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Topics - Petr

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Forum Announcements / 400th Anniversary of the Romanovs
« on: February 06, 2013, 06:24:29 AM »
For those of you in the New York area there will be a three day program on the 400th Anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty under the auspices of the Bakhmeteff Library at Columbia Universary starting on February 14th. The program looks quite interesting and extensive covering various aspects of the time, political and cultural. 

 http://library.columbia.edu/indiv/rbml/units/bakhmeteff/news.html
 

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Just finished reading Tales of Imperial Russia by Francis W. Wcislo which was just published in 2011 by Oxford University Press. It is a very interesting biography of Count Ser. Iu. Witte based upon his lengthy memoirs. What makes it a little different than normal biographies is that rather than simply recounting Witte's life the author places it in the context of various developments in Russia in the last quarter of the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th. The scholarship appears extensive (Wicislo is a Professor at Vanderbilt Univerity).

Witte is regarded with suspicion in certain quarters as a manipulating, social climbing arch bureaucrat but this book clearly illustrates that he may have received a lot of unwarranted bad press. I believe his judgements regarding AIII and NII were substantially correct and he does raise the point (which I share) that were AIII to have lived longer Russia would not have gotten involved in the Russo Japanese War (with the resulting troubles of 1905)and possibly WWI which would have given Russia the opportunity to complete its industrialization and fend off the Revolution. All in all a good read.

Petr

       

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