WAS THE 1905 REVOLUTION A PRODUCT OF RUSSIA AS A OF RUSSIA AS A 'DEVELOPING SOCIETY'? A CRITICAL APPRAISAL OF TEODOR SHANIN's <i> THE ROOTS OF OTHERNESS; RUSSIA'S TURN OF CENTURY</i>
AbstractWithin the short parameters of this modest paper it is impossible to do justice to the scope and comprehensiveness of Teodor Shanin's latest work. This two-volume work is a very significant contribution to the study of both early twentieth-century Russia in general, and of the role of the peasantry in the 1905 revolution in particular. Accordingly, I can touch here briefly only upon his central thesis, namely that the 1905 revolution (the subject of his second volume) was the product of Russia as a 'developing society' (the topic of his first volume).! First, it should be pointed out that Shanin's two-volume work is not a restatement of accepted orthodoxies of whatever kind, liberal, conservative or Marxist. His study is a revisionist piece of work of a high order, and, therefore, if I take issue with his thesis that does not mean that I do not have a very high regard for many, indeed most, of the finer points raised by his book. It is indeed my contention that his own critique of the dominant historiographical positions makes the acceptance of his own rather simplistic view, as I see it, that he puts forward, highly unlikely.