Synopses & Reviews
"... a well written English language biography of this important figure who contributed mightily to Russian nation-building." --Canadian Slavonic Papers
"... this is a seasoned assessment of Kliuchevskii's place in Russia's fin-de-l'age cultural and academic world and the most extensive English presentation of the great historian's oevre." --The Russian Review
"Robert Byrnes has written an excellent book, that goes beyond mere biography to place Kliuchevskii's work in its theoretical context, and which deserves to be read by all students of Russia's history and its attempts to forge a 'modern' national identity." --Slavic and East European Review
"Byrnes has done an admirable job of sifting through Kliuchevskii's published and unpublished writings and the vast corpus of Kliuchevskiana.... He sheds considerable new light... on Kliuchevskii's long career..." --American Historical Review
"... this is a highly readable and thoughtful account, one which will serve as a useful guide to Kliuchevsky for years to come." --Slavic and East European Journal
"Byrnes's study is likely to remain the standard work on Kliuchevskii." --Revolutionary Russia
"Byrnes has written an important, long-awaited new study of one of the three most influential historians of Russia: Vasilii O. Kliuchevskii (1841-1911).... Every student of historiography or of Russia will treasure this book." --Choice
"... adds so much to our understanding of Kliuchevskii and his accomplishments." --History of Education Quarterly
"The analysis of Kliuchevskii's life and work and how they intersected with social, political, cultural, and ideological currents over a crucial period that shaped the fate of twentieth-century Russia provides much food for thought.... an engaging and informative work." --Daniel Orlovsky
"Byrnes has brought his subject to life in a way no-one else has done." --Europe-Asia Studies
The life and work of Russia's greatest historian.
V. O. Kliuchevskii (1841-1911), Russia's most prominent historian, left an enduring literary legacy and a following of generations of trained historians. The son of a poor parish priest, Kliuchevskii became a distinguished teacher, rising to the senior position in Russian history at Moscow University. Robert F. Byrnes's distinguished intellectual biography shows how Kliuchevskii struggled with and clarified Russia's relationship with the West, delineated the roles of autocracy and the Orthodox Church in Russia's development, and shaped a Russian conception of national consciousness and identity. Byrnes draws on years of research in archival materials, memoirs, and scholarly studies to illuminate the life and ideas of this incisive scholar and uncommon teacher whose vision of Russian history still resonates today.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -293) and index.
About the Author
ROBERT F. BYRNES is Distinguished Professor of History, Emeritus, at Indiana University. He is the author of numerous books on American, French, East European, and Russian history.
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations
Part One The Beginnings
1. "Under the Bells" of Penza
2. "I Have Started on the Road to Science"
3. "The Guiding Stars": The Moscow University History Faculty
4. "Years of Preparation and Change"
5. The Breakthrough: The Boyar Council
Part Two The Moscow University Professor
6. A Professor's Life
7. The Outside World Intervenes
8. The Scholar
Part Three Explaining Russian History
9. The Origins of Russia and the Russians
10. The Flow of Russian History
11. The Dilemma of Relations with the West: The Church and the Religious Schism
12. The Dilemma of Relations with the West: The Autocracy and the Autocrats' Policies
Part Four Trying To Create a Nation
13. "Teacher of a Nation"
14. Kliuchevskii as a Nation-Builder
15. Last Days