A Russian Merchant's Tale: The Life And Adventures Of Ivan Alekseevich Tolchënov, Based On His Diary

Paperback | November 26, 2008

byDavid L. Ransel

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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.

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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 ed...

David L. Ransel is Robert F. Byrnes Professor of History and Director of the Russian and East European Institute at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is author of Village Mothers: Three Generations of Change in Russia and Tataria (IUP, 2005) and editor (with Jane Burbank) of Imperial Russia: New Histories for the Empire (IUP, 1998).

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.9 inPublished:November 26, 2008Publisher:Indiana University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0253220203

ISBN - 13:9780253220202

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Contents<_5c_>
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Maps

1. The Setting, Education, Youth, and Marriage
2. Local Politics during Ivan's Youth
3. Junior Member of the Family Firm: Merchant Life in Dmitrov
4. Young Paterfamilias
5. Leading Citizen
6. Eminent Trickster
7. Moscow Townsman
8. A New Equilibrium
Conclusion

Appendix: Genealogical Table for the Family of Boris Tolchënov
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

"Tolchënov's Journal has found a fluid interpreter in David L. Ransel, whose patient, knowing analysis illuminates the many gems the diary has to offer.... [This book] portrays with unique breadth the middling, provincial world of Russia's widely scattered townsfolk.... Ransel's close study will bear repeated reading and help historians visualize the world of eighteenth-century Russia across many dimensions." -John Randolph, University of Illinois, UrbanaChampaign, American Historical Review, Vol. 115 Feb. 2010