A Sick State

Russian health collapsed with the Soviet state, worsening during the political instability of the 1990′s, and continuing to suffer in the 21st century. In 1991, Russia’s Ministry of Health reported a…

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Здравствуйте мир!

Hello world! I am comrade Slattery, your tour guide for the beautiful, yet sometimes tragic, history of Russia. I am a student myself, so this will be a learning experience for the both of us. Why Russia? A better question is “why not?” In the words of Sir Winston Churchill : “Russia is a riddle, […]

First Blogpost Guidelines

Russian Railway Engine, 1909-1915

Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii, photographer to Tsar Nicholas II, may have had his mobile photo-laboratory in the rail car behind this “Compound” engine. (1909-1915)
Prokudin-Gorskii Collection, LOC

For your first blog post, please select a photograph from this online exhibit at the Library of Congress and analyze it in the context of social and economic change in late Imperial Russia.  A photograph such as this one, for example, might lead you to talk about the state’s industrialization campaign, and the role of prominent statesmen such as Sergei Witte in that endeavor.  You might even want to develop a full-length post about Witte. This photograph might also raise questions about the geo-political implications of extending the railway system across the breadth of a vast empire.  Looking forward to our discussions over the next couple of weeks, you should think about how the combination of economic modernization and the autocracy’s resistance to political change would inform developments leading up to the fall of the Romanov dynasty and the rise of the Bolsheviks in 1917.

Different images in the Prokudin-Gorskii collection will prompt different lines of inquiry, of course. So choose an image that appeals to you and start digging. Some of you may want to learn more about the photographer himself and the history of photography. Or you might want to explore and feature maps in a post about historical geography and Imperial space. The Freeze text is the best place to start learning about your topic, but you may consult and cite any other reliable source as well. Just make sure to link to it or cite it in your post. You should also (always) make sure to properly acknowledge the source of the images you use.

This image is titled: Steam engine “Kompaund” with a Schmidt super-heater.

It was created by: Prokudin-Gorskiĭ, Sergeĭ Mikhaĭlovich, 1863-1944, photographer

The permanent record here: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/prk2000000564/