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

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

Mark Lawrence Schrad


Russia is known for its vodka, and its tradition of maximum intoxication. yet simply as vodka is vital to the lives of many Russians, it's also important to knowing Russian background and politics.

In Vodka Politics, Mark Lawrence Schrad argues that debilitating societal alcoholism isn't really hard-wired into Russians' genetic code, yet particularly their autocratic political method, which has lengthy wielded vodka as a device of statecraft. via a sequence of historic investigations stretching from Ivan the poor via Vladimir Putin, Vodka Politics provides the key background of the Russian country itself-a heritage that's sopping wet in liquor. Scrutinizing (rather than pushing aside) the position of alcohol in Russian politics yields a extra nuanced figuring out of Russian background itself: from palace intrigues below the tsars to the drunken antics of Soviet and post-Soviet management, vodka is there in abundance.

Beyond bright anecdotes, Schrad scours unique files and archival proof to reply to provocative ancient questions. How have Russia's rulers used alcohol to solidify their autocratic rule? What function did alcohol play in tsarist coups? was once Nicholas II's ill-fated prohibition a catalyst for the Bolshevik Revolution? may well the Soviet Union became an international strength with out liquor? How did vodka politics give a contribution to the cave in of either communism and public future health within the Nineteen Nineties? How can the Kremlin conquer vodka's hurdles to supply better social wellbeing and fitness, prosperity, and democracy into the future?

Viewing Russian background during the backside of the vodka bottle is helping us to appreciate why the "liquor query" is still very important to Russian excessive politics even today-almost a century after the difficulty were placed to mattress in such a lot some other smooth country. certainly, spotting and confronting vodka's devastating political legacies could be the maximum political problem for this new release of Russia's management, in addition to the next.

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