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The Great Reforms of the 1860s marked the broadest attempt at social and economic renovation to occur in Russia between the death of Peter the Great in 1725 and the Revolution of 1905. In just more than a decade, imperial reform acts freed Russia's serfs, restructured her courts, established institutions of local self-government in parts of the empire, altered the constraints that censorship imposed on the press, and transformed Russia's vast serf armed forces into a citizen army in which men from all classes bore equal responsibility for military service.
This invaluable study explains why the legislation assumed the shape that it did and estimates what the Great Reforms ultimately accomplished. The Great Reforms offered readers a vital starting point from which to evaluate the prospects for glasnost', perestroika, and reform in the Gorbachev era.
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W. Bruce Lincoln authored twelve books about Russia and its past, most notably The Romanovs: Autocrats of All the Russias; Red Victory: A History of the Russian Civil War; Between Heaven and Hell: The Story of a Thousand Years of Artistic Life in Russia; and Sunlight at Midnight: St. Petersburg and the Rise of Modern Russia.Review:
"An excellent work of scholarship that will be welcomed alike by specialists and instructors in courses on modern Russian history." —Russian Review
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