Providing a comprehensive discussion of Russia's people, politics, economics, religion and social systems, the "Encyclopedia of Russian History complements the study of comparative politics, world history, geography, literature, arts and culture and world cultures. With approximately 1,600 entries and 500 illustrations, this four-volume set spans the time from the earliest beginnings of the Russian nation to the rise and fall of the Soviet Union.
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A scholarly resource accessible to a general audience, the Encyclopedia of Russian History provides more than 1,500 entries encompassing more than 1,000 years of Russian history, from the formation of Kievan Rus in the mid-ninth century to the present-day Russian Federation. A seven-member editorial board of Russian scholars headed by editor-in-chief Millar (Director of the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, George Washington University) oversaw topic selection. All entries are signed by one of more than 500 contributors.
Entries are arranged alphabetically. To access them, users can scan the article title list in volume 1 or use the cumulative subject index in volume 4. Bold type in the index designates main entries. Volume 1 also provides a list of article titles arranged by one of 21 general topics, such as "Agriculture," "Government," "Religion," and "Science and Technology."
Types of entries include those for people, places, events, and other subjects of historical interest. Entries on individuals include czars (Nicholas I), military leaders (Georgy Zhukov), presidents (Vladimir Putin), writers (Alexander Pushkin), and others (Yelena Bonner, Yuri Gargarin, Anna Pavlova, Grigory Potemkin, Grigory Rasputin). Examples of nonbiographical article titles include Boyar, Great Northern War, Liberal Democratic Party, Motion pictures, Ruble, Space program, Ukraine and Ukrainians, and Yalta Conference. Entry length ranges from 250 to 5,000 words. Among the longest are Cold War, Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and October Revolution. Each entry offers a list of see also references and a bibliography with citations that point to English-language materials, mostly scholarly books. Also included are journal articles and, rarely, Web sites. Some 285 black-and-white photographs accompany the text, and each volume also contains an eight-page section of color plates. For the most part, illustration quality is excellent. However, readers looking for maps, chronologies, and dynastic charts will find only a handful, all of them embedded in entries.
With 2,300 entries, the 483-page Encyclopedia of Russian History: From the Christianization of Kiev to the Break-Up of the U.S.S.R. (ABC-CLIO, 1993) is older and lacks the depth of the newer set. As a historical resource to the largest nation on Earth, the Encyclopedia of Russian History is highly recommended for most academic libraries and large public libraries. RBB
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