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This study, based largely on original research in the archives of Moscow and Leningrad, sheds new light on the role played in Russian cultural development by those Ukrainians who chose to identify themselves with the Russian Empire. By stressing the native, Slavic aspects of imperial culture, Ukrainians modified the Russians' understanding of what it meant to be Russian, preventing them from becoming wholly dependent on contemporary Western Europe. In a wide-ranging, richly detailed analysis, David Saunders shows how this impact was achieved by Ukrainian educators, writers, journalists, scholars, and political figures.
Although significant, the Ukrainian impact was short-lived. The concluding chapter explains the tsarist government's imposition of an increasingly rigid conception of nationality on all its subjects led Ukrainians to assert their separate identity.
As the most comprehensive study of its subject, this book makes an important contribution to both Ukrainian and Russian history.
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David Saunders is Professor of Russian History at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. He is the author of Russia in the Age of Reaction and Reform 1801-1881. London and New York: Longman (1992). He has also published dozens of articles in professional journals and contributed to the CIUS publication Loyalties in Conflict. The present work is based on his doctoral dissertation, which was completed at St. Anthony's College, Oxford University.
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