Vodka Politics: Alcohol, Autocracy, and the Secret History of the Russian State

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9780190468811: Vodka Politics: Alcohol, Autocracy, and the Secret History of the Russian State

Russia is famous for its vodka, and its culture of extreme intoxication. But just as vodka is central to the lives of many Russians, it is also central to understanding Russian history and politics.

In Vodka Politics, Mark Lawrence Schrad argues that debilitating societal alcoholism is not hard-wired into Russians' genetic code, but rather their autocratic political system, which has long wielded vodka as a tool of statecraft. Through a series of historical investigations stretching from Ivan the Terrible through Vladimir Putin, Vodka Politics presents the secret history of the Russian state itself-a history that is drenched in liquor. Scrutinizing (rather than dismissing) the role of alcohol in Russian politics yields a more nuanced understanding of Russian history itself: from palace intrigues under the tsars to the drunken antics of Soviet and post-Soviet leadership, vodka is there in abundance.

Beyond vivid anecdotes, Schrad scours original documents and archival evidence to answer provocative historical questions. How have Russia's rulers used alcohol to solidify their autocratic rule? What role did alcohol play in tsarist coups? Was Nicholas II's ill-fated prohibition a catalyst for the Bolshevik Revolution? Could the Soviet Union have become a world power without liquor? How did vodka politics contribute to the collapse of both communism and public health in the 1990s? How can the Kremlin overcome vodka's hurdles to produce greater social well-being, prosperity, and democracy into the future?

Viewing Russian history through the bottom of the vodka bottle helps us to understand why the "liquor question" remains important to Russian high politics even today-almost a century after the issue had been put to bed in most every other modern state. Indeed, recognizing and confronting vodka's devastating political legacies may be the greatest political challenge for this generation of Russia's leadership, as well as the next.

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From the Back Cover:

"A gripping and original book." -Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution  "Vodka Politics retells the history of the Russian state as a startling, almost Grand-Guignol narrative of spiritous excess, with one autocratic regime after another using drink to befuddle its courtiers, pacify its masses, stoke its imperial ambitions, and keep its treasury full." -David Courtwright, author of Forces of Habit: Drugs and the Making of the Modern World  "Written in a lively and entertaining fashion, Vodka Politics details the enduring link between autocracy and alcohol across the expanse of Russian history. In this impressive interpretive history, Mark Schrad leaves no stone unturned in laying out how vodka became intertwined with governance in Russia and the tragic consequences that this has had for Russian society." -Mark Beissinger, Princeton University, author of Nationalist Mobilization and the Collapse of the Soviet State

About the Author:


Mark Lawrence Schrad is Assistant Professor of Political Science, Villanova University.

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Descripción Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2016. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Russia is famous for its vodka, and its culture of extreme intoxication. But just as vodka is central to the lives of many Russians, it is also central to understanding Russian history and politics. In Vodka Politics, Mark Lawrence Schrad argues that debilitating societal alcoholism is not hard-wired into Russians genetic code, but rather their autocratic political system, which has long wielded vodka as a tool of statecraft. Through a series of historical investigations stretching from Ivan the Terrible through Vladimir Putin, Vodka Politics presents the secret history of the Russian state itself-a history that is drenched in liquor. Scrutinizing (rather than dismissing) the role of alcohol in Russian politics yields a more nuanced understanding of Russian history itself: from palace intrigues under the tsars to the drunken antics of Soviet and post-Soviet leadership, vodka is there in abundance. Beyond vivid anecdotes, Schrad scours original documents and archival evidence to answer provocative historical questions. How have Russia s rulers used alcohol to solidify their autocratic rule? What role did alcohol play in tsarist coups? Was Nicholas II s ill-fated prohibition a catalyst for the Bolshevik Revolution? Could the Soviet Union have become a world power without liquor? How did vodka politics contribute to the collapse of both communism and public health in the 1990s? How can the Kremlin overcome vodka s hurdles to produce greater social well-being, prosperity, and democracy into the future? Viewing Russian history through the bottom of the vodka bottle helps us to understand why the liquor question remains important to Russian high politics even today-almost a century after the issue had been put to bed in most every other modern state. Indeed, recognizing and confronting vodka s devastating political legacies may be the greatest political challenge for this generation of Russia s leadership, as well as the next. Nº de ref. de la librería AOP9780190468811

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Mark Lawrence Schrad
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Descripción Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2016. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Russia is famous for its vodka, and its culture of extreme intoxication. But just as vodka is central to the lives of many Russians, it is also central to understanding Russian history and politics. In Vodka Politics, Mark Lawrence Schrad argues that debilitating societal alcoholism is not hard-wired into Russians genetic code, but rather their autocratic political system, which has long wielded vodka as a tool of statecraft. Through a series of historical investigations stretching from Ivan the Terrible through Vladimir Putin, Vodka Politics presents the secret history of the Russian state itself-a history that is drenched in liquor. Scrutinizing (rather than dismissing) the role of alcohol in Russian politics yields a more nuanced understanding of Russian history itself: from palace intrigues under the tsars to the drunken antics of Soviet and post-Soviet leadership, vodka is there in abundance. Beyond vivid anecdotes, Schrad scours original documents and archival evidence to answer provocative historical questions. How have Russia s rulers used alcohol to solidify their autocratic rule? What role did alcohol play in tsarist coups? Was Nicholas II s ill-fated prohibition a catalyst for the Bolshevik Revolution? Could the Soviet Union have become a world power without liquor? How did vodka politics contribute to the collapse of both communism and public health in the 1990s? How can the Kremlin overcome vodka s hurdles to produce greater social well-being, prosperity, and democracy into the future? Viewing Russian history through the bottom of the vodka bottle helps us to understand why the liquor question remains important to Russian high politics even today-almost a century after the issue had been put to bed in most every other modern state. Indeed, recognizing and confronting vodka s devastating political legacies may be the greatest political challenge for this generation of Russia s leadership, as well as the next. Nº de ref. de la librería AOP9780190468811

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Descripción OUP Us 9/1/2016, 2016. Paperback or Softback. Estado de conservación: New. Vodka Politics: Alcohol, Autocracy, and the Secret History of the Russian State. Book. Nº de ref. de la librería BBS-9780190468811

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