Imperial Russia

Most unexpected appearance of an anarchist EVER

Here’s a quick link to the blog of a former colleague of mine, Sarah Young.  In this one, she’s discovered what has to be the strangest appearance of an anarchist, ever, in the pages of a magazine aimed at British boys, talking about games.

(It is, incidentally, useful if you want illustrations for games you may have come across in nineteenth century literature.)

(And it does remind me of an interview I once heard in which someone, I think one of the directors of the Harry Potter movies, commented that really, all children are anarchists.  So perhaps it’s less unexpected than one might imagine.)

By Alison Smith

Professor, University of Toronto, Department of History;

Author of For the Common Good and Their Own Well-Being: Social Estates in Imperial Russia (Oxford University Press, 2014)

2 replies on “Most unexpected appearance of an anarchist EVER”

I’m not surprised! I used to assign Stepniak-Kravchinsky all the time and as a real, dyed-in-the-wool narodnik, he is very useful on describing peasant life. He seems, at times, like an ethnographer of a foreign people who is trying to figure out the arcane culture of the natives. Very interesting guy who, of course, was one of the English-speaking world’s great experts, along with McKenzie-Wallace, on all things Russian.

Interesting to me, because it sounded like one of those interviews with a reluctant, but civil subject, who is trying to deal with the awkwardness the best he can, and takes whatever opportunity is offered to state something of moment to him.

What strange bee got into the editor’s bonnet to make him pursue this interview is another question–maybe a bit of personal curiousity on his own part, with the magazine and its readers being a justification.

For cultural details though, I like it–even though I’m not sure I agree that Stepniak was trying to be at all deep, or had much ulterior motive.

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