The reform era in Russia (1855-1881) witnessed the emancipation of the serfs, economic and social change, the reform of all imperial institutions, and the growth of national identity among Russians and the Empire's expanding Jewish population. Consequently, the 'Jewish Question' became one of most hotly debated topics in Russia. Attitudes toward the Jews which evolved during this period persisted up to the Revolution and beyond. This book, based on exhaustive archival research of materials published during the period, studies the interplay of public opinion and official policy. The author examines the attitudes of all sectors of Russian educated society towards the Jews. He also explores how a new group, the Russian Jewish intelligentsia, sought to define a modern Jewish identity in the midst of a multi-ethnic Empire.
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John Klier examines Russian public opinion on the 'Jewish Question' in the Russian Empire during a period of sweeping social and political reform. He studies the manner in which public opinion influenced, and was influenced by state policy towards the Jews, and traces the roots of modern antisemitism throughout Eastern Europe.Review:
"Based on an enormous amount of reading in periodicals of the time, supplemented by Russian archival sources, this book will be the work to defend or argue against for years to come. It is truly a milestone in the history of Russian Jewry in the nineteenth century." Theodore R. Weeks, Canadian Review of Studies in Nationalism
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