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Making Peasants Backward

Agricultural Cooperatives and the Agrarian Question in Russia, 1861-1914

Making Peasants Backward by Yanni Kotsonis
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This book is the first monograph to examine the agricultural cooperative movement in Russia before 1914 - a movement which, with nine million members, was Europe's largest. Why, the author asks, were Russian peasants rendered `backward' no matter how impressive their achievement? Did 'progress' necessarily suggest that the objects of change would participate in their own transformation? To answer these questions, Professor Kotsonis places material and social change in the context of Russian political culture in order to show the possibilities and limitations of political and social integration under the Old Regime. Looking at a host of well-known historical figures, including Sergei Witte, Piotr Stolypin, and Alexander Chaianov, and by drawing on a wide array of newly opened local and state archives in Russia, Kotsonis shows how the ideology of progress as practised in the cooperative movement reflected pan-European tensions in processes of economic, social, and political change.
Palgrave Macmillan; June 1999
257 pages; ISBN 9780230376304
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Title: Making Peasants Backward
Author: Yanni Kotsonis