Essays in Russian Social and Economic History

Essays in Russian Social and Economic History


Steven L. Hoch

Series: Imperial Encounters in Russian History
ISBN: 9781618114280 (hardcover)
Pages: 330 pp.
Publication Date: February 2015

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From banking crises and infectious diseases to peasant rituals and land reform, Steven L. Hoch examines life of Russia's rural population. In contrast to longstanding interpretations of the Russian peasantry, Hoch emphasizes the role of social, epidemiological, and ecological forces in the formation of rural Russian society. Using sources little used by previous scholars, he assesses the impact of the broad economy on shaping the government polices of emancipation and land reform and the long-term consequences of these policies on peasant material well-being.

Steven L. Hoch studied at Princeton University, the Institut national des etudes demographique, Moscow State University, and Helsinki University. He is the author of Serfdom and Social Control in Russia (1986), which has been translated into Russian. In addition, he translated and edited from the French Metodika analiza v istoricheskoi demographii (Russian State Humanities University Press, 1977). He is the author of several articles on Russian demographic, social, and economic history.

For Steven Hoch, there is no such thing as conventional wisdom. With precise data, reasoned argument, and inimitable verve, he destroys long-lasting myths about Russia and its history. To understand how Russian peasants lived in the past and why their conditions changed over time, read this book!
— Jane Burbank, New York University

Table of Contents

1. Did Russia’s Emancipated Serfs Really Pay Too Much for Too Little Land? Statistical Anomalies and Long-Tailed Distributions
2. On Good Numbers and Bad: Malthus, Population Trends, and Peasant Standard of Living in Late Imperial Russia
3. Serfs in Imperial Russia Demographic Insights
4. Serf Diet in Nineteenth-Century Russia
5. Famine, Disease, and Mortality Patterns in the Parish of Borshevka, Russia, 1830-1912
6. The Banking Crisis, Peasant Reform, and Economic Development in Russia, 1857-1861
7. The Tax Censuses and the Decline of the Serf Population in Imperial
Russia, 1833-1858 (Steven L. Hoch and Wilson R. Augustine)
8. Tall Tales: Anthropometric Measures of Well-Being in Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union, 1821-1960
9. Bridewealth, Dowry, and Socioeconomic Differentiation in Rural Russia
10. The Serf Economy, the Peasant Family, and the Social Order
11. The Great Reformers and the World They Did Not Know: Drafting the Emancipation Legislation in Russia, 1858-61