Russia & Europe: The Slavic World’s Political and Cultural Relations with the Germanic-Roman West

Danilevskii, Nikolai Iakovlevich

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Out of print in Russia for almost a century, since 1991 Russia and Europe has appeared in at least eight new editions totaling more than 100,000 copies. As Russians have re-­‐‑evaluated their place in the world in the post-­‐‑Soviet era, this book has become part of that conversation. “Nikolai Danilevskii’s Russia and Europe is without question one of the most important books in the great nineteenth-­‐‑century debate about the nation’s place in the world. While hardly the first—the argument between the Slavophiles and the Westernisers had already been raging for several decades—Danilevskii’s book eloquently and intelligently made the case both for Slavdom’s distinct and superior historical role as well as for Russia’s mission as its leader. Nearly every survey of Russian intellectual history devotes attention to this seminal text. Its influence was felt not only in the realm of Russian thought but also in diplomacy, as Pan-­‐‑Slavism, the late nineteenth-­‐‑century doctrine about tsarism’s destiny in the Balkans and the Bosporus directly led to war in 1877 and also played a role in the outbreak of World War I. Meanwhile, in the wake of the Soviet Union’s collapse, Danilevskii’s message about a special Russian destiny has again found a ready audience among many today. “Woodburn’s translation will find a ready clientele among those interested in Russian intellectual history and the growing field of Russian national identity, as well as historiography more generally.” —David Schimmelpenninck van der Oye, Brock University