Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  William Bruce Lincoln  

Pen Name: W. Bruce Lincoln

Genre:

Born: September 6, 1938 in Stafford Springs, Connecticut

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Lincoln taught at Northern Illinois University for more than 30 years.

Biographical and Professional Information

Lincoln was a prominent scholar of early 20th century Russian history. Lincoln graduated with his AB from the College of William and Mary in 1960 and his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1966.Lincoln taught at Memphis State University (1966-67) and Northern Illinois University (1967-99). Among his most prominent positions at NIU were:

Presidential Research Professor, 1982-1986

University Research Professor, 1986-1990

Distinguished Research Professor and NIU Foundation Professor for Russian History, 1990-1999

Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus, 1999-Death


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Nicholas I: Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias
ISBN: 0875805485

Northern Illinois University Press. 1989

The Indiana U. Press edition (1978) is cited in BCL3 . A scholarly biography that provides a view of Russian autocracy. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

The Romanovs: Autocrats of All the Russias
ISBN: 0385279086

Anchor. 1983

For three centuries--beginning with the accession of Mikhail Feodorovich Romanov in 1613--the Romanov Dynasty ruled Russia.

Its reign ended with the execution of Nicholas II and Alexandra in the early 20th century.

Noted Russian scholar W. Bruce Lincoln has brilliantly portrayed the achievement, significance and high drama of the Dynasty as no previous book has done.

His use of rare archival materials has allowed him to present a portrait of the Romanovs based on their own writings and those of the men and women who knew them.

In the Vanguard of Reform: Russia's Enlightened Bureaucrats, 1825-1861
ISBN: 0875805361

Northern Illinois University Press. 1986

The first decade of Alexander II's reign is known in Russian history as the Era of the Great Reforms, a time recognized as the major period of social, economic, and institutional transformation between the reign of Peter the Great and the Revolution of 1905. Coming directly after the notoriously repressive last decade of the Nicholas era, the appearance of such dramatic reform has led scholars to seek its causes in dramatic events. Surely some great, even cataclysmic, force must have driven Alexander II and his advisers to initiate what appears to be such an astonishing change in policy.

In their search for the origins of these Great Reforms, historians generally have focused upon two phenomena. The first of these was Russia's defeat in the Crimean War by a relatively small, ineptly commanded Allied expeditionary force. The second was the serf revolts, which increased dramatically in the 1850s. From these events, most historians have concluded that the economic failings of serfdom, the problem of preserving domestic peace, and the need to restore Russia's tarnished military prestige were the major forces that convinced Alexander II's government to embark upon a new reformist path.

As Lincoln's examination of the long-unstudied Russian archival evidence shows, there are good reasons to question whether such crises of policy and failings of Russia's servile economy impelled Alexander II and his advisers along a previously uncharted reformist path after the Crimean War. Further, in light of the Russian bureaucracy's slowness in drafting much less complex administrative reforms during the previous century, Lincoln argues that the Great Reform legislation simply was too complex and required too much sophisticated knowledge about the Empire's economic, administratvive, and judicial affairs to have been formulated in the brief half-decade after the war's end.

In War's Dark Shadow: The Russians Before the Great War
ISBN: 0195089537

Oxford University Press. 1994

This is the story of the Russian people's entry into the 20th century. It concentrates specifically on the 25 years before the outbreak of World War I.

Passage Through Armageddon: The Russians in War and Revolution, 1914-1918
ISBN: 0195089545

Oxford University Press. 1994

Based on rare documents and eyewitness information, this book dramatically recounts the critical years of Russia's defeat in World War I, the abdication of the Romanovs, and the doomed experiment with democracy

Red Victory: A History Of The Russian Civil War, 1918-1921
ISBN: 0306809095

Da Capo Press. 1999

Shortly after withdrawing from World War I, Russia descended into a bitter civil war unprecedented for its savagery: epidemics, battles, mass executions, forced labor, and famine claimed millions of lives. From 1918 to 1921, through great cities and tiny villages, across untouched forests and vast frozen wasteland, the Bolshevik "Reds" fought the anti-Communist Whites and their Allies (fourteen foreign countries contributed weapons, money, and troops—including 20,000 American soldiers). This landmark history re-creates the epic conflict that transformed Russia from the Empire of the Tsars into the Empire of the Commissars, while never losing sight of the horrifying human cost.

