By Mark Lawrence Schrad
Russia is legendary for its vodka, and its tradition of utmost intoxication. yet simply as vodka is imperative to the lives of many Russians, it's also valuable to realizing Russian historical past and politics.
In Vodka Politics, Mark Lawrence Schrad argues that debilitating societal alcoholism isn't really hard-wired into Russians' genetic code, yet really their autocratic political procedure, which has lengthy wielded vodka as a device of statecraft. via a sequence of ancient investigations stretching from Ivan the bad via Vladimir Putin, Vodka Politics provides the key heritage of the Russian nation itself-a heritage that's soaking wet in liquor. Scrutinizing (rather than pushing aside) the position of alcohol in Russian politics yields a extra nuanced knowing of Russian heritage 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 records and archival facts to reply to provocative old questions. How have Russia's rulers used alcohol to solidify their autocratic rule? What position 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 a global energy with no liquor? How did vodka politics give a contribution to the cave in of either communism and public healthiness within the Nineteen Nineties? How can the Kremlin triumph over vodka's hurdles to supply better social healthiness, prosperity, and democracy into the future?
Viewing Russian background in the course of 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 problem were placed to mattress in such a lot some other glossy kingdom. certainly, spotting and confronting vodka's devastating political legacies could be the maximum political problem for this iteration of Russia's management, in addition to the next.