This is the first major re-assessment of Ivan the Terrible to be published in the West in the post-Soviet period. It breaks away from older stereotypes of the tsar whether as crazed tyrant and evil genius, on the one hand, or as a great and wise statesman, on the other to provide a more balanced picture. It examines the ways in which Ivans policies contributed to the creation of Russias distinctive system of unlimited monarchical rule.
Ivan is best remembered for his reign of terror, the book pays due attention to the horrors of his executions, tortures and repressions, especially in the period of the oprichnina (1565-72), when he mysteriously divided his realm into two parts, one of which was under the direct control of the tsar and his oprichniki (bodyguard). This work argues that the often gruesome forms assumed by the terror reflected not only Ivans personal cruelty and sadism, but also his religious views about the divinely ordained right of the tsar to punish his treasonous subjects, just as sinners were punished in Hell.
Primarily chronological in its organisation, the book focuses on three main aspects of Ivans power: the territorial expansion of the state, the mythology, rituals and symbols of monarchy; and the development of the autocratic system of rule.
Introduction 1. Ivan's inheritance 2. The young ruler 3. The conquest of Kazan' and Astrakhan' 4. Reformers and reforms 5. From consensus to conflict 6. The introduction of the oprichnina 7. Repression and resettlement 8. The culmination of the terror 9. After the oprichnina Conclusion Chronology Glossary Select bibliography
Maureen Perrie is Professor of History at the University of Birmingham.Andrei Pavlov is a senior research fellow in the Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St Petersburg.
'Andrei Pavlov of St. Petersburg and Maureen Perrie of Birmingham have written not only a very impressive synthesis of scholarship on the reign of Ivan IV, in itself a great accomplishment, but also a monograph which presents a coherent thesis concerning the relationship of Ivan's rule to Russia's political evolution. ...' 'This succinct volume now sets the standard by which all future "short" syntheses of Ivan's reign will be judged. This is far and away the most readable survey of Ivan's reign in print in English.' '...In conclusion, Pavlov and Perrie have written a work which will appeal to specialists and nonspecialists alike, and will provide much food for thought about the still little-understood but always intriguing reign of Ivan the Terrible.' "H-Net Reviews, ""Charles Halperin of Indiana University" 'Andrei Pavlov and Maureen Perrie have produced an excellent and very welcome biography of the fascinating and elusive Ivan the Terrible. The work maintains the reader's interest in the horror and sensational cruelty of Ivan's reign, while adhering to rigorously scholarly standards and advancing an orginal argument of its own.' 'The book is well-written and readable. "Canadian Journal of History, August 2004" '...this book can be highly recommended as a balanced and comprehensive account of Ivan IV's reign.' "Sergei Bogatyrev, SEER, 82, 4, 2004" "'Ivan the Terrible" is a valuable work for all scholars of Russian or early modern European history, and will be particularly useful for undergraduate students of this period.' "Debra Coulter, The Historical Association, Jan 2005" ' All in all, the authors have provided an illuminating political analysis of the reign of Ivan IV... a provocative and informative starting point for classroom discussion. The study is also of value to the general reader who wants to understand Russia's place within the European Community of states of the pre-modern period.' "English Historical Review, Feb 2005" 'Pavlov and Perrie have produced a work that is exceptionally well researched and supported by a comprehensive index. Of considerable help to the reader are the chronology, maps and genealogical tables... a valuable acquistion for scholars of Russion, as is the bibliography for scholars of Russion or early modern European history.' "European History Quarterly, 35.1"