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.

Title:Window on the East: National and Imperial Identities in Late Tsarist RussiaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:408 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.39 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

"Robert Geraci's remarkable book is highly original in its revisionist approach to the final decades of the Russian Empire. Geraci brings to the debate much new archival evidence as well as a firm grounding in the available literature. Window on the East makes an outstanding contribution to the history of the social sciences and to the discussion of Orientalism and its vagaries in the Russian imperial setting."—Mark von Hagen, Columbia University