A Generation of Revolutionaries

A Generation of Revolutionaries

Nikolai Charushin and Russian Populism from the Great Reforms to Perestroika
Ben Eklof and Tatiana Saburova
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 10/05/2017
Format: Paperback 31 b&w illus., 3 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-03121-1
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Nikolai Charushin’s memoirs of his experience as a member of the revolutionary populist movement in Russia are familiar to historians, but A Generation of Revolutionaries provides a broader and more engaging look at the lives and relationships beyond these memoirs.It shows how, after years of incarceration, Charushin and friends thrived in Siberian exile, raising children and contributing to science and culture there. While Charushin’s memoirs end with his return to European Russia, this sweeping biography follows this group as they engaged in Russia’s fin de siècle society, took part in the 1917 revolution, and struggled in its aftermath. A Generation of Revolutionaries provides vibrant and deeply personal insights into the turbulent history of Russia from the Great Reforms to the era of Stalinism and beyond. In doing so, it tells the story of a remarkable circle of friends whose lives balanced love, family and career with exile, imprisonment, and revolution.

Author Bio

Ben Eklof is Professor of History at Indiana University. He is author of Russian Peasant Schools and editor (with John Bushnell and Larissa Zakharova) of Russia's Great Reforms, 1855-1881.

Tatiana Saburova is Visiting Professor of History at Indiana University, Professor of History at Omsk Pedagogical University, and a Research Fellow at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Her books and articles focus on the Russian intelligentsia, collective biography, memory, and on the history of photography.


“This is a powerful piece of scholarship that will stand for a long time. It transcends previous conceptions of what a history of Populism should be and demonstrates how biography can open doors to so much more than the life of a single individual. ”
 — Ab Imperio

“This is certainly a book in Russian studies in which new archives matter. The encounter of new material and old archetypes of the radical populist intelligentsia offers readers insight at every turn. ”
 — American Historical Review

“The book is engagingly written and well sourced, the product of extensive archival research, including in provincial Russian archives. . . . Highly recommended. ”
 — Choice

A Generation of Revolutionaries will be of value to all historians interested in the longue durée of the Russian Revolution. It deserves to be read widely.”
 — Slavonic and East European Review

“By tracing the complex lives of Charushin and his generation Eklof and Saburova have made an important contribution to the history of Russian society in the volatile years before and after 1917.”
 — The Russian Review

“This richly researched and compelling study situates the Populists not only in the revolutionary movement of the 1870s and 1880s but also reintegrates them into the wider history of Russia.”
 — Slavic Review

“Anyone interested in digging deeper into some of the less-examined facets of late imperial and early Soviet Russia will be well rewarded by this wide-ranging generational study.”
 — American Historical Review

“This excellent work deserves a broad audience.”
 — The Russian Review

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Remembrances of a Distant Past
1. Beginnings: How to Become a Revolutionary
2. The Seventies Generation: Young Revolutionaries and the Chaikovskii Circle
3. The Male Gaze and Female Profile: Marriage, Family, Populism
4. "Punishment Harsh and Cruel:" The Experience of Incarceration (1874-1878)
5. Seventeen Years in Siberia: Hard Labor, Exile and Photography
6. Return to European Russia: Family Ties, Networks of Exiles, and the Zemstvo
7. After October: The Downward Spiral of Revolution
8. The Revolution Followed its Own Scenario (1917-1919)
9. Memory Wars and the Search for Meaning after the Revolution
10. In Search of the Real Charushin in the Perestroika Era
Biographical sketches
Selected Bibliography

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