The electrification of Russia, 1880-1926
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The electrification of Russia, 1880-1926

By Jonathan Coopersmith
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Book Description

The Electrification of Russia, 1880–1926 is the first full account of the widespread adoption of electricity in Russia, from the beginning in the 1880s to its early years as a state technology under Soviet rule. Jonathan Coopersmith has mined the archives for both the tsarist and the Soviet periods to examine a crucial element in the modernization of Russia. Coopersmith shows how the Communist Party forged an alliance with engineers to harness the socially transformative power of this science-based enterprise. A centralized plan of electrification triumphed, to the benefit of the Communist Party and the detriment of local governments and the electrical engineers. Coopersmith's narrative of how this came to be elucidates the deep-seated and chronic conflict between the utopianism of Soviet ideology and the reality of Soviet politics and economics.

An open-access version was funded via a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ (NEH) Humanities Open Book Program.

Table of Contents
  • The Electrification of Russia, 1880–1926
    • Contents
    • Illustrations
    • Acknowledgments
    • Abbreviations and Russian Terms
    • 1. Introduction: The Shaping of a Technology
    • 2. Government and Growth in Imperial Russia, 1870–1886
    • 3. Electrification, 1886–1914
    • 4. The Rise of Electrification, 1914–1917
    • 5. Feasting Eyes, Hungry Stomachs, 1917–1920
    • 6. GOELRO: The Creation of a Dream, 1920–1921
    • 7. The NEP Years, 1921–1926
    • 8. Conclusion: Shifting Grounds, Shifting Goals
    • Index
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