Another excellent post on the NY Times' Disunion blog, this one on comparing aspects of the Russian emancipation of the serfs to American emancipation of the slaves. While there are certainly differences, I spent a lot of time back in my American politics class comparing eastern European emancipation to that in the US (and also trying to contrast the two with Brazil and the Hapsburg emancipation in Austria-Hungary) to point out numerous similarities. Understanding all three of these cases helps us to understand each one individually better.
This is a bit off topic for the normal thrust of this blog, there just aren't all that many tie ins to modern times, but it's something worth reading to understand our history as Americans and to put it into the context of world history so I thought I'd point it out. Especially since it's a light easy read. Take a few minutes to look at it.