Children of Rus': Right-bank Ukraine And The Invention Of A Russian Nation by Faith HillisChildren of Rus': Right-bank Ukraine And The Invention Of A Russian Nation by Faith Hillis

Children of Rus': Right-bank Ukraine And The Invention Of A Russian Nation

byFaith Hillis

Hardcover | December 10, 2013

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In Children of Rus', Faith Hillis recovers an all but forgotten chapter in the history of the tsarist empire and its southwestern borderlands. The right bank, or west side, of the Dnieper River—which today is located at the heart of the independent state of Ukraine—was one of the Russian empire’s last territorial acquisitions, annexed only in the late eighteenth century. Yet over the course of the long nineteenth century, this newly acquired region nearly a thousand miles from Moscow and St. Petersburg generated a powerful Russian nationalist movement. Claiming to restore the ancient customs of the East Slavs, the southwest’s Russian nationalists sought to empower the ordinary Orthodox residents of the borderlands and to diminish the influence of their non-Orthodox minorities.Right-bank Ukraine would seem unlikely terrain to nourish a Russian nationalist imagination. It was among the empire’s most diverse corners, with few of its residents speaking Russian as their native language or identifying with the culture of the Great Russian interior. Nevertheless, as Hillis shows, by the late nineteenth century, Russian nationalists had established a strong foothold in the southwest’s culture and educated society; in the first decade of the twentieth, they secured a leading role in local mass politics. By 1910, with help from sympathetic officials in St. Petersburg, right-bank activists expanded their sights beyond the borderlands, hoping to spread their nationalizing agenda across the empire.Exploring why and how the empire’s southwestern borderlands produced its most organized and politically successful Russian nationalist movement, Hillis puts forth a bold new interpretation of state-society relations under tsarism as she reconstructs the role that a peripheral region played in attempting to define the essential characteristics of the Russian people and their state.

Faith Hillis is Assistant Professor of Russian History at The University of Chicago.
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Title:Children of Rus': Right-bank Ukraine And The Invention Of A Russian NationFormat:HardcoverDimensions:348 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.41 inPublished:December 10, 2013Publisher:CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801452198

ISBN - 13:9780801452192

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Table of Contents

List of Maps
Acknowledgments
Note to the Reader
Abbreviations
Introduction
Part One: The Little Russian Idea and the Russian Empire
Chapter One: The Little Russian Idea and the Invention of a Rus' Nation
Chapter Two: The Little Russian Idea in the 1860s
Chapter Three: The Little Russian Idea and the Imagination of Russian and Ukrainian Nations
Part Two: The Urban Crucible
Chapter Four: Nationalizing Urban Politics
Chapter Five: Concepts of Liberation
Part Three: Forging a Russian Nation
Chapter Six: Electoral Politics and Regional Governance
Chapter Seven: Nationalizing the Empire
Chapter Eight: The Limits of the Russian Nationalist Vision
Epilogue
Selected Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

"In the excellent Children of Rus', Faith Hillis examines the fate of what she terms the 'little Russian idea,' the belief that Russia's Southwest (essentially Kiev and its surrounding region) had a particular identity and a particular role to play in the Russian imperial and then Russian national project—and, subsequently, the Ukrainian national project. The book spans the 1830s to the Russian Civil War, which allows Hillis to trace several important intellectual and political currents. It is a well-written and very well-organized work, one that relies on a broad and convincing source base. It should appeal broadly to scholars in Russian imperial history, as well as to scholars of nationalism and nineteenth- and early twentieth-century European history." - Peter Holquist, University of Pennsylvania, author of Making War, Forging Revolution: Russia's Continuum of Crisis, 1914-1921