peter's many reforms of state and society, Cracraft argues, was nothing less than a cultural revolution. New ways of dress, elite social behavior, navigation, architecture, and image-making emerged along with expansive vocabularies for labeling new objects and activities. Russians learned how to build and sail warships; train, supply, and command a modern army; operate a new-style bureaucracy; conduct diplomacy on a par with the other European states; apply modern science; and conceptualize the new governing system. Throughout, Peter remains the central figure, and Cracraft discusses the shaping events of the tsar's youth, his inner circle, the resistance his reforms engendered, and the founding of the city that would embody his vision--St. Petersburg, which celebrated its tercentenary in 2003. By century's end, Russia was poised to play a critical role in the Napoleonic wars and boasted an elite culture about to burst into its golden age. In this eloquent book, Cracraft illuminates an astonishing transformation that had enormous consequences for both Russia and Europe, indeed the world.

The Revolution of Peter the Great Press Reviews

This book represents a distillation of James Cracraft's magisterial work The Petrine Revolution, the three volumes of which cover Russian architecture, imagery and verbal culture. It is firmly rooted in a lifetime of research and a formidable body of sources, but targets the general reader in the form of an accessible, lightly-footnoted interpretative history of the reforms of Russia's most important ruler. - Lindsey Hughes, Times Literary Supplement

Book Information

ISBN: 9780674019843
Publication date: 3rd March 2006
Author: James Cracraft
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 240 pages
Categories: European history, Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700, Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900,

About James Cracraft

James Cracraft is Professor of History at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

More About James Cracraft

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