St. Petersburg: Tipo-lit. M.P. Frolovoi, 1906. , 122 pp., 1 folding map. 25x17 cm. In contemporary card boards with mounted core pieces of original wrappers. In good condition, small fragments of spine lost, the map is in parts, tear of map repaired, minor defects of few pages’ outer edge.
First edition. Very rare. The last book by Dmitrii Mendeleev (1834-1907). Until 1917, ‘To the Cognition of Russia’ had seven editions and this one is the least frequent. Being known for his groundbreaking discoveries in chemistry, Mendeleev has credited with the achievements in other fields as well. During the last period of his life, his main focus was on the economic development of Russia and this work, no doubt, could be considered one of the most important in Russian economic thought. Written after the first Russian revolution of 1905, in this book he had foreseen the problems of the country in the 20th century. The issues of demographics, the large percentage of the rural population and the country’s dependency on the export of natural resources have been analyzed in ‘To the Cognition of Russia’. Stressing the adverse climatic conditions, in this book Mendeleev, who grew up in Siberia, concentrated on promoting the country’s industrial development path and sought to increase the public interest in industrial entrepreneurship. He pointed out that the industry should be self-sufficient and the cooperative associations must dominate the market. The evolution of cities and villages, he emphasized, is completed when the country forms the infrastructure and the environmentally friendly factories.
Mendeleev composed the work on results of the First Imperial Census of 1897 because the success of economic development directly depends on the productive forces. He analyzed the working population and stood for the increasing number of entrepreneurs and the worker women.
Basing on the processed data of census, Mendeleev planned to change the administrative-territorial structure, offering the innovative one. In his idea, 97 governorates reshaped into 19 divisions - they are shown on the map that is attached at the end of the book; the map itself is unusual because of its vertical construction. The plan was not approved.
Worldcat shows 5 copies at the University of Colorado Boulder, Ohio State University, Brown University, Harvard College and UC Berkeley Libraries.