War and Enlightenment in Russia: Military Culture in the Age of Catherine II
War and Enlightenment in Russia explores how members of the military during the reign of Catherine II reconciled Enlightenment ideas about the equality and moral worth of all humans with the Russian reality based on serfdom, a world governed by autocracy, absolute respect for authority, and subordination to seniority.
While there is a sizable literature about the impact of the Enlightenment on government, economy, manners, and literature in Russia, no analytical framework that outlines its impact on the military exists. Eugene Miakinkov’s research addresses this gap and challenges the assumption that the military was an unadaptable and vertical institution. Using archival sources, military manuals, essays, memoirs, and letters, the author demonstrates how the Russian militaires philosophes operationalized the Enlightenment by turning thought into reality.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 336 pages
- Illustrations: 11
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
Author InformationEugene Miakinkov is a lecturer in the Department of Political and Cultural Studies at Swansea University.
Table of contents
1. Between Patronage and Education: The Enlightenment and the Military Pre-Intelligentsia in Catherine’s Russia
2. Favourites and Professionals: Merit, Seniority, and Advancement in Catherine’s Military
3. “We must distinguish the military establishment from other callings”: Writers and Ideas of the Russian Military Enlightenment
4. “Always remember that he is not a peasant, but a soldier”: The Enlightenment and the Shaping of Russian Soldiers
5. “Fantastic forms of folly”: Individualism and the Performance of Military Culture
6. “The gutters of the town were dyed with blood”: The Siege of Izmail, Russian Military Culture, and the Limits of the Enlightenment at War
7. “His Majesty recommends to gentlemen-officers to dress better and not to stutter”: Paul I and the Military Enlightenment
Conclusion: The Legacy of the Enlightenment in Russian Military Culture
Subjects and Courses