Utopia's Discontents: Russian Émigrés and the Quest for Freedom, 1830s-1930s


Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
5.6 X 8.7 X 1.5 inches | 1.5 pounds

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About the Author

Faith Hillis is Associate Professor of Russian History at the University of Chicago. She is the author of Children of Rus': Right-Bank Ukraine and the Invention of a Nation.


"Utopia's Discontents literally puts the history of the Russian Revolution�and all that came with it�on the map. By moving our point of reference to the �migr� and exile peripheries at the core of twentieth-century history, this fascinating study of the 'Russian colonies' in Europe offers an
inspiringly original take on the history of 'post-colonialism.' With uncommon narrative ease and rigorous attention to detail, Hillis does to the reigning historiography of the revolutionary movements what her protagonists did to the liberal order of the late nineteenth century. The history of ideas
just got a good deal richer." -- Holly Case, author of Age of Questions

"Vividly narrated and brimming with insight, Utopia's Discontents brings to life the storied 'Russian colonies' of western Europe's major cities, where revolutions were plotted and new countries imagined. Faith Hillis brilliantly recreates the dense neighborhoods, intimate, often fraught social
relationships, and high-pitched theoretical arguments that characterized life in the Russian colonies. Utopia's Discontents is a multi-layered study, at once richly local in focus and broad in scope. It is a truly exciting book." -- Tony Michels, author of A Fire in Their Hearts: Yiddish Socialists
in New York

"This ground-breaking book rethinks the history of Russia's revolutionaries through their lives in exile communities. Place mattered in their story: for inspiration, for encounters, for everyday radical practices. The book is a rich history of ideas�freedom, equality, community, and justice, and
socialism�but as everyday practices rather than dreamy abstractions. Not least, this is magisterial research, written in an accessible and compelling manner." -- Mark Steinberg, author of The Russian Revolution, 1905-21