Jews in the Russian Army, 1827-1917: Drafted Into Modernity

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Cambridge University Press, 2009 - History - 307 pages
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This is the first study of the military experience of some one to one-and-a-half million Jews who served in the Russian Army between 1827, the onset of personal conscription of Jews in Russia, and 1917, the demise of the tsarist regime. The conscription integrated Jews into the state transforming the repressed Jewish victims of the draft into modern imperial Russian Jews. The book contextualizes the reasons underlying the decision to draft Jews, the communal responses to the draft, the missionary initiatives directed toward Jews in the army, alleged Jewish draft evasion and Jewish military performance, and the strategies Jews used to endure military service. It also explores the growing antisemitism of the upper echelons of the military toward the Jews on the eve of World War I and the rise of Russian-Jewish loyalty and patriotism.

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About the author (2009)

Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern teaches early modern, modern and east European Jewish history and culture at Northwestern University. He is the author of The Anti-Imperial Choice: The Making and Unmaking of the Ukrainian Jew (2009). He has also published about forty scholarly essays in journals such as East European Jewish Affairs, Jewish Social History, the Journal of Jewish History, Jewish Quarterly Review, AJS Review, POLIN, KRITIKA, Ab Imperio, and The Ukrainian Quarterly. He has been a Fellow at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, a Rothschild Fellow in Jerusalem, a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem, a Sensibar Visiting Professor at Spertus College in Chicago, a Visiting Scholar at Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, and a recipient of multiple fellowships and grants, including the National Endowment for Humanities.

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