Read A History of Russia by Nicholas V. Riasanovsky Mark D. Steinberg Online

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Now completely revised in this seventh edition, A History of Russia covers the entire span of the country's history, from ancient times to the postcommunist present. Featuring a new coauthor, Mark Steinberg, this edition offers extensively updated material based on the most current research, including documents from recently opened archives. Keeping with the hallmark of thNow completely revised in this seventh edition, A History of Russia covers the entire span of the country's history, from ancient times to the postcommunist present. Featuring a new coauthor, Mark Steinberg, this edition offers extensively updated material based on the most current research, including documents from recently opened archives. Keeping with the hallmark of the text, Riasanovsky and Steinberg examine all aspects of Russia's history--political, international, military, economic, social, and cultural--with a commitment to objectivity, fairness, and balance. This seventh edition contains a wealth of new images and a fully revised bibliography and reading list. Two new chapters on politics, society, and culture since 1991 explore Russia's complex experience after communism and discuss its chances of becoming a more stable and prosperous country in the future. Widely acclaimed as the best one-volume history available, A History of Russia is being offered in paperback for the first time. In addition to the one-volume version, it is now also available in two separate volumes--Volume I covers early Russia through the nineteenth century and Volume II ranges from 1855 to the present. Volume II also features an additional introductory chapter that links Russia's modern history to the events that preceded it....

Title : A History of Russia
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ISBN : 9780195153941
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 792 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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A History of Russia Reviews

  • WarpDrive
    2019-03-22 10:39

    RUSSIA Russia. A complex and fascinating history, a rich culture with many a contradiction, influenced by a unique geography defined by a sweeping expanse of beautiful but challenging and sometimes harsh and unforgiving landscapes, a “nation” whose history can be characterized as heroic, brutal and tragic.Russia. Straddling between Asia and Europe, but with strong ties to European culture and history, as repeatedly stressed in history by many Russian leaders like Peter the Great and Catherine the Great, but also by recent leaders such as Putin, who declared in 2000: “Russia is part of the European culture and I cannot imagine my country cut off from Europe”. Russia, whose Tsarist flag (as also reflected, with modifications, in the current Russian presidential flag), represents symbolically the very essence of the Russian core: the double-headed eagle, used in the late Byzantine Empire as dynastic emblem of the Paloiologoi emperors, highlights the important cultural, religious and ideological connections of the emerging Russian state with the Eastern Roman Empire, but also symbolically represents the duality of the Russian soul and history, looking both eastward and westward at the same time. Russia. A nation that has frequently received biased, flawed and ideologically-colored treatment by many commentators, especially by Western and particularly by US media during and after the Cold War. The country that imposed Communism to the countries of Eastern Europe with the brute force of arms, but also the country whose heroism and immense sacrifices during WWII (well over 24 million casualties, according to conservative estimates) contributed the most, by far, to the defeat of Nazi Germany. Stalingrad was the turning point of the whole war - and the average lifetime of a Russian soldier coming to Stalingrad front was 24 hours.Russia. A country that saw the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, but also whose advancements in mathematics, science, and space exploration have been many and significant (a mural in Pripyat ghost town, Chernobyl, is displayed below):This is a multi-faceted, elusive nation that is difficult to comprehend, with a very complex history whose result is a people with a culture still imbued with respect towards the Orthodox religious ideals, but a country that also originated the officially uncompromisingly atheist Soviet state; a nation with a deep respect for high culture, and that generated beautiful music (I find much of the production by Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky, and Borodin simply sublime) and amazing literature, but also a nation whose consumerism within the “New Russians” oligarchy has reached levels of crassness that beat even the worst examples in the Western World. A country with beautiful architecture, with fairy-tale churches like the one at Kizhi Pogost (37 meters of indescribable beauty, 22 domes reaching out for the sky, built of wood and without using a single nail)or the famous and strikingly beautiful St. Basil Cathedral in Moscow and also with beautiful examples of Soviet architecture: ....but also, sadly, a country with too many examples of huge environmental impact deriving from a forced industrialization historically focused on the promotion of the heavy industry, and based on an economic model disregarding, until recently, the ecological impacts of development. The Aral sea disaster is a troubling example: This amazing (and heart wrenching) 3-minute drone footage is really worth watching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNV5S...Russia is a nation with a history of suffering and incredible resilience(I wonder what other people on Earth would have been capable of demonstrating the resilience of the Leningrad population during the legendary siege of WWII), of incredible feats (whole industries and industry sectors created from nothing within a few years, the trans-Siberian railway), but also a nation plagued by alcoholism, corruption and criminality as freely admitted by the Russian leadership even very recently. A country whose many contradictory, conflicting cultural and ideological streams saw immediately after the success of the Russian Revolution the emergence of a climate of experimentation in literary, social and artistic expression, and of liberation, notably in relation to mass education, social mobility and the improvement of the condition of women:....and also the one that saw the extremely rapid, almost miraculous industrialization at great human cost, but that also witnessed the terrors, genocidal famine, indiscriminate purges and the personality cult of the Stalinist period: A country still in transition, where according to recent polls the need for stability, order and strength of the state, as represented by a strong leader, are seen as paramount; a country where the “Western-style democratic forms” are seen with deep suspicion, but also where a curtailing of freedom of speech and of the press would be considered unacceptable by the majority of the population, and where democratic elections are considered necessary. Ambivalence is probably a term that can describe the public views on many critical issues in relation to the future direction of Russia. An ambivalence also reflected in Putin's words: "anyone who does not regret the the collapse of the Soviet Union has no heart, but anyone who wants it restored has no brain". I think that the following extract from the poem "To My Country" by the great 19th century Russian poet Lermontov captures some of the uniqueness and beauty of Russia: ...And yet I love it! Why, I cannot say;The endless snowy Steppes so silent brooding,In the pine forests Autumn winds pursuing--The flood's high water on all sides in May.By peasant cart I fain would haste in nightly darkness,Through the lone wilderness and village desolate,How hospitable shines the sole beam sparklingTo me from each poor hut! Filled with content so great,The smell of stubble burnt, delights. Piled highThe wagons silent standing take their nightly rest,On distant hills the silver birches I descry,Framed gold by fertile fields the sacred picture blest.Then with a joy unshared save by the vagrant,I see the threshing floor well filled and fragrant,The sloping straw-thatched cottage roofs again,The window panels carved, of varied stain.(Russian Winter by Vladimir Zhdanov)THE BOOK Considering the often superficial, ill-informed, and ideologically biased portrait of Russia infesting many publications and commentaries, I approached the reading of this book with a bit of trepidation, and with very moderate expectations. I was after a one-volume comprehensive overview, an university textbook that, in an academically appropriate way and in a nuanced and unbiased manner, would help me improve my knowledge of the fascinating Russian history, in particular of the Pre-Soviet period.And I was very pleasantly surprised by the excellent quality of this book in terms of accuracy, lack of bias, respect for the variety of sources, academic rigour, and surprising amount of detail for a one-volume book with such an ambitious and challenging scope.The lack of bias and intellectual honesty are remarkable: for example, while not hiding the many, significant structural issues plaguing the USSR economy, this book never falls into cheap anti-Soviet and/or anti-Russia propaganda, on the contrary highlighting areas where the Soviet Union did provide genuine improvements and good answers to people's needs and values.I also particularly enjoyed the nuanced and rounded portraits of leaders such as Lenin, Brezhnev, and Putin (even with their important shortcomings, all intelligent and generally highly effective leaders (with the exclusion of the sunset years of the Brezhnev period), rather than the caricatures of some western propaganda.In general, I did appreciate that statements and facts in this book are constantly qualified, and differing/conflicting scholarly opinions and approaches are frequently highlighted, even when they are visibly in contrast with the authors' own opinions. The historiographical debates about the major scholarly issues related to the main events of the Russian history are well and honestly presented (I particularly liked the discussion related to the multiple theories about the origins of the Kievan Rus). I also appreciated that the authors did not limit the book to purely political events, but that a praiseworthy effort has been made to also represent the more social, cultural and even psychological aspects. For a textbook with such impeccable and impressive academic credential, this book is incredibly readable and thoroughly enjoyable - I can't even begin to comprehend why some reviewers have found this book a dry read. It must also be said, though, that as this book is just an overview (even though it is a 700-page one), it will probably leave all readers who happen to have prior detailed knowledge of Russian history quite unsatisfied; but I must also highlight that I found it remarkable how much information the authors managed to pack into a single volume. There is an extensive list of reading material provided at the end of the text, the text is frequently supported by nice and relevant maps, and the sources are meticulously researched and recorded. The genealogical tree of the Russian rulers at the end of the book also helped me enormously (the version I read is the Eight Edition, published in 2010 by Oxford University Press).The only issue is that this book should have probably given more weight and focus on the first periods of Russian history, rather than to the Soviet and post-Soviet periods, but I guess that this is a question of personal interests rather than an objective shortcoming of the book (and in any case there is only so much information you can pack into a single book with such a huge scope).Overall it has been a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience, a remarkable work, highly recommended to anybody who is interested in a good-quality overview of Russian history. A well-deserved 5 stars - this is historical writing at its best.

