Boris Porchnev/Porshnev on feudalism – were any of his works translated from Russian?

I mentioned Boris Porchnev/Porshnev in a previous post today, looking at the two editions of his work on peasant uprisings in seventeenth century France. Foucault uses his work in his reading of the Nu-Pieds revolts in Théories et institutions pénales. In Claude-Oliver Doron’s essay on Foucault’s use of historians in that volume, there is a brief mention of Porshnev’s work on feudalism (TIP 293 n. 6).

Doron notes two books and an article in French on this theme, but provides no bibliographical references. The titles appear to be translations of the titles of Russian texts, taken from Igor Filippov, “Boris Porchnev et l’économie politique du féodalisme”, in Serge Aberdam and Alexandre Tchoudinov, Ecrire l’histoire par temps de guerre froide: Soviétiques et Français autour de la crise de l’Ancien régime, Paris: Société des études robespierristes, 2014, pp. 149-76, p. 150 (available online at

So, the question:  were any of his works on feudalism actually translated from Russian?

I’ve found a few references to one of the books as Essai d’économie politique du féodalisme, Paris: Éditions du Progrès, 1979, but I can’t find a copy in any online second-hand book stores, and suggests only one library in the world (in Canada) has a copy. That seems unusually few copies in circulation given the publisher – I believe it was the French equivalent of Progress Publishers, based in the USSR which did lots of translations of Marxist and other works during the Cold War.

Anyone shed any further light on this? (I know other works of his are in French – it’s the work on feudalism I’m interested in…)

This entry was posted in Boris Porshnev, Foucault: The Birth of Power, Michel Foucault. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Boris Porchnev/Porshnev on feudalism – were any of his works translated from Russian?

  1. Pingback: Foucault: The Birth of Power Update 3 – Théories et institutions pénales and activist work on health and asylums | Progressive Geographies

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