Editorial Review - Kirkus - Jane Doe

An ambitious attempt to explain the essence of the Russian people and their empire.Hosking (History/Univ. of London) builds on the central question posed in Russia: People and Empire 1552-1917 (1997): How do the Russians define themselves—by geography, language, culture, or empire? Not surprisingly (considering the nation's vast land mass, generally unforgiving climate, and often hostile ... Read full review

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A very thorough history that explains the cultural vulnerability of Russia to socialism and it's many missteps and brutalities. Finally, the context for Russia's turn to collectivism is clarified and it's painful rejection of it chronicled.
Yes, it is a long read but not boring. I picked it up quite by accident and couldn't put it down (well I read a little of it every night for months). It was well worth it.
I find that, given today's issues in the US and Europe, it is very instructive to read histories of rising and falling states and empires. This book will not disappoint.

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This book is an excellent introduction to Russian history. While it does not sufficiently cover every aspect of Russian history in great detail, it does offer profound insight into the past of the country. An eye-opening account that I would recommend to anyone who ever wonders how Russia came to be Russia. It illuminates, in the case of this particular country, just how much our past influences who we are. 

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All reviews - 5

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