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Peter the Great
The Struggle for Power, 1671–1725


Part of New Studies in European History

  • Date Published: January 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521030670

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About the Authors
  • A narrative of the fifty years of political struggles at the Russian court, 1671–1725. This book shows how Peter the Great was not the all-powerful tsar working alone to reform Russia, but that he colluded with powerful and contentious aristocrats in order to achieve his goals. After the early victory of Peter's boyar supporters in the 1690s, Peter turned against them and tried to rule through favourites - an experiment which ended in the establishment of a decentralized 'aristocratic' administration, followed by an equally aristocratic Senate in 1711. The aristocrats' hegemony came to an end in the wake of the affair of Peter's son, Tsarevich Aleksei, in 1718. After that moment Peter ruled through a complex group of favourites, a few aristocrats and appointees promoted through merit, and carried out his most long-lasting reforms. The outcome was a new balance of power at the centre and a new, European, conception of politics.

    • A narrative of fifty crucial years in Russia's history, perhaps the most crucial turning point other than the 1917 revolution, during the reign of Peter the Great
    • Contains interesting material and stories, not merely an alternative interpretation, correcting many of the clichés and misunderstandings in previously published works
    • The author is the leading authority in the US on the reign of Peter the Great, and has conducted much original research in Russian and western European archives
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… based on a massive amount of research in Russia and Europe and is a masterpiece of scholarship.' Contemporary Review

    '… an outstanding work of scholarship. The scale of the achievement is enviable: by scouring European archives and applying his forensic intelligence to a daunting range of published sources in several languages, Paul Bushkovitch has given us a wholly refreshing view of the politics of Peter's reign, rich in texture and all the more attractive for being expressed in plain English … there is not a dull page in the book … readers at almost every level of sophistication have much to learn from it.' Reviews in History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521030670
    • length: 500 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 151 x 27 mm
    • weight: 0.729kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of abbreviations
    Prologue: court politics and reform
    1. Tsar and boyars: structures and values
    2. The ascendancy of Artamon Matveev, 1671–6
    3. The reign of Tsar Fyodor, 1676–82
    4. The regency of Sofia, 1682–9
    5. Peter in power, 1689–99
    6. Peter and the favourites: Golovin and Menshikov, 1699–1706
    7. Poltava and the new gubernias, 1707–9
    8. The Senate and the eclipse of Menshikov, 1709–15
    9. The affair of the tsarevich, 1715–17
    10. The end of Aleksei Petrovich, 1718
    Epilogue and conclusion, 1718–25

  • Author

    Paul Bushkovitch, Yale University, Connecticut
    Paul Bushkovitch has been Professor of History at Yale University since 1992, having taught there since 1975. His books include The Merchants of Moscow, 1580–1650 (Cambridge, 1980) and Religion and Society in Russia: The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (1992).

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