This book, first published in 1998, is an original and comprehensive study of a key period of Russian history, between the success of the autocracy in retaining power in the 1905 Revolution and the debacle of the Tsar’s crushing defeat in 1917. Focusing on Stolypin, Prime Minister between 1906–11, the study explores tsarism’s final attempt to reform Russia. Stolypin seized the opportunity to drive through a programme which would have transformed the social and political structure of Imperial Russia by promoting the development of an independent peasantry and reducing the authority of the traditional elites. The book analyses the weakness of the new parliamentary system and the continuing influence of the traditional elites.

1. Reform or Repression? The Dilemma of Tsarism  2. Renewing Russia: Stolypin’s Programme  3. Institutional Failure: The Paralysis of Parliament  4. The Mobilisation of Conservative Opinion  5. Reform Defeated  6. Conclusion: Between Two Revolutions