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Revolutions and the Making of the Modern World

From Peter the Great to Karl Marx

James Cracraft

Edited By William Benton Whisenhunt

Professor James Cracraft is an established specialist on early modern Russian history, particularly the era of Peter the Great (1682-1725), tsar and first Russian emperor. This volume gathers some of the many key articles and reviews published by him over the last forty years and more in a wide variety of scholarly venues, some of which are not readily accessible. They constitute in sum important contributions not only to Russian history broadly understood, but also to the study of history itself. The collection will include a preface by the editor and an introduction by the author, where he will sum up his decades of historical work and point to new avenues of needed research, all the while emphasizing that "history" properly understood does not exist somewhere on its own but is the creation, however imperfect, of professional historians (as "chemistry", say, is properly understood as the work, however imperfect, of professional chemists).

James Cracraft taught graduate and undergraduate courses on Russian and Modern European history, on Russian-American relations, and on historiography and historical methods at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 1969 until 2010. He was also a visiting lecturer at the University of Chicago (1970-1975, 1987-1990) and a research fellow at Harvard University (1979-1989). In addition to dozens of book-chapters, articles, and reviews he has published eleven books, including The Revolution of Peter the Great, a digest of his most important scholarly work for general readers. His research has been supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (twice); the Davis Center for Russian Studies, Harvard; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, Smithsonian Institution; and the J.S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In 1998 he was appointed a University Scholar "for distinction as a member of the faculty of the University of Illinois."

William Benton Whisenhunt is Professor and Chair of History at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. He earned his B.A. in History and Russian at Cornell College in 1990 and his M.A. in History at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1992. In 1997, he earned his Ph.D. in History at the University of Illinois at Chicago under the direction of Professor James Cracraft. He was a J. William Fulbright Senior Scholar at Ryazan’ State University in Ryazan’, Russia in 2006. He has published seven books on Russian history, especially Russian-American relations. He is a co-managing editor of the Journal of Russian American Studies (JRAS) and co-series editor of Americans in Revolutionary Russia. His most recent publication is an edited edition of John Reed’s Ten Days That Shook the World.