By Mark Lawrence Schrad
Russia is known for its vodka, and its tradition of utmost intoxication. yet simply as vodka is important to the lives of many Russians, it's also imperative 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 fairly their autocratic political method, which has lengthy wielded vodka as a device of statecraft. via a sequence of old investigations stretching from Ivan the bad via Vladimir Putin, Vodka Politics offers the key heritage of the Russian kingdom itself-a background that's sopping wet in liquor. Scrutinizing (rather than pushing aside) the function of alcohol in Russian politics yields a extra nuanced knowing 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 brilliant anecdotes, Schrad scours unique records and archival facts to respond to provocative historic questions. How have Russia's rulers used alcohol to solidify their autocratic rule? What function did alcohol play in tsarist coups? used to be Nicholas II's ill-fated prohibition a catalyst for the Bolshevik Revolution? may perhaps 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 provide better social overall healthiness, prosperity, and democracy into the future?
Viewing Russian historical past in the course of the backside of the vodka bottle is helping us to appreciate why the "liquor query" continues to be vital to Russian excessive politics even today-almost a century after the difficulty were positioned to mattress in such a lot another glossy nation. 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.