Imperial Apocalypse: The Great War and the Destruction of the Russian Empire

Paperback | September 27, 2015

byJoshua A. Sanborn

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Imperial Apocalypse describes the collapse of the Russian Empire during World War One. Drawing material from nine different archives and hundreds of published sources, this study ties together state failure, military violence, and decolonization in a single story. Joshua Sanborn excavates theindividual lives of soldiers, doctors, nurses, politicians, and civilians caught up in the global conflict along the way, creating a narrative that is both humane and conceptually rich.The volume opens by laying out the theoretical relationship between state failure, social collapse, and decolonization, and then moves chronologically from the Balkan Wars of 1912-13 through the fierce battles and massive human dislocations of 1914-16 to the final collapse of the empire in the midstof revolution in 1917-18. Imperial Apocalypse is the first major study which treats the demise of the Russian Empire as part of the twentieth-century phenomenon of modern decolonization, and provides a readable account of military activity and political change throughout this turbulent period of warand revolution. Sanborn argues that the sudden rise of groups seeking national self-determination in the borderlands of the empire was the consequence of state failure, not its cause. At the same time, he shows how the destruction of state institutions and the spread of violence from the front tothe rear led to a collapse of traditional social bonds and the emergence of a new, more dangerous, and more militant political atmosphere.

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Imperial Apocalypse describes the collapse of the Russian Empire during World War One. Drawing material from nine different archives and hundreds of published sources, this study ties together state failure, military violence, and decolonization in a single story. Joshua Sanborn excavates theindividual lives of soldiers, doctors, nurse...

Joshua A. Sanborn is the author of two previous books: Drafting the Russian Nation: Military Conscription, Total War, and Mass Politics, 1905-1925 and, with co-author Annette Timm, Gender, Sex, and the Shaping of Modern Europe: A History from the French Revolution to the Present Day. He lives in Easton, Pennsylvania, with his wife and ...

other books by Joshua A. Sanborn

Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.67 inPublished:September 27, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198745680

ISBN - 13:9780198745686

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction: Imperial Challenge1. The Outbreak of War and the Transformation of the Borderlands2. The Front Migrates3. Remobilizing the Military: Combat Innovation, POWs, and Forced Labor4. Remobilizing Society: Nurses, Doctors, and Social Control5. Revolution6. DecolonizationConclusion: Imperial ApocalypseWorks Cited

Editorial Reviews

"Sanborn's book is thus at once an everyday life history of the Russian Front, a gripping narrative of the key battles in which the Russian Empire participated, and a sophisticated conceptual argument about the stages of decolonization during the First World War." --The Russian Review