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
"War and Enlightenment in Russia is a solid piece of work on an interesting subject, clearly written, and based upon extensive research. Eugene Miakinkov’s accounts of key characters and the education and military experience of Russian officers are truly fascinating, and will appeal to a broad audience."
Brian Davies, Department of History, University of Texas at San Antonio
"War and Enlightenment in Russia is based on an impressive range of primary sources and will appeal to a wide scholarly readership on European history. It will be of interest not only to Russian history specialists but also to historians of the armed forces, of the nobility, and of the culture of eighteenth-century Europe."
Janet Hartley, Department of International History, London School of Economics and Political Science
"War and Enlightenment in Russia expands the field of Russian cultural and intellectual history investigating a significant amount of unpublished documents from St. Petersburg’s National Library, the State Archive of Ancient Documents, and the State Military Archive. Eugene Miakinkov creates a multifaceted portrayal of the Russian military, from the training and promotion of lower-ranking officers to the performance of leadership responsibilities."
Colum Leckey, Department of History, Piedmont Virginia Community College
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