In 1870 the Welsh ironmaster John James Hughes left his successful career in England and settled in the barren and underpopulated Donbass region of the Ukrainian steppe to found the town of Iuzovka and build a large steel plant and coal mine. Theodore Friedgut tells the remarkable story of the subsequent economic and social development of the Donbass, an area that grew to supply seventy percent of the Russian Empire's coal and iron by World War I. The first volume of this two-volume study focused on the social and economic development of the Donbass, while the second volume is devoted to political analysis. While revealing the grand and tragic sweep of revolutionary events in this region, Friedgut also offers a fascinating picture of the heterogeneous population of these frontier settlements. He analyzes the instability of the revolutionary movement, and in particular the absence of a significant stratum of "worker-intelligentsia," and the inhibiting effect that this had on the development of an indigenous workers' movement. In addition, he reinforces the theory that World War I intensified existing social tensions in the Russian Empire, cutting short the slow but steady modernization of Russia's society and politics and creating the social crisis that led to the collapse of the old regime.
Originally published in .
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Table of Contents
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Theodore H. Friedgut: