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“Anton Fedyashin’s
Liberals under Autocracy
is an important new study of Russian liberal-
ism in a neglected period of its development.
He deepens our appreciation of its character-
istic humanism.”
—Randall Poole, editor of
Problems of Idealism:
Essays in Russian Social Philosophy
Of related interest
“Frede offers an intriguing, complex, often subtle, and always well-documented answer to the
question, How did Russian intellectuals (unlike their European counterparts) come to
ground their systemic worldviews on an assertive atheism?”—David McDonald, University of
Published November 2011
LC: 2011011567 BL 314 pp. 6 x 9 6 b/w illus.
ISBN 978-0-299-28444-2 Paper $26.95 s ISBN 978-0-299-28443-5 e-book $16.95 s
• SPRING 2012 •
History / Slavic Studies / / Politics
June 2012
LC: 2011042001 DK
288 pp. 6 x 9
Paper $26.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-28434-3
e-book $16.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-28433-6
Modernization and Civil Society in Russia, 1866–1904
“An original and valuable contribution to illuminating an-
other of those groups in imperial Russia who lost out in the
game of history, but whose legacy is strikingly apropos at
present in Russia’s shaky democracy. A major contribution.”
—Richard Stites, Georgetown University
With its rocky transition to democracy, post-Soviet Russia has made
observers wonder whether a moderating liberalism could ever succeed
in such a land of extremes. But in
Liberals under Autocracy
, Anton A.
Fedyashin looks back at the vibrant Russian liberalism that flourished
in the country’s late imperial era, chronicling its contributions to the
evolution of Russia’s rich literary culture, socioeconomic thinking, and
civil society.
For five decades prior to the revolutions of 1917,
The Herald of
Europe (Vestnik Evropy)
was the flagship journal of Russian liberalism,
garnering a large readership. The journal articulated a distinctively
Russian liberal agenda, one that encouraged social and economic mod-
ernization and civic participation through local self-government units
) that defended individual rights and interests—especially
those of the peasantry—in the face of increasing industrialization.
Through the efforts of four men who turned
The Herald
into a cultural
nexus in the imperial capital of St. Petersburg, the publication cat-
alyzed the growing influence of journal culture and its formative effects
on Russian politics and society.
Challenging deep-seated assumptions about Russia’s intellectual
history, Fedyashin’s work casts the country’s nascent liberalism as a
distinctly Russian blend of self-governance, populism, and other
national, cultural traditions. As such, the book stands as a contribution
to the growing literature on imperial Russia’s nonrevolutionary,
intellectual movements that emphasized the role of local politics in
both successful modernization and the evolution of civil society in an
extraparliamentary environment.
is visiting assistant
professor at American University in
Washington, DC.
This book is part of an initiative for publishing
first books by scholars in the fields of Russian,
East European, and Central Asian Studies,
supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.