From Supplication to Revolution

A Documentary Social History of Imperial Russia
Freeze, Gregory L.
Date published: 
May 1988

Of all the dimensions of modern Russian history, it is the stucture, interactions, grievances, and aspirations of pre-revolutionary society which have been most neglected. Professor Freeze's unique documentary history of the development of social order in Imperial Russia fills this gap by presenting translations of important, representative statements by the main social categories of Russian society. These documents, some of them drawn from previously unpublished archival material, are organized to present a coherent picture of Russian society at three crucial junctures - the 1760s, 1860s, and 1905-19 06 - and so provide a systematic self-portrait of various social groups and their aspirations. As the documents change in form, tone, and substance, there emerges a graphic sense of how Russian society evolved and why the autocracy collapsed in 1917.