David L. Ransel, William G. Wagner, Willard Sunderland, Steven L. Hoch, and Boris Mironov, Forum on Boris Mironov's "Sotsial'naia istoriia Rossii"
A forum on Boris Mironov's Russian and English editions of The Social History of Imperial Russia, 1700-1917 (2000) offers the comments of four scholars on different aspects of Mironov's work. David L. Ransel introduces the forum with a consideration of whether Russian and western historical scholarship has been or should be converging, and he reviews the Russian-language response to Mironov's book. William G. Wagner discusses Mironov's key conclusions: that the imperial period was marked by the development of a more individualistic personality, the democratic nuclear family, civil society, and a state order based on the rule of law. He questions, however, the validity of the modernization paradigm as an adequate tool for analyzing these developments. Willard Sunderland comments on the use of the concept of empire in Mironov's book, calling attention to the assertion that imperial Russia was a "normal" European state and that it was not a "true colonial state." The focus of the book, he argues, remains Russian society within the space of the empire, not the society of the empire as a whole. Steven L. Hoch considers Mironov's chapter on demographic processes, criticizing the use of demographic theory and its application to problems such as fertility and mortality. He also argues that Mironov accepts too uncritically the utility of the statistical data at hand. Boris Mironov responds to Wagner, Sunderland, and Hoch in turn.