Call Boomerang Books 1300 36 33 32

Description - Ruling Peasants by Corinne Gaudin

Who ruled the countryside in late Imperial Russia? On the rare occasions that tsarist administrators dared pose the question so boldly, their discouraged answer was that peasants ruled. Historians have largely echoed this assessment, pointing to the state's failure to penetrate rural society as a key reason for the tsarist government's collapse. "Ruling Peasants" challenges this dominant paradigm of the closed village by investigating the ways peasants engaged tsarist laws and the local institutions that were created in a series of contradictory legal, administrative, and agrarian reforms from the late 1880s to the eve of World War I. Gaudin's analysis of the practices of village assemblies, local courts, and elected peasant elders reveals a society riven by dissension. As villagers argued among themselves in terms defined by a distant government, the peasants and their communities were transformed. Key concepts such as 'custom,' 'commune,' 'property,' and 'fairness' were forged in such dialogue between the rulers and the ruled. By the end of the 19th century, the framework of dialogue between the peasants and the state no longer worked. The more peasants used the institutions and laws available to them, the more they solicited the authorities and the greater the obstacles to communication grew. Villagers' rising expectations for assistance foundered in the face of inconsistent state policies and arbitrary legal responses. Ironically, the success of often contradictory reforms - a success unrecognized by administrators themselves - contributed to undermining the state's legitimacy.

Buy Ruling Peasants by Corinne Gaudin from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9780875803708
ISBN-10: 0875803709
Format: Hardback
(250mm x 150mm x 15mm)
Pages: 281
Imprint: Northern Illinois University Press
Publisher: Northern Illinois University Press
Publish Date: 12-Mar-2007
Country of Publication: United States

Book Reviews - Ruling Peasants by Corinne Gaudin

» Have you read this book? We'd like to know what you think about it - write a review about Ruling Peasants book by Corinne Gaudin and you'll earn 50c in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars (you must be a Boomerang Books Account Holder - it's free to sign up and there are great benefits!)

Write Review


Author Biography - Corinne Gaudin

Corinne Gaudin is Associate Professor of History at the University of Ottawa.