Book Reviews 691
Gonneau's monograph allows readers of French, who cannot read the Muscovite
Russian/ Church Slavic originals, to access all the major sources on the historical and
legendary Sergii. It is ideal for sophisticated interdisciplinary seminars on Russian or com
parative religious studies. At the same time, this book offers much of value to Muscovite
historians and specialists on Sergii, the Trinity, and iconographic art. Hidden in the com
mentary, like jewels, are corrections to the received tradition, significant discoveries, and
data available for mining. No one will be able to write on topics related to Sergii and Trin
ity without referencing this book.
University of California, Los Angeles
Exile to Siberia, 1590-1822. By Andrew A. Gentes. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. xiii, 271 pp. Notes. Bibliography. Glossary. Index. Map. $69.95, hard bound.
In the western mind, the word Siberia is virtually synonymous with the word exile. Yet most
westerners know little about the genesis of this identity or whether it is deserved. Our his
toriography on the topic is thin, particularly that concerning the prerevolutionary epoch. As with all things in Russian history, the Soviet period has received the most attention.
Thanks to our intense interest in the contemporary and horrifically violent, we know quite a bit about the gulag but much less about what came before. That, of course, is a shame
because as anyone who has taken the time to study the issue knows, the Soviets hardly invented the tradition of sending various and sundry "undesirables" to the east. The com
munists claimed to be inventing a new world, but here as in so many other cases they were
merely continuing and amplifying the old, with awful results.
We should therefore thank Andrew Gentes for writing a fine, readable, theoretically informed book on this neglected subject. It is not an easy one to study. Most of the relevant
secondary sources of any value were produced by imperial historians, and the archives? which are not exactly rich?are scattered throughout the vast eastern region. Gentes has consulted all of the former and visited a good number of the latter in his effort to shed
light on what George Kennan (the Elder) called the "exile system." If one had to sum up Gentes's chief finding, it would be that Siberian exile was not
much of a "system," but a rather poorly planned, badly administered, unprofitable reflex of an oppressive, corrupt, and sometimes delusional political system. Like all premodern polities, the tsarist court had reason to send those out of favor far away, and Siberia? which for all intents and purposes was a vast emptiness?proved a convenient place to
accomplish this task. So as soon as the Muscovites "conquered" Siberia (though "conquer" is not really the right word, for the place was largely uninhabited), they began to dispatch expendable people to the eastern frontier. Some were disgraced politicians, some were
criminals, and some were simply innocents unlucky enough to find themselves in the
wrong place at the wrong time. They were never very many, numbering in the tens of thou sands. Many of them died trying to get there or back. While there, they lived badly.
The authorities were, then, first and foremost interested in getting rid of the exiles. But like enterprising and favor-currying authorities everywhere, they were not about to let free labor go to waste. The unproductive had to be made productive. So they put the exiles to work in the hope that Siberia might be turned into something more than it was. In the
eyes of Muscovite and imperial leaders, Siberia was not just a dumping ground; it was also a "project." Alas, it was not a very good one. We tend to think of Siberia as a vast repository of untapped wealth. Perhaps that image is accurate today. But in premodern times Siberia was a hard place to eek out a living, let alone develop economically. Siberia was almost
empty for a reason. Growing crops was hard, mining deadly, labor too thin-on-the-ground to set up any sort of serious industry. Premodern Siberia could sustain only two productive enterprises: fur extraction and taxation of the locals. In fact, the two were virtually one and the same, for the locals paid in furs. As Gentes shows, none of these realities stopped Russian bureaucrats from dreaming up evermore surreal plans to "improve" Siberia and make it a "profitable" part of the empire.
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692 Slavic Review
They failed. It is ironic that the primary accomplishment of Russian rule in Siberia was to hold Siberia?not that anyone was interested in poaching it. It does not seem that
it "paid for itself," though such things are hard to tally. None of this changed in the Soviet
era, as one can see by reading Fiona Hill and Clifford Gaddy's excellent The Siberian Curse:
How Communist Planners Left Russia Out in the Cold (2003). There is no doubt that we will continue to think of Siberia as a symbol for exile, but we should also think of it as a monu
ment to delusional, dirigist plans for "development."
University of Iowa
Russia, 1762-1825: Military Power, the State, and the People. By Janet M. Hartley. Studies in
Military History and International Affairs. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2008. ix, 318 pp. Notes. Bibliography. Glossary. Index. Tables. $120.00, hard bound.
Janet M. Hartley's new book examines the claims that Russia was a garrison state and that
Russian society became militarized as a result of government actions intended to sustain its
army and navy during a period when Russia was nearly perpetually at war. Any such discus
sion naturally rests on an understanding of "militarization." Here it is succinctly defined
as "priority ... is given to military affairs, and the means for achieving victory in war, over
all other areas of activity" (5). This definition is taken also to imply a lack of separation between military and civilian life in daily interactions and a significant role for the military in institutional and economic change at the governmental and social level.
