Petersburg Fin de Siecle

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Mark D. Steinberg

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The final decade of the old order in imperial Russia was a time of both crisis and possibility, an uncertain time that inspired an often desperate search for meaning. This book explores how journalists and other writers in St. Petersburg described and interpreted the troubled years between the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917.

Mark Steinberg, distinguished historian of Russia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, examines the work of writers of all kinds, from anonymous journalists to well-known public intellectuals, from secular liberals to religious conservatives. Though diverse in their perspectives, these urban writers were remarkably consistent in the worries they expressed. They grappled with the impact of technological and material progress on the one hand, and with an ever-deepening anxiety and pessimism on the other. Steinberg reveals a new, darker perspective on the history of St. Petersburg on the eve of revolution and presents a fresh view of Russia's experience of modernity.

Mark Steinberg is professor of history at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and editor of the journal Slavic Review.

"The scholarship is sound and meticulous. Not only is Steinberg a master of the journalism of the city, but he also demonstrates a command of a variety of philosophical texts, Russian and European, that are the book's architecture."—Joseph Bradley, University of Tulsa

"[A] tour de force."—D.B. Johnson, Choice

"Basing his analysis on an impressive array of contemporary primary sources, Mark Steinberg argues that in the wake of the revolution of 1905, St. Petersburgers perceived their present and future as particularly bleak. With its discussions of modernity, urbanization, art, culture, and literature, Petersburg Fin de Siècle will interest readers besides Russian specialists."—Laurie Bernstein, Rutgers University, Camden

ISBN: 9780300191981
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
416 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
7 b/w illus.
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