The Eighteenth-Century Russian Studies Association has awarded Davis Center Associate John P. LeDonne the 2020 Marc Raeff Book Prize for Forging a Unitary State: Russia’s Management of the Eurasian Space, 1650-1850 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2020). The Marc Raeff Prize is given each year for a book of exceptional merit and significance about Imperial Russia in the long eighteenth century.
"This is a sweeping history of Russia’s expansion from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century. It forcefully argues a provocative thesis: that geopolitics made Russia a Eurasian power, not a European one, and that its expansion mostly tended not to create a heterogeneous empire akin to a European colonial regime, but a unitary state with a single, uniform system of laws and institutions. The book is undergirded by massive research on all regions into which imperial Russia expanded, and on topics ranging from natural geography, trade networks, and tax, legal, and administrative systems, to religion, education, social hierarchies, and military affairs. The result is a powerful and compelling study of Russian expansion, encyclopedic in scope yet tightly focused in its argument."
For more on the winning book, see University of Toronto Press.