About Thomas C. Owen

Thomas C. Owen

Thomas C. Owen (PhD in history, Harvard, 1973) is an Associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University (since 2005) and a former professor of history at Louisiana State University (1974-2005). He became interested in Russian social history as a graduate student at Harvard, and he wrote his doctoral dissertation on the social and ideological evolution of the Moscow merchants, 1840-70 (The social and ideological evolution of the Moscow merchants, 1840-1870, HOLLIS Number : 003894231). His collection of materials on Russian social and economic history after 1800 began in 1971, when he, then a PhD student seeking primary sources for his research, purchased from the Lenin Library (Moscow) a microfilm of the 1850-73 portion of Fedor V. Chizhov's diary which was relevant to the dissertation.

After the publication of his first book, on the Moscow merchants in 1981 (Capitalism and politics in Russia : a social history of the Moscow merchants, 1855-1905, HOLLIS Number : 000949332), Owen widened the scope of his research to include corporations and business organizations throughout the Russian Empire. He continued his study of primary materials during subsequent visits to Moscow again in 1980, 1992, and 1996. Gaining access to and obtaining copies of the desired materials often meant facing challenges that were unusual for a Western researcher, as well as seeking the help of American library professionals. Thus, Marianna Tax Choldin, of the University of Illinois Library, was instrumental in helping Owen obtain the microfilm copies of Chizhov’s diary (the 1825-50 and 1873-77 portions) from the Lenin Library. Eventually, Fedor V. Chizhov became the subject of Thomas C. Owen's fourth book (Dilemmas of Russian capitalism : Fedor Chizhov and corporate enterprise in the railroad age, HOLLIS Number : 009439804)

Publications by Thomas C. Owen


Dilemmas of Russian Capitalism: Fedor Chizhov and Corporate Enterprise in the Railroad Age. Harvard Studies in Business History, no. 44.  Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005.
HOLLIS Number : 009439804

Russian Corporate Capitalism from Peter the Great to Perestroika.  New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
HOLLIS Number : 005835322

The Corporation under Russian Law, 1800-1917: A Study in Tsarist Economic Policy.  New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991.
HOLLIS Number : 002072257

Capitalism and Politics in Russia: A Social History of the Moscow Merchants, 1855-1905.  New York: Cambridge University Press, 1981.  Japanese trans. Tokyo: Bunshindo Press, 1987.
HOLLIS Number : 000949332


Selected Articles

“Measuring Business Cycles in the Russian Empire.” Economic History Review 66, no. 3 (Aug. 2013): 895-916.

“The Death of a Soviet Science: Sergei Pervushin and Economic Cycles in Russia, 1850-1930.” The Russian Review 68, no. 2 (Apr. 2009): 221-39.

“Chukchi Gold: American Enterprise and Russian Xenophobia in the Northeastern Siberian Company.”  Pacific Historical Review 77, no. 1 (Feb. 2008): 49-85.

“Autocracy and the Rule of Law in Russian Economic History.”  In The Rule of Law and Economic Reform in Russia, edited by Jeffrey D. Sachs and Katharina Pistor, 23-39.  Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1997.

 “Impediments to a Bourgeois Consciousness in Russia, 1880-1905: The Estate Structure, Ethnic Diversity, and Economic Regionalism.”  In Between Tsar and People: Educated Society and  the Quest for Public Identity in Late Imperial Russia, edited by Edith W. Clowes, Samuel D. Kassow, and James L. West, 75-89.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991.

“A Standard Ruble of Account for Russian Business History, 1769-1914: A Note.”   Journal of  Economic History 49, no. 3 (Sep. 1989): 699-706.

“The Russian Industrial Society and Tsarist Economic Policy, 1867-1905.”  Journal of Economic History 45, no. 3 (Sep. 1985): 587-606.

“Entrepreneurship and the Structure of Enterprise in Russia, 1800-1880.”  In Entreprepreneurship in Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union, edited by Gregory Guroff and Fred  V. Carstensen, 59-83.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983.



RUSCORP: A Database of Corporations in the Russian Empire, 1700-1914.  Ann Arbor, Mich. : Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, [1993].
HOLLIS Number : 007702503
Internet Link : Data File http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.eresource:harvmitd


Edited Publications

Polunov, Aleksandr.  Russia in the Nineteenth-Century: Autocracy, Reform, and Social Change, 1814-1914.  Translated by Marshall S. Shatz.  Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 2005.  (Co-edited with Professor Larissa G. Zakharova of Moscow State University.)

Roosa, Ruth A.  Russian Industrialists in an Era of Revolution: The Associa­tion of Industry and Trade, 1906-1917.  Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 1997.

Russian Studies in History 35, no. 1 (Summer 1996), on entrepreneurship in the Russian Empire, 1861-1914, and 34, no. 1 (Summer 1995), on tsarist economic policy, 1893-1914.