Chapter 1 The environment and its consequences: The geographic setting - vegetation, soils, climate, precipitation and waterways; The influence of Russia's northern location on her economy - short farming season, poor yields, lack of markets, unprofitability of farming, industrial side-occupations (promysly); Influence on population movement; Influence on social organization - joint family, peasant commune (obshchina); Influence on political organization - incompatibility of means and ends, the "patrimonial" system as solution. PART 1 THE STATE: Chapter 2 The genesis of the patrimonial state in Russia: Slav colonization of Russian territory; The Norman (Kievan) state - the commercial nature of the state, succession pattern, assimilation of Normans, origins of the name Rus'-Rossiia, the Norman legacy; The dissolution of the Kievan state - centrifugal forces, north-west - Novgorod, Lithuania and Poland; The appanage (patrimonial) principality of the north-east: the colonization of the Volga-Oka region, new political attitudes, the appanage principality as property, the prince's domain, the princely administration within and without, Boyars and boyar land, "Black land"; The problem of feudalism in appanage Russia - political decentralization, vassalage, conditional land tenure, the political consequences of the absence in Russia of feudal tradition; Mongol conquest and domination - the invasion, character of rule and its influence on Russian politics. Chapter 3 The Triumph of patrimonialism: The rise of Moscow - "monocracy" and "autocracy", the great principality of Vladimir and the Nevsky clan, Ivan I. Kalita, succession by primogeniture; The patrimonial principality - confusion of dominium and imperium, domainial origin of Russia's administration, failure to distinguish crown and state properties; The politicization of Moscow's patrimonial rulers - dissolution of the Golden Horde and collapse of Byzantium, the Mongol-Tatar sources of the Russian idea of kingship, Gosudar' as sovereign; The expansion of Moscow - its psychological effects, the conquest of Novgorod by Ivan III, subsequent acquisitions. Chapter 4 The anatomy of the patrimonial regime: Servitors and commoners; The service estate - Boyars lose-right of free departure, Mestnichestvo as last Boyar weapon, the rise of dvoriane, the oprichnina, terms and forms of service; Commoners - Tiaglo, serfdom - its rise and spread; The administration - Duma, Sobor, bureaucracy; Mechanism of control and repression - denunciation as civic duty, closed frontiers. Chapter 5 The partial dismantling of the patrimonial state: The crisis of the patrimonial system; The military reforms of Peter I - shortcomings of the old army, creation of a standing army, effect on commoners - soul tax and conscription, effect on servitors - compulsory schooling and table of ranks; Construction of St Petersburg; The idea of "public good" and its implications; Creation of a political police under Peter I. (Part contents).
Richard Pipes is a historian of Russia, and since 1990, has been Baird Emeritus Professor of History at Harvard University. His other books include The Russian Revolution and Russia under the Bolshevik Regime.