To the peasant in imperial Russia, dearth and disease were far more potent forces than czar or landlord. Steven L. Hoch recreates life on a serf estate in this groundbreaking social history. Although the legal and economic history of serfdom has received widespread scholarly attention, the social aspects of serf life have been ignored. Hoch fills this gap with his research on the estate of the Gagarin noble family in Petrovskoe.
A reissue of the 1986 original. Recreates life on a serf estate in 19th c. Russia. Hoch (history, U. of Iowa) raises important questions about authority, work, and social structure by focusing on the household as the center of serf life. He reaches the conclusion that the heads of three-generation serf households had a vested interest in preserving serfdom. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)