"All Russia Is Burning! is a superb and pathbreaking study of fire in rural Russia in the late imperial period. The multiple ways in which Frierson addresses her topic make this book a landmark study of Russian society in the critical half century of reform and change before the shocks of the 20th century revolutions. All Russia Is Burning! is exciting, revealing, unique, and provocative."
-Jane Burbank, New York University
"An imaginative, first-rate piece of serious scholarship. Frierson demonstrates the profound importance of fire as a product of peasant culture and economy - long before it emerged as the 'red rooster' during the revolutionary years of the 20th century."
-Gregory Freeze, Brandeis University
"This monumental study is the fruit of meticulous research in St. Petersburg central archives as well as Smolensk, Novogorod, and Vologda regional archives. Frierson examines not only educated society's perceptions of fire and of the peasantry it associated with village conflagrations but also fire's multiple realities. In doing so, she grapples with such fundamental issues as late imperial Russia's undergovernment, insufficient judicial system, economic backwardness, nascent civil society, misogyny, peasant culture, and interclass relationships. A must read for all historians of Russia and developing nations, this book persuasively argues that fire holds the key to explaining Russia's economic poverty in the modern era and illuminates the ways in which educated and barely literature members of Russian society were able to join forces to fight a scourge that repeatedly devastated the countryside's resources."
"The history of fire in Russia is such a splendid topic that one can only feel surprised that no one has previously attempted to write it. Cathy Frierson is to be congratulated not only for her inspired choice of theme but also for her accomplished execution of the task..A superb and innovative piece of scholarship."
-The Russian Review
"[Frierson's] wide-ranging and thoughtful analysis, with implications that extend into the realms of economic development, gender relations, and rural daily life, offers the reader an abundance of vivid evidence as well as thought-provoking conclusions."
"An excellent study which provides thought-provoking insights into post-Emancipation Russia through a fascinating analysis of the history of fire. The enthusiasm and interest Frierson shows toward her subject is reflected in the engaging writing style and the wide range of materials she uses to produce a multi-layered examination of an issue that affected all strata of Russian society. . . . While Frierson's focus on Russia is sharp and incisive, one is also able to see the country through an impressive theoretical and historical framework that provides a blueprint for new approaches to the study of Russian history."
-Slavic and East European Journal