KLIER, John Doyle.
Title: Russia Gathers Her Jews : The Origins of the Jewish Question in Russia, 1772-1825. First Edition in dustjacket.
Publisher:  Northern Illinois University Press, DeKalb, Illinois, 1986, ISBN:087580117x
Seller ID: 114136
KLIER, John Doyle. Russia Gathers Her Jews : The Origins of the "Jewish Question" in Russia, 1772-1825. DeKalb, Illinois : Northern Illinois University Press, 1986. First Printing. Pp. (12),[xii]-xxiv,(2),-236,(4). Illustrated. Map endpapers. 8vo, green cloth with white lettering to spine. "The complete absence of a legal Jewish population in Russia [prior to 1772 ensured that there was no 'Jewish Question'. By imperial decree, Jews were forbidden in Russia. The partitions of Poland from 1772 through 1795, however, brought the largest Jewish population in the world under Russian dominion. Unprepared Russian administrators were therefore forced to acquaint themselves with the social, economic, and political aspects of Jewish life. During these investigations of the Jewish Question by Russian bureaucrats, the most important Russian assumptions about Jews were formed, and the laws and regulations governing the new and unfamiliar subjects were developed. Incorporating archival evidence and the fresh perspectives of recent scholarship, John Klier offers an important new analysis of Russia's acquisition of, attitudes toward, and administration of its Jewish population between 1772 and1825. Klier argues that a western reform tradition, which had slowly filte red eastward, served as the foundation for state policy toward the Jews. Assuming that reform would benefit both the state and the Jews themselves, the bureaucracy operated within this gradualist and rationalist tradition andattempted to blend its own social pragmatism with elements of the reform t radition. Russian legislation thus originated in a tangle of optimistic rhetoric of the Enlightenment, the complaints of certain vested economic interests, and sweeping theories of reform. This combination produced ostensiblyenlightened formulae for social legislation that appeared to be entirely r ational and effective. However, such formulae had little basis in existing social conditions and thus produced essentially restrictive unworkable schemes. The response to the Jewish Question, therefore, was based less on a tradition of religious antipathy or economic anxiety than on the failure to develop a consistent, well-articulated policy in the face of a new and unusual problem. This failure led to ineffective social legislation concerning the Jewish Question and became the enduring legacy of Russia's first encounter with the Jews." - from the dustjacket. Contents: 1. Poland-Luthuania: "Paradise for Jews"; 2. Russia's Ambiguous Jewish Legacy; 3. Russia and the Jews: First Impressions, 1772-1796; 4. The Discovery of the Jewish Question in Russia, 1796-1801; 5. A Phantom in the Air: The Statute of 1804; 6. The Vicissitudes of Reform, 1804-1825; 7. Russians and Jews: The Unofficial View. With bibliography and index. Very good in dustjacket. 40.00