Window on the East: National and Imperial Identities in Late Tsarist Russia by Robert GeraciWindow on the East: National and Imperial Identities in Late Tsarist Russia by Robert Geraci

Window on the East: National and Imperial Identities in Late Tsarist Russia

byRobert Geraci

Paperback | September 3, 2009

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Robert Geraci presents an exceptionally original account of both the politics and the lived experience of diversity in a society whose ethnic complexity has long been downplayed. For centuries, Russians have defined their country as both a multinational empire and a homogeneous nation-state in the making, and have alternately embraced and repudiated the East or Asia as fundamental to Russia's identity. The author argues that the city of Kazan, in the middle Volga region, was the chief nineteenth-century site for mediating this troubled and paradoxical relationship with the East, much as St. Petersburg had served as Russia's window on Europe a century earlier. He shows how Russians sought through science, religion, pedagogy, and politics to understand and promote the Russification of ethnic minorities in the East, as well as to define themselves. Vivid in narrative detail, meticulously argued, and peopled by a colorful cast including missionaries, bishops, peasants, mullahs, professors, teachers, students, linguists, orientalists, archeologists, and state officials, Window on the East uses previously untapped archival and published materials to describe the creation (sometimes intentional, sometimes unintentional) of intermediate and new forms of Russianness.

Robert P. Geraci is Associate Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He is coeditor, with Michael Khodarkovsky, of the book Of Religion and Empire: Missions, Conversion, and Tolerance in Tsarist Russia, also from Cornell.
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Title:Window on the East: National and Imperial Identities in Late Tsarist RussiaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:408 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.83 inPublished:September 3, 2009Publisher:Cornell University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801476038

ISBN - 13:9780801476037

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Editorial Reviews

"What does it mean to be Russian?... How do these identities arise and develop, how do they affect the identities of neighboring national groups' These are the central question considered by Robert Geraci's brilliant study of the Tatar-Russian city of Kazan in the nineteenth century.... A short review cannot do justice to the richness and breadth of this book.... More important than the breadth of sources, however, is the nuanced and intelligent use of these documents. The book truly integrates the sources into a compelling and engrossing narrative, spiked with illuminating analytical insights. Perhaps best of all, Geraci is a gifted writer whose precision and elegance of expression is exemplary." - Theodore R. Weeks - H-Russia, H-Net Reviews