Fr. 42.90

Ministry of Darkness - How Sergei Uvarov Created Conservative Modern Russia

English · Paperback / Softback

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There is nothing new about the Russian conservatism Putin stands for, acclaimed writer Lesley Chamberlain argues. Rather, as Ministry of Darkness reveals, the roots of Russian conservatism can be traced back to the 19th century when Count Uvarov's notorious cry of 'Orthodoxy, Autocracy, Nationality!' rang through the streets of Russia.

Sergei Uvarov was no straightforward conservative; indeed, this man was at once both the pioneering educational reformer who founded the Arzamas Writers' Club to which Pushkin belonged, and the Minister who tyrannised and censored Russia's literary scene. How, then, do we reconcile such extreme contradictions in one person? Through Chamberlain's intimate examination of Uvarov's life and skilled analysis of Russian conservatism, readers learn how the many paradoxes that dominated Uvarov's personal and political life are those which, writ large, have forged the identity of conservative modern Russia and its relationship with the West.

This fascinating book sheds new light on an often overlooked historical actor and offers a timely assessment of the 19th-century 'Russian predicament'. In doing so, Chamberlain teases out the reasons why the country continues to baffle Western observers and policymakers, making this essential reading both students of Russian history and those who want to further understand Russia as it is today.

List of contents

Preface: The Shock of Revolution
1. A Childhood Close to Power
2. The Charm of Life Abroad
3. Marriage and a Russian Career
4. Emancipation or Isolation?
5. To Believe in Something Better is an Effort, a Fantasy...
6. The Republic of Letters
7. A Good Sacred Task
8. Sire, Resist the Friends of Darkness!
9. Retreat into Scholarship
10. A Doffed Cap to the Tsar
11. Orthodoxy, Autocracy, Nationality
12. Knowing He is only Feigning Russomania
13. The Minister of Darkness
14. A Life for the Tsar
15. Politics Devours Everything
16. A Russia within Russia
17. To Eliminate the Conflict
18. Decline and Fall
19. From the House of the Dead
20. Afterword: The Struggle for a Modern Russia
Appendix 1: A Possible Source for Joseph Conrad
Bibliography
Index

About the author

Lesley Chamberlain is an independent scholar and novelist. She is the author of a number of critically acclaimed books, including Arc of Utopia: The Beautiful Story of the Russian Revolution (2017), The Philosopher Steamer: Lenin and the Exile of the Intelligentsia (2006), Motherland: A Philosophical History of Russia (2004) and Nietzsche in Turin (1996).

Summary

There is nothing new about the Russian conservatism Putin stands for, acclaimed writer Lesley Chamberlain argues. Rather, as Ministry of Darkness reveals, the roots of Russian conservatism can be traced back to the 19th century when Count Uvarov's notorious cry of 'Orthodoxy, Autocracy, Nationality!' rang through the streets of Russia.

Sergei Uvarov was no straightforward conservative; indeed, this man was at once both the pioneering educational reformer who founded the Arzamas Writers’ Club to which Pushkin belonged, and the Minister who tyrannised and censored Russia’s literary scene. How, then, do we reconcile such extreme contradictions in one person? Through Chamberlain’s intimate examination of Uvarov’s life and skilled analysis of Russian conservatism, readers learn how the many paradoxes that dominated Uvarov’s personal and political life are those which, writ large, have forged the identity of conservative modern Russia and its relationship with the West.

This fascinating book sheds new light on an often overlooked historical actor and offers a timely assessment of the 19th-century ‘Russian predicament’. In doing so, Chamberlain teases out the reasons why the country continues to baffle Western observers and policymakers, making this essential reading both students of Russian history and those who want to further understand Russia as it is today.

Foreword

An intimate study of the impact of Count Sergei Uvarov on the political landscape of 19th-century Russia and the founding of Russian conservatism.

Additional text

Lesley Chamberlain’s portrait of Sergei Uvarov is a marvel of erudition and elegance. Her study of the 19th-century Tsarist minister of education reveals a complex and compelling figure whose life, which combined great power and even greater impotence, anticipates the tragic predicament of contemporary Russia and those who seek to reform it.

Product details

Authors Lesley Chamberlain
Publisher Bloomsbury
 
Languages English
Product format Paperback / Softback
Released 31.10.2019
 
EAN 9781350116689
ISBN 978-1-350-11668-9
No. of pages 328
Subject Humanities, art, music > History

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