Other Currencies

Dukhobory – Christian Communists in the Russian Empire

Russkie kommunisty-dukhobory [The Russian communists doukhobors].

Moscow: Knigoizdatel'stvo S. P. Serebrovskogo (Tovarishchestvo tipografii A. I. Mamontova), 1906. Octavo (18.5 × 12.8 cm). Original staple-stitched printed wrappers on pink stock; 15, [1] pp. About very good.

First edition. A history and ethnography of the Dukhobory, a Christian communist sect, tracing the history from their origins in eigteenth-century Malorossiia (modern day Ukraine) to their communal move to Canada in 1899. The pamphlet is based on the author’s visit to the village of Chernoe, in the Caucasus in 1891, and describes the religious beliefs, social order, daily life and farming practices of the community. The group also rejected biblical teachings and did not produce its own written theology, with this text uniquely reproducing the spiritual beliefs of the group as told directly to the author. A pacifist sect, the group exhibited Anarchist tendencies in rejecting the laws of the Russian state. In addition to their refusal to serve in the military, the group did not believe in private land property, choosing to hold land in common and work it as a community. This practice clashed with property law of the Russian Empire, eventually leading to the loss of their common land in a contested court case in the 1890s. Leo Tolstoy famously supported Dukhobory both through a publicity campaign and with direct financial assistance, helping the community of 7500 in their move to Canada. Nothing is known of the author writing under the pseudonym Nizhegorodets. He seems to have written two other pamphlets of religious-political character, one on the political assassination of the Grand Duke Sergeii Alexandrovich in 1905, and one on the death of the religious philosopher Sergei Trubetskoi, also in 1905.

As of March 2022, KVK, OCLC show copies at Washington, Jewish National Library, and the British Library.

Book ID: 51905

Price: $750.00