Karamzin's Memoir on Ancient and Modern Russia: A Translation and Analysis

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University of Michigan Press, 2005 - History - 266 pages
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Russian history was typically studied through liberal or socialist lenses until Richard Pipes first published his translation of Karamzin's Memoir. Almost fifty years later, it is still the only English-language edition of this classic work. Still fresh and readable today, the Memoir-in which Alexander I's state historian elaborates his arguments for a strong Russian state-remains the most accessible introduction to the conservatism of Russia's ancien regime. This annotated translation is a "faithful rendition of the letter and spirit of the original," which not only introduces readers to the sweep of Karamzin's ideas, but also weaves together a fascinating version of Russia's rich history. With a new foreword by Richard Pipes, Karamzin's Memoir on Ancient and Modern Russia is a touchstone for anyone interested in Russia's fascinating and turbulent past.

Richard Pipes is Baird Professor of History at Harvard University.

Nikolai M. Karamzin (1766-1826) was a Russian historian, poet, and journalist. He was appointed court historian by Tsar Alexander I.

 

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Contents

THE BACKGROUND AND GROWTH OF KARAMZINS POLIT
3
THE HISTORY OF THE TEXT
93
A MEMOIR ON ANCIENT AND MODERN
101
The Emergence of Moscow
107
The Time of Troubles
113
Peter I
120
Anne
127
Paul I
135
Political Institutions
147
Serfdom and the Problem of Emancipation
162
Codification of Russian Law
182
RECOMMENDATIONS
190
j The Role of the Gentry in the Russian System
200
NOTES AND COMMENTS
209
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
255
Index
261

Foreign Policy
141

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About the author (2005)

Richard Pipes was born Ryszard Edgar Pipes in Cieszyn, Poland on July 11, 1923. Soon after German troops entered Warsaw, he and his family fled to Italy on forged passports in 1939. They reached the United States a year later. He was attending Muskingum College in Ohio when he was drafted into the Army Air Corps in 1942. He was sent to study Russian at Cornell University. He received a bachelor's degree from Cornell in 1946 and a doctorate in history from Harvard University in 1950. His dissertation became the basis of his first book The Formation of the Soviet Union: Communism and Nationalism, 1917-1923. His other books included Struve: Liberal on the Left, 1870-1905; Struve: Liberal on the Right, 1905-1944; U.S.-Soviet Relations in the Era of Détente; Survival Is Not Enough: Soviet Realities and America's Future; Russia Under the Old Regime; The Russian Revolution; Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime; and Vixi: Memoirs of a Non-Belonger. He served for two years as the director of Eastern European and Soviet affairs for President Ronald Reagan's National Security Council. He spent his entire academic career at Harvard University. He died on May 17, 2018 at the age of 94.

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