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Tales of Imperial RussiaThe Life and Times of Sergei Witte, 1849-1915$
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Francis W. Wcislo

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199543564

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199543564.001.0001

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Introduction: The Storyteller and His Story

Introduction: The Storyteller and His Story

(p.1) Introduction: The Storyteller and His Story
Tales of Imperial Russia

Francis Wcislo (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter discusses Sergei Witte's memoirs. Witte was archly conscious of his personal reputation and was a compulsive keeper of records. He organized a large personal archive of correspondence, state papers, telegrams, legislative draft projects, and various other materials — a record of his adult life. In the last decade of his life, Witte structured, cataloged, and referenced these papers, which he intended as the documentary foundation for his memoirs. Eventually he created a sprawling manuscript of over 3,500 pages, the results of a project he had assembled between the years 1907 and 1912. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords:   Sergei Witte, biography, memoirs, personal archive, correspondence

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