The Great Reforms: Autocracy, Bureaucracy, and the Politics of Change in Imperial Russia
ISBN: 0875805493

Northern Illinois University Press. 1990

The Great Reforms of the 1860s marked the broadest attempt at social and economic renovation to occur in Russia between the death of Peter the Great in 1725 and the Revolution of 1905. In just more than a decade, imperial reform acts freed Russia's serfs, restructured her courts, established institutions of local self-government in parts of the empire, altered the constraints that censorship imposed on the press, and transformed Russia's vast serf armed forces into a citizen army in which men from all classes bore equal responsibility for military service.

This invaluable study explains why the legislation assumed the shape that it did and estimates what the Great Reforms ultimately accomplished. The Great Reforms offered readers a vital starting point from which to evaluate the prospects for glasnost', perestroika, and reform in the Gorbachev era.

The Conquest of a Continent: Siberia and the Russians
ISBN: 0801489229

Cornell University Press. 2007

"In The Conquest of a Continent, the historian W. Bruce Lincoln details Siberia's role in Russian history, one remarkably similar to that of the frontier in the development of the United States. . . . It is a big, panoramic book, in keeping with the immensity of its subject."―Chicago Tribune"Lincoln is a compelling writer whose chapters are colorful snapshots of Siberia's past and present. . . . The Conquest of a Continent is a vivid narrative that will inform and entertain the broader reading public."―American Historical Review"This story includes Genghis Khan, who sent the Mongols warring into Russia

Ivan the Terrible, who conquered Siberia for Russia

Peter the Great, who supported scientific expeditions and mining enterprises

and Mikhail Gorbachev, whose glasnost policy prompted a new sense of 'Siberian' nationalism. It is also the story of millions of souls who themselves were conquered by Siberia. . . . Vast riches and great misery, often intertwined, mark this region."―The Wall Street JournalStretching from the Urals to the Arctic Ocean to China, Siberia is so vast that the continental United States and Western Europe could be fitted into its borders, with land to spare. Yet, in only six decades, Russian trappers, cossacks, and adventurers crossed this huge territory, beginning in the 1580s a process of conquest that continues to this day. As rich in resources as it was large in size, Siberia brought the Russians a sixth of the world's gold and silver, a fifth of its platinum, a third of its iron, and a quarter of its timber. The conquest of Siberia allowed Russia to build the modern world's largest empire, and Siberia's vast natural wealth continues to play a vital part in determining Russia's place in international affairs.Bleak yet romantic, Siberia's history comes to life in W. Bruce Lincoln's epic telling. The Conquest of a Continent, first published in 1993, stands as the most comprehensive and vivid account of the Russians in Siberia, from their first victories over the Mongol Khans to the environmental degradation of the twentieth century. Dynasties of incomparable wealth, such as the Stroganovs, figure into the story, as do explorers, natives, gold seekers, and the thousands of men and women sentenced to penal servitude or forced labor in Russia's great wilderness prisonhouse.

Between Heaven and Hell: The Story of as Thousand Years of Artistic Life in Russia
ISBN: 0140267735

Penguin Books. 1999

Explores the social and political aspects of Russian art in a saga that spans Byzantine Christianity, the czarist splendor, the return of brutalized exiles to their homelands, and the artists who captured these moments

Sunlight at Midnight: St. Petersburg and the Rise of Modern Russia
ISBN: 0465083242

Basic Books. 2002

For Russians, St.Petersburg has embodied power, heroism and fortitude. It has encompassed all the things that the Russians are and that they hope to become. Opulence and artistic brilliance blend with images of suffering on a monumental scale to make up the historic persona the late W. Bruce Lincoln's lavish biography of this mysterious, complex city. Climate and comfort were not what Tsar Peter the Great had in mind when he decided to build a new capital in the muddy marshes of the Neva River delta. Located 500 miles below the Arctic Circle, this area, with its foul weather, bad water and sodden soil, was so unattractive that only a handful of Finnish fisherman had ever settled there. Yet to the Tsar the place he named Sankt Pieter Burkh had the makings of a paradise. His vision was soon borne out: though St. Petersburg was closer to London, Paris and Vienna than to Russian's far-off eastern lands, it quickly became the political, cultural and economic center of an empire that stretched across more than a dozen time zones and over three continents.In this book, revolutionaries and laborers brush shoulders with tsars and builders, soldiers and statesmen share pride of place with poets. For only the entire historical experience of this magnificent and mysterious city can reveal the wealth of human and natural forces that shaped the modern history of the city and the nation it represents.


Awards

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