Northern Illinois University

Northern Today


December 14, 2009

“Holy Fathers, Secular Sons: Clergy, Intelligentsia, and the Modern Self in Revolutionary Russia,” a book published recently by the Northern Illinois University Press, has been honored with the 2009 Wayne S. Vucinich Book Prize.

Holy Fathers, Secular Sons: Clergy, Intelligentsia, and the Modern Self in Revolutionary Russia

Author Laurie Manchester, an associate professor of history at Arizona State University, received the award last month in Boston at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, a co-sponsor of the award.

The Vucinich also is sponsored by the Stanford University Center for Russian and East European Studies. It is awarded annually for the most important contribution to Russian, Eurasian and East European studies in any discipline of the humanities or social sciencespublished in English in the United States in the previous calendar year.

“Combining sociological and anthropological analysis, intellectual history, and insights drawn from reading personal texts, Manchester identifies and describes the group ethos of the popovichi (the sons of Orthodox clergymen), showing that their moral values, social loyalties and ambivalent identities played a large role in Russia’s uneasy transition into the modern world after the Great Reforms of the 1860s,” according to the citation at the award presentation. “This carefully researched, beautifully written, and highly original book prompts us to rethink such issues as the formation of the intelligentsia, the secularization of educated society, and the rise of modern selfhood in post reform Russia.”

“The Vucinich Prize is a prestigious award within the AAASS,” said J. Alex Schwartz, director of NIU Press. “We pride ourselves on our thriving Russian Studies list, and winning this award demonstrates that we are indeed publishing important and valued monographs in this field.”

Manchester’s award-winning book can be purchased through NIU Press by calling (800) 621-2736, by ordering online at or by visiting a local bookstore.