In many respects, Hartley's examination is a fascinating one, offering a series of re
vealing analyses of new archival information in the context of existing studies of turn-of
the-century Russia. Hartley points out, for example, that Russia's huge standing army was
less intrusive for the population than might have been expected. Lifelong (or twenty-five
year) military service, instead of recruiting a number of younger men for briefer periods,
was partly responsible; heavy reliance on irregulars and men of the steppe borderlands
(Cossacks, Bashkirs) for frontier defense also limited the number of Russians drawn from
the heartland. Meanwhile, as had long been the case, Russian peasant communities were
isolated from their own conscripts once they had departed their villages. More deliber
ately, new state policies reinforced spatial and cultural divisions between civilians and the
military. The nobility, whose lives as a group were much more closely intertwined with
the military, gave evidence of a military mentalite. They were not inculcated with a military
ethos as a result of state policy or education, however; quite the contrary, their education
and the state's effort to find secular standing for nobles no longer required to serve after
1762 implied the opposite. In an examination of military costs and impact, Hartley cal
culates that the military's influence on the economy was considerable, driving industrial
development. More significantly, however, agricultural demand from the army was insuf
ficient to have any substantial impact. Nor did the army's enormous cost, examined here
in some detail, drive change or institutional reform; military victories insulated it from any
such requirement. Only the Napoleonic wars, which nearly bankrupted an already over
extended state, urged Alexander I to introduce military colonies?a failed effort to create
militarized peasant communities that could help bear the expense of the vast army.
Hartley's examination offers a number of new insights and raises some interesting
questions, as one might expect with a topic of such breadth. Some of these
the concept of "militarization" itself. For example, as so often in an earlier Russia, quite sig
nificant frontier and colonial populations apparently bore the burden (of military activity and perhaps of "militarization") for much of the heartland. Indeed,
colonies, had they succeeded on the imperial frontiers, might in some sense have per
petuated frontier militarization. Furthermore, the impact of the military on the Russian
peasantry where troops were billetted was profound, although marked by peasant-soldier conflict. Of what significance to the society at large
were such large (even if relatively sepa
rate) swaths of concentrated military? The army's agricultural demands were also spatially
specific; if those demands were a small share of national production, they were likely to be
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Article Contentsp. 691p. 692
Issue Table of ContentsSlavic Review, Vol. 68, No. 3 (Fall, 2009), pp. i-viii, 473-742Front MatterAbstracts [pp. viii-viii]Managing Political Society in RussiaThe Putin Vote: Presidential Electorates in a Hybrid Regime [pp. 473-503]Managing Opposition in a Hybrid Regime: Just Russia and Parastatal Opposition [pp. 504-527]Managing Society: Protest, Civil Society, and Regime in Putin's Russia [pp. 528-547]Comment: From Overlooking to Overestimating Russia's Authoritarianism? [pp. 548-551]Responses: Political Science, Democracy, and Authoritarianism [pp. 552-556]
Moral Panic and the Prostitute in Partitioned Poland: Middle-Class Respectability in Defense of the Modern Nation [pp. 557-581]Feuilletons Don't Burn: Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita" and the Imagined "Soviet Reader" [pp. 582-600]A Hall of Mirrors: Sovietizing Culture under Stalinism [pp. 601-630]Stories of the Undead in the Land of the Unburied: Magical Historicism in Contemporary Russian Fiction [pp. 631-658]Featured ReviewsReview: untitled [pp. 659-661]Review: untitled [pp. 661-664]
Book ReviewsReview: untitled [pp. 665-666]Review: untitled [pp. 666-667]Review: untitled [pp. 667-668]Review: untitled [pp. 668-669]Review: untitled [pp. 669-670]Review: untitled [pp. 670-671]Review: untitled [pp. 672-673]Review: untitled [pp. 673-674]Review: untitled [pp. 675-675]Review: untitled [pp. 676-677]Review: untitled [pp. 677-678]Review: untitled [pp. 678-679]Review: untitled [pp. 679-680]Review: untitled [pp. 680-681]Review: untitled [pp. 682-683]Review: untitled [pp. 684-685]Review: untitled [pp. 685-686]Review: untitled [pp. 686-687]Review: untitled [pp. 687-688]Review: untitled [pp. 688-690]Review: untitled [pp. 690-691]Review: untitled [pp. 691-692]Review: untitled [pp. 692-693]Review: untitled [pp. 693-694]Review: untitled [pp. 694-695]Review: untitled [pp. 695-696]Review: untitled [pp. 697-697]Review: untitled [pp. 698-699]Review: untitled [pp. 699-700]Review: untitled [pp. 700-701]Review: untitled [pp. 701-702]Review: untitled [pp. 702-703]Review: untitled [pp. 703-704]Review: untitled [pp. 704-705]Review: untitled [pp. 705-707]Review: untitled [pp. 707-708]Review: untitled [pp. 708-710]Review: untitled [pp. 710-711]Review: untitled [pp. 711-712]Review: untitled [pp. 712-713]Review: untitled [pp. 713-714]Review: untitled [pp. 715-716]Review: untitled [pp. 716-717]Review: untitled [pp. 717-718]Review: untitled [pp. 718-719]Review: untitled [pp. 719-720]Review: untitled [pp. 720-721]Review: untitled [pp. 721-723]Review: untitled [pp. 723-724]Review: untitled [pp. 724-725]Review: untitled [pp. 725-726]Review: untitled [pp. 726-727]Review: untitled [pp. 727-729]Review: untitled [pp. 729-730]
Reference Books of 2007-2008: A Selection [pp. 731-734]Collected Essays [pp. 735-736]Books Received [pp. 737-739]Letters [pp. 740-741]In MemoriamSidney S. Harcave, 1916-2008 [pp. 742-742]