RUCKMAN, Jo Ann.
Title: Moscow Business Elite : A Social and Cultural Portrait of Two Generations, 1840-1905. First Edition in dustjacket.
Publisher:  Northern Illinois University Press, DeKalb, IL, 1984, ISBN:0875800963
Seller ID: 113267
RUCKMAN, Jo Ann. The Moscow Business Elite : A Social and Cultural Portraitof Two Generations, 1840-1905. (DeKalb, IL) : Northern Illinois University Press, 1984. First Printing. Pp. (8),[vii]-xiii,(1),-275,(5). 8vo, purp le cloth with black lettering to spine. "Individual members of the familiesthat made up Moscow's business elite in the last years of the Russian Empi re have long been celebrated for their contributions to Russian culture. Additionally, the same group of families gave rise to a number of outstandingpoliticians who played important roles during the final years of the imper ial regime. P.M. Tretiakov, creator of the world-famous Tretiakov Gallery of Russian Art, and Constantin Stanislavsky, whose influence as an actor anddirector helped to transform the European stage, are known to all familiar with the history of European culture. A.I. Guchkov and A.I. Konovalov, bot h members of the Provisional Government of 1917, will forever figure prominently in the history of Russian politics. But historians have as yet given little attention to the social and cultural milieu that produced these and other outstanding figures in Russian culture and politics who originated inMoscow's business elite. This book examines the process of social and cult ural change that produced the remarkable business 'dynasties' whose membersnot only dominated the Moscow business community in the late nineteenth an d early twentieth centuries but also left a strong imprint on the cultural and political life of both Moscow and Russia as a whole. During a period ofless than a century, these families built up business enterprises that by the end of the nineteenth century were in many cases among the largest industrial and commercial undertakings in the Russian Empire. Coming originallyfrom the peasantry or the lower urban social strata, they quickly accumula ted the considerable fortunes that allowed them to claim a place for themselves in the upper ranks of Moscow society. Because of the strong prejudicesdeeply embedded in Russian society, businessmen were not readily accepted into circles of wealthy and cultured people. Their acceptance by members ofthe Russian nobility and intelligentsia was conditional upon their demonst rating a high level of cultural development -- a level that some business families were able to attain within the span of two generations. The growingwealth and economic power of the Moscow business elite also encouraged its members to seek a larger role in the politics of the autocratic Russian st ate. However, though they had gained social recognition for their cultural contributions, representatives of the business elite were less successful in their efforts to become an important political force during the period ending 1905. This study, which takes the approach of the social historian, illuminated the interplay of forces at work in effecting the cultural transformation of the Moscow business elite and in propelling them into the political arena. It considers their interrelationships with other social groups -- nobility, intelligentsia, and working class -- as well as their struggle to overcome their heritage from the past and to achieve a new understandingof their role in Russian society, both in the present and in an imagined f uture." - from the dustjacket. Contents: 1. The Moscow Business Elite and its Position in the Social Structure of Russia and Moscow; 2. The Economic Foundations of the Moscow Dynasties; 3. The Older Generation of the 1890s: Cultural Change; 4. The Older Generation of the 1890s: Participation in Public Affairs; 5. The Young Generation of the 1890s; 6. The Younger Generationof the 1890s: Politics and the Labor Question. With bibliography and index . Very good in spine-nicked dustjacket. 40.00