Russia's Steppe Frontier

Russia's Steppe Frontier : The Making of a Colonial Empire, 1500-1800

3.67 (55 ratings by Goodreads)

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... a tremendously important contribution to the field of Russian history and the comparative study of empires and frontiers. There is no comparable work in any language.... The book presents an intricate and gripping narrative of a vast sweep of histories, weaving them together into a comprehensive and comprehensible chronology." -Valerie Kivelson

From the time of the decline of the Mongol Golden Horde to the end of the 18th century, the Russian government expanded its influence and power throughout its southern borderlands. The process of incorporating these lands and peoples into the Russian Empire was not only a military and political struggle but also a contest between the conceptual worlds of the indigenous peoples and the Russians. Drawing on sources and archival materials in Russian and Turkic languages, Michael Khodarkovsky presents a complex picture of the encounter between the Russian authorities and native peoples.

Russia's Steppe Frontier is an original and invaluable resource for understanding Russia's imperial experience.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 154 x 230 x 22mm | 498.96g
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 16 b&w photos, 10 maps, 1 bibliog., 1 index
  • 0253217709
  • 9780253217707
  • 685,697

Review quote

This innovative and fascinating book examines the relationship between Russia and its neighbors on the Eurasian steppe, which stretches from the northern Caucasus area into the Central Asian region of present-day Kazakhstan, from about 1500 to 1800. During these formative years, Russia's continual southern expansion into the borderlands helped transform it from a fragmented and weak frontier society into a formidable colonial empire. Kohdarkovsky (Loyola Univ.) considers the complex relationship between the Russian state and the indigenous nomadic and seminomadic societies that inhabited the steppe, emphasizing their fundamental differences in social organization, political and economic structures, and values. The author argues that Russia's southward expansion was, contrary to commonly accepted views, a deliberate process designed to colonize the new regions and to subdue their inhabitants. However, Russia's policies gradually changed during these three centuries from defending its vulnerable frontier against nomadic incursions to deliberate colonization by means of pacifying, settling, and converting the new subjects to Orthodox Christianity. Recommended for advanced undergraduates and above.September 2002 -- N. M. Brooks * New Mexico State University *
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About Michael Khodarkovsky

Michael Khodarkovsky is Associate Professor of History at Loyola University of Chicago. He is author of Where Two Worlds Met: The Russian State and the Kalmyk Nomads, 1600-1771 and co-editor (with Robert Geraci) of Of Religion and Empire: Missions, Conversion, and Tolerance in the Russian Empire.
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Rating details

55 ratings
3.67 out of 5 stars
5 20% (11)
4 36% (20)
3 36% (20)
2 5% (3)
1 2% (1)
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