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The collapse of the imperial regime excited Russian intellectuals of all political persuasions. Although eager to draw comparisons between pre-revolutionary Russia and revolutionary France, the political elite saw the outcome in their own country as vastly different to the events which had occurred in France. Looking to the past they tried to predict the future - how their revolution would end. As the political situation became more unstable, there was increasing fear of dictatorship and bloodshed. The perception of Napoleon as a victorious general changed; he was seen instead as a powerful man who had brought stability to France. Thus came the search for a Russian Napoleon - first in the form of Alexander Kerensky, and later General Lavr Kornilov. Neither man was a successful candidate. Shlapentokh examines one of the most dramatic periods in European history. Drawing comparisons between revolutionary Russia and France he provides an insightful and original analysis of such subjects as counter-revolution, terror and dictatorship.
DMITRY SHLAPENTOKH is Associate Professor of Russian/World History, Indiana University, South Bend. He was born and educated in the former Soviet Union. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago. Among his recent works are: The French Revolution and the Anti-Democratic Tradition in Russia and The French Revolution in Russian Intellectual Life.