Date of Award
The following Honors Thesis explores Russian author Lev Tolstoy’s connections with the Russian Populist movement. Although not traditionally characterized as a member of the movement itself, many of Tolstoy’s extraliterary activities correspond directly to the ideals of the Populist movement – a movement which focused upon the improvement of society by means of direct interaction with the Russian peasantry. This thesis approaches Tolstoy’s connections with the movement through two case studies: the first discusses the author’s establishment of peasant schools on his Yasnaya Polyana estate, and the second analyzes his relief efforts following the 1891 Russian famine. Despite Tolstoy’s anarchical refusal to align with any particular movement, these case studies illustrate that his efforts can not only be considered similar to those of the Populist movement, but arguably, surpass them.
Souder, Eric Matthew, "The People's Aristocrat: Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy and Russian Populism" (2010). Dickinson College Honors Theses. Paper 87.