So when studying Russian history prior to the revolutions in the early 1900s, there are there main themes to keep in mind.
3) East or West
When reading the novella Fathers and Sons, by Turgenev it is important to keep these themes in mind to understand the roles and differences between the two generations. Additionally, this book takes place during the timeframe where many new generation Russians were turning against the traditions of the old empire.
I would recommend this book to anyone as a fun read, or as a book for better understanding Russian culture.