Evgeny Anisimov "Peter I: Russia's Blessing or Curse?"
Evgeny Viktorovich Anisimov is a doctor of historical sciences, professor, leading researcher of the St. Petersburg Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, full professor at the Higher School of Economics, the head of the department of History. Specialist of Russian Political History XVII-XVIII century. The author of the first scientific biographies of Empress Anna Ioannovna and Elizaveta Petrovna and many other treatises in Russia.
At the seminar "Borders of History", Yevgeny Viktorovich presented his new book "Peter the First: good or evil for Russia?". The author offered an interesting format of historical literature, in the form of dialogue, dispute, or rather the fierce debate between two opponents: an adherent of European development, an enlightened patriot who substantiates, justifies, defends Peter, and an adherent of a special way of development, a conservative patriot who, on the contrary, condemns Peter and his endeavors.
Disagreements in the evaluation of Peter's activity partly triggered the emergence of two main ways of ideological struggle in the Russian intellectual elite: Westerners and Slavophiles. Peter became a kind of indicator that allows you to determine political views, social status and professional identity of the interlocutor. The reformist legacy of Peter the Great, like his personality, still engenders fierce controversies in Russian society.
Important topics, which became the reason for the discussion, both in the pages of work and in the audience were raised in the book. The main question of the research, ‘’did Russia need Peter's reforms?’’ The author emotionally illustrated the dispute between the two sides on the main theses, discussing the economic situation of the country, international politics and culture.
As a result of the discussion, we came to the valid today's question "Did Russian culture need the imperial shell?". In summary, it should be noted how brilliantly the speaker avoid his personal assessment of the personality of Peter the Great and gave us the opportunity to repeatedly discuss all the positive and negative aspects of Peter's policy.
Report: Maria Gulakova
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