Up from serfdom : my childhood and youth in Russia 1804-1824 /

Bernard DeVoto (1897-1955) was, according to the novelist Wallace Stegner, "a fighter for public causes, for conservation of our natural resources, for freedom of the press and freedom of thought." A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, DeVoto is best remembered for his trilogy, The Year of D...

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Bibliographic Details
Uniform title:Moi︠a︡ povestʹ o samom sebe.
Author / Creator: Nikitenko, A. 1804 or 1805-1877.
Other Authors / Creators:Jacobson, Helen Saltz.
Format: eBook Electronic
Language:English
Russian
Language notes:English.
Imprint: New Haven, CT : Yale University Press, ©2001.
Subjects:
Online Access:Click here for full text
Description
Summary:Bernard DeVoto (1897-1955) was, according to the novelist Wallace Stegner, "a fighter for public causes, for conservation of our natural resources, for freedom of the press and freedom of thought." A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, DeVoto is best remembered for his trilogy, The Year of Decision: 1846, Across the Wide Missouri, and The Course of Empire. He also wrote a column for Harper's Magazine, in which he fulminated about his many concerns, particularly the exploitation and destruction of the American West. This volume brings together ten of DeVoto's acerbic and still timely essays on Western conservation issues, along with his unfinished conservationist manifesto, Western Paradox, which has never before been published. The book also includes a foreword by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., who was a student of DeVoto's at Harvard University, and a substantial introduction by Douglas Brinkley and Patricia Limerick, both of which shed light on DeVoto's work and legacy
"It was the arbitrary nature of the serfholder's power that weighed on serfs like Nikitenko, for as they discovered, even the most benevolent patron could turn overnight into an overbearing tyrant. In that respect, serfdom and slavery were the same." --Peter Kolchin, from the foreword<br> <br> Aleksandr Nikitenko, descended from once-free Cossacks, was born into serfdom in provincial Russia in 1804. One of 300,000 serfs owned by Count Sheremetev, Nikitenko as a teenager became fiercely determined to gain his freedom. In this memorable and moving book, here translated into English for the first time, Nikitenko recollects the details of his childhood and youth in servitude as well as the six-year struggle that at last delivered him into freedom in 1824. Among the very few autobiographies ever written by an ex-serf, Up from Serfdom providesa unique portrait of serfdom in nineteenth-century Russia and a profoundly clear sense of what such bondage meant to the people, the culture, and the nation.<br> <br> Rising to eminence as a professor at St. Petersburg University, former serf Nikitenko set about writing his autobiography in 1851, relying on his own diaries (begun at the age of fourteen and maintained throughout his life), his father's correspondence and documents, and the stories that his parents and grandparents told as he was growing up. He recalls his town, his schooling, his masters and mistresses, and the utter capriciousness of a serf's existence, illustrated most vividly by his father's lurching path from comfort to destitution to prison to rehabilitation. Nikitenko's description of the tragedy, despair, unpredictability, and astounding luck of his youth is a compelling human story that brings to life as never before the experiences of the serf in Russia in the early 1800s.
Item Description:Based on Nikitenko's diaries.
Print version record.
Physical Description:1 online resource (xxiv, 228 pages) : illustrations, maps
Bibliography:Includes bibliographical references (pages 207-220) and index.
ISBN:9780300130317
0300130317
9786611722067
6611722068
Author Notes:Helen Saltz Jacobson is a freelance writer and translator living in New Jersey.