A subcontinental land-mass one-and-a-half times the size of the United States, Siberia is the richest resource area on the face of the Earth. It is also the hope of Russia's desperate future, as the former Soviet republics break away. Yet, to most people, Siberia remains obscure. This narrative covers four centuries of history, telling the story of Siberia's conquest and settlement, from the first crossing of the Ural Mountains by an outlaw band of Cossacks in 1581, up to the present. It describes the subjugation of Siberia's aboriginal tribes; the great explorations of the 18th century that defined its extent; Russia's attempt to "extend" Siberia to America (with settlements in Alaska, California and Hawaii); its transformation into a penal colony for criminal and political exiles; the building of the astonishing Trans-Siberian Railway across seven time-zones from the Urals to Vladivostok; Siberia's critical role in the bloody civil war that followed the October Revolution of 1917; and the Gulag Archipelago, which corrupted its very soil. The book ends with a succinct account of Siberia today. The American author also wrote "Fearful Majesty: the Life and Reign of Ivan the Terrible" and "Labyrinths of Iron: Subways in History, Myth, Art, Techology and War".
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Benson Bobrick received his doctorate from Columbia University and is the author of fourteen books. His work has been translated into ten languages, and in 2002 he received the Literature Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Vermont.From Publishers Weekly:
As recounted by Bobrick, Russia's conquest of far-flung Siberia is a magnificent saga that rivals that of the settlement of the American West in its tragic drama. Lured by the prospect of a lucrative fur trade, small bands of Russians, convinced of their right to dispossess "inferior" peoples, subjugated Turkish and Mongol nomads, fueled intertribal warfare and destroyed native cultures through forced assimilation. Colonization sparked riots and populist uprisings in the 16th century. Modern times brought further disruption. The Trans-Siberian Railway, completed in 1901, enabled millions of peasants to migrate over the Urals. Under Lenin, shamans and other Siberian natives were annihilated. Stalin stepped up the collectivization of Siberian agriculture, causing famine and massacres. Possession of this resource-rich yet economically deprived region makes Russia today "potentially the richest nation on earth," writes Bobrich, biographer of Ivan the Terrible. He fills his narrative with descriptions of reckless Cossacks, polygamous Aleuts, Buddhist Buryats, explorers, exiles and Gulag prisoners. Illustrations.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Trafalgar Square, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110434928895
Book Description Trafalgar Square, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0434928895