Enlightened Metropolis: Constructing Imperial Moscow, 1762-1855

Paperback | October 29, 2014

byAlexander M. Martin

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Imperial Russia, is was said, had two capital cities because it had two identities: St. Petersburg was Russia's "window to Europe," whereas Moscow preserved the nation's proud historical traditions. Enlightened Metropolis challenges this myth by exploring how the tsarist regime actually triedto turn Moscow into a bridgehead of Europe in the heartland of Russia. Moscow in the eighteenth century was widely scorned as backward and "Asiatic." The tsars thought it a benighted place that endangered their state's internal security and their effort to make Russia European. Beginning with Catherine the Great, they sought to construct a new Moscow, with Europeanbuildings and institutions, a Westernized "middle estate", and a new cultural image as an enlightened metropolis. Drawing on the methodologies of urban, social, institutional, cultural, and intellectual history, Enlightened Metropolis asks: How was the urban environment - buildings, institutions,streets, smells - transformed in the nine decades from Catherine's accession to the death of Nicholas I? How were the lives of the inhabitants changed? Did a "middle estate" come into being? How similar was Moscow's modernization to that of Western cities, and how was it affected by the disastrousoccupation by Napoleon? Lastly, how were Moscow and its people imagined by writers, artists, and social commentators in Russia and the West from the Enlightenment to the mid-nineteenth century?

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Imperial Russia, is was said, had two capital cities because it had two identities: St. Petersburg was Russia's "window to Europe," whereas Moscow preserved the nation's proud historical traditions. Enlightened Metropolis challenges this myth by exploring how the tsarist regime actually triedto turn Moscow into a bridgehead of Europe i...

Alexander M. Martin is associate professor of history at the University of Notre Dame (USA). He is the author of Romantics, Reformers, Reactionaries: Russian Conservative Thought and Politics in the Reign of Alexander I (1997).

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:360 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:October 29, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198722885

ISBN - 13:9780198722885

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Introduction1. The Enlightened Metropolis and the Imperial Social Project2. Space and Time in the Enlightened Metropolis3. Envisioning the Enlightened Metropolis: Images of Moscow under Catherine II4. Barbarism, Civility, Luxury: Writing about Moscow in the 1790s-1820s5. Government, Aristocracy, and the Middling Sort6. The 1812 War7. Common Folk in Nicholaevan Moscow8. Complacency and Anxiety: Representations of Moscow under Nicholas IConclusion

Editorial Reviews

"Enlightened Metropolis offers an important revisionist challenge to Moscow's marginal status in the modernization of the Russian Empire." --Daniel Beer, The Times Literary Supplement 08/11/2013