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The History of Liberalism in Russia


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About the Author

Victor Leontovitsch was a lecturer at the Friedrich Wilhelm University, Berlin, and professor of history at Frankfurt University. He was the author of The Legal Revolution under Ivan the Terrible.


"The English translation of this seminal work, originally published in German in 1957, has appeared at a timely moment: liberal and radical elements are currently battling for the upper hand in a fragmented opposition movement against Russia's autocratic regime, just as they did just over 100 years ago. . . . An exceptionally illuminating work and will surely become a key text for students of both historical and contemporary politics in Russia. This book has enormous relevance not only for those studying the political history of the late Tsarist era, but also those wishing to embed the current chasm between state and society in historical context."--Europe-Asia Studies

"An illuminating and profound analysis . . . one of the most thoughtful and penetrating studies that have appeared in the field of Russian history in any country for some time."
--Donald Treadgold, American Historical Review

"The legend still persists that there was never any choice in Russia between dark reaction and red revolution, and that liberal order was an alien plant which could never have taken root . . . Leontovitsch has done a great service by restoring some of the true perspective."
--Leonard Schapiro, Times Literary Supplement

"The range and depth of Leontovitsch's learning, his insights and probing questions on the nature of Russian liberalism make the work extremely satisfying. . . . The endurance of strong central government in Russia today shows that Leontovitsch's ideas still have much to contribute to our understanding of that country, over half a century on."--European History Quarterly
"This book has that elegant quality of successful works that, while elucidating a specific subject, throw light in passing on other questions that are sometimes of greater significance. Thus, we find in this history of liberalism a profound analysis of some of the key factors that made revolution possible in Russia."
--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, from the Foreword

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