Russia's Great War & Revolution Series
Series: Russia’s Great War and Revolution
Editors: Anthony Heywood, David MacLaren McDonald, John W. Steinberg
For most of the twentieth century Russia’s Great War of 1914-18 was a historical afterthought. Overshadowed by the Bolsheviks’ revolution, the Civil War, and the consolidation of Soviet power, the First World War suffered from relative neglect within professional scholarship, as Soviet and Western experts alike focused their energy on explaining either the decline and fall of the autocracy or the origins and rise of Russian Communism.
Since the early 1990s, however, researchers in Russia and elsewhere have started to re-examine and re-evaluate the war’s significance and meaning in the history of that state and society. Encouraged by the opening of access to the Russian archives and freed from the ideological baggage of earlier historical debates, they have begun to investigate and reassess Russia’s Great War not simply as a prelude to “Red October,” but in its own right. Increasingly, the war is seen as the fulcrum which set into motion a chain of events that transformed Eurasia and much of the world. Instead of treating “1917” as a watershed moment in Russian and global history, many scholars now perceive a "continuum of crisis" between 1914 and the early 1920s.
In the years preceding the one-hundredth anniversary of the First World War interest in Russia’s involvement became much more engaged not just among scholars, but also in public discussions among Russian leaders and citizens. The centennial of the war’s outbreak also challenged historians of Russia to raise public awareness of Russia's contributions to the Great War and of the war’s impacts on Russia. In response, Slavica’s series “Russia's Great War and Revolution” was conceived in 2006 as a long-term project to promote and disseminate such research. With over 250 contributing authors from across the globe and a projected total of 11 volumes with 20 individual books, it has become unquestionably the biggest multinational scholarly effort to mark the War’s centennial in relation to Russia. It seeks to provide readers of English with a broader understanding of the war’s place in Russian history and, as important, the place of Russia’s involvement in the history of the Great War and its consequences.
Volumes in Print
Vol. 1 Culture
Vol. 2 Empire and Nationalism
Vol. 3 The Home Front
Vol. 4 The Far East
Vol. 5 Military Affairs (Books 1, 2, & 3)
Vol. 6 Global Impacts
Vol. 7 Central Powers
Vol. 8 International Relations
Vol. 9 Personal Trajectories
Vol. 10 Women and Gender
Vol. 11 Science, Technology, Environment, and Medicine
Vol. 5 Military Affairs (Books 4 & 5)
Review of Book 1 in Acta Historica Universitatis Klaipedensis, vol. 32.
This book presents a series of essays from leading international scholars that expand our understanding of the Russian Revolution through the detailed study of specific localities. Answering the important question of how locality affected the revolutionary experience, these essays provide regional snapshots from across Russia that highlight important themes of the revolution. Drawing on new empirical research from local archives, the authors contribute to the larger historiographic debates on the social and political meaning of the Russian Revolution as well as the nature of the Russian state. Russia’s Revolution in Regional Perspective highlights several important themes of the period that are reflected in this volume: a multitudinal state, the fluidity of party politics, the importance of violence as a historical agent, individual experiences, and the importance of economics and social forces. We reconceptualize developments in Russia between 1914 and 1922 as a kaleidoscopic process whose dynamic was not solely determined in the capitals. Russia’s Revolution in Regional Perspective is the first of four books comprising the volume Russia’s Home Front in War and Revolution, 1914–22, which studies Russia’s Home Front from the First World War through the Civil War. They are part of a broader centennial series on “Russia’s Great War and Revolution, 1914–22.”
This volume brings together a group of prominent scholars from Russia, Europe, and the United States to examine how the cataclysmic clash of the Russian Empire with its three imperial neighbors and its aftermath changed the empire and spurred the rapid radicalization of nationalism. Many of the essays take a conceptual approach, looking for new ways to think about the problems of empire and nationalism on the macro scale, while placing the issues in broader theoretical and comparative contexts. Others delve more deeply into case studies that illustrate how complex these issues are when one delves into the specifics. The result is a stimulating set of essays that provide fresh perspectives on the relationships between total war, empire, and nationalism. The books are part of a broader centennial series on “Russia’s Great War and Revolution, 1914–22.”
Review by Halit Dundar AKARCA in "Ab Imperio," vol. 2, 2015
This book is one of a two-part collection of original essays on the cultural history of Russia from the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 to the establishment of the Soviet Union in 1922. The chapters in both parts of Russian Culture in War and Revolution represent the work of an international group of scholars. They explore the relationship between the crises of that period and the multifaceted dimensions of culture. The result is a diverse and stimulating array of essays on subjects that range from the experience of cultural institutions and the arts, to aspects of identity and the production of meaning in popular culture. Many of the topics covered in the two books have rarely, if ever, been explored across the 1914–22 period as a whole. Through close analysis of the institutional and symbolic contexts of Russian cultural life, and incorporating substantial new research, the chapters in the two books collectively advance our understanding of Russia’s experience of the First World War, its relationship to the early Soviet period, and the complex memory of war and revolution. An additional important theme addressed by the collections is the extent to which the 1917 revolutions were a turning point in Russian culture. The findings of Russian Culture in War and Revolution demonstrate that cultural life was not only tightly intertwined with its social and political contexts, but that the wider history of Russia’s Great War and Revolution cannot be fully comprehended without due attention to culture in its broadest sense. The books are part of a broader centennial series on “Russia’s Great War and Revolution, 1914–22.”
Review by Michael C. Hickey in "Revolutionary Russia," vol. 29, 2016