Russia's Empires. Their Rise and Fall: From Prehistory to Putin

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9780719562044: Russia's Empires. Their Rise and Fall: From Prehistory to Putin

Through the centuries, Russia has swung between successful expansionism, catastrophic collapse and spectacular recovery. This illuminating and accessible history traces these cycles from the late Neolithic age to Ivan the Terrible, and from the height of Communism to the truncated Russian Federation of today.Philip Longworth explores the patterns of Russia's past, from the nameless adventurers who first penetrated it to dynamic characters including Ivan the Terrible, Catherine the Great and Stalin. His narrative takes in the magnificent cities of Kiev, Moscow and St Petersburg; it stretches to Alaska in the east, to the Black Sea and the Ottoman Empire in the south, to the Baltic in the west and to the Arctic Ocean in the north.What is the source of Russia's imperialistic culture Why was Russia so driven to colonize and conquer From Kievan Rus' - the first Russian state - to ruthless Muscovy, the Russian Empire of the eighteenth century and finally the Soviet period, this groundbreaking study analyses the growth and dissolution of each empire, and asks what the future holds for Russia and her neighbours.

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About the Author:

Philip Longworth is the author of seven books including The Cossacks and The Making of Eastern Europe. He was educated by the army and at the University of Oxford and was Professor of History at McGill University for nearly twenty years.

Review:

'Readers will get a good idea about the background of the current turmoil between Putin's Russia and the Chechens.' -- Dover Express & Folkestone Herald 20050707 'Illuminating and accessible' -- Western Mail 20050611 'An ambitious new work investigating Russia's dramatic history.' -- Diplomat 20050701 'A readable analysis written with a thorough understanding of imperial might.' -- Good Book Guide 20050701 'Absorbing ... Longworth develops the idea in fascinating detail' -- Michael Kerrigan, Scotsman 20050618 'A gripping and supremely readable book by the doyen of our historians of Russia, who truly knows how to bring this story of tsars and commissars to life. It combines shrewd analysis of Russia's unique appetite for empire with a wonderful narrative pace and fine scholarship.' -- Simon Sebag-Montefiore 20050618 'A vivid, highly readable style ... Russia's Empires is a brilliantly ambitious survey of the whole of Russia's imperial past. It is a battleground that has long been fought upon by historians ... Longworth's gifts of synthesis and selection are especially well displayed ... [He has] an eye for essentials and a deep underlying knowledge' -- Laurence Kelly, Literary Review 20050701 '[Longworth] asks what it is that has made four successive Russian empires simultaneously aggressive and fragile ... All of these are excellent questions ... Longworth focuses rightly on Russia's unique geography' -- Anne Applebaum, Sunday Telegraph 20050717 'Longworth has a light, informed touch ... This attractive account comes from an expert on important topics in more than one century.' -- Robert Service, Sunday Times 20050612 'An original treatment of Russian history that benefits from the author's breadth of knowledge and fluent prose' -- BBC History 20051001 '[Longworth's] authority is commanding! it is insight into the quintessence of being Russian that makes this such rewarding reading. !Longworth understands the predictive powers of history. In Russia -- and in this book -- they stand large and clear' -- The Times 20051001 '[Philip Longworth] is not afraid to ask the big questions! [he] chronicles the histories of these four states with considerable insight and sensitivity. Russia's Empires is undoubtedly a first-rate account of the fortunes of political power in Russia over two millennia, of the manifold centripetal and centrifugal forces at play in creating and undermining central authority' -- The Times Literary Supplement 20051001

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