  • Ivan
    2019-03-27 11:43

    Gran bel libro, veramente. All’inizio ero un po’ diffidente. Lo credevo una specie di manuale di scuola, ma leggendo mi sono reso conto del lavoro buonissimo fatto da Riasanovsky nel condensare in 600 pagine più di duemila anni di storia russa (dagli Sciti e Sarmati a Gorbačëv, per capirci). Una sintesi efficace che riesce a darci a tutto tondo gli aspetti storici e politici, non solo, ma anche quelli economici e culturali. Pagine interessantissime, seppur stringate, sulla letteratura russa dal Settecento al Novecento; sull’organizzazione feudale della società, dal XIV secolo fino all’abolizione della servitù in tutti i suoi risvolti economici, sociali, politico-rivoluzionari; la riforma agraria di Stolypin, la NEP di Lenin e i piani quinquennali di Iosif Vissarionovič. Per non parlare di Ivan il terribile, il principe Nevskij, i Tartari, il principato di Novgorod, etc. etc. Insomma, una bellissima presentazione della storia e della cultura russa, con spunti per ulteriori approfondimenti. Il lavoro di Riasanovsky si ferma al 1980, mentre un capitolo aggiunto scritto Sergio Romano ci traghetta fino al tracollo e alla dissoluzione dell’URSS. Completa il tutto una ricchissima bibliografia di ben venti pagine (tra le quali una stimolante bibliografia di studi sulla Russia pubblicati in italiano, anche se datata) più un enorme indice analitico di una sessantina di pagine. Insomma è talmente ricco e versatile che lo si può leggere o soltanto consultare al bisogno

  • Anna
    2019-03-18 12:41

    For an overview of Russian history, from Kievan Rus to the post-communist rule of Vladimir Putin, this book does a good job. It describes not only the usual progression of kings and wars, but goes into some detail regarding politics - both foreign and domestic - as well as trade, education-levels, social order, literature and the arts as they have shifted through the centuries. On the other hand, this is a rather shallow look at Russian history, barely dipping its toes into the ocean of reasons behind changes, and spending even less time analysing the people involved. I am told in general terms WHAT they did, but very little time is spent on the reasoning and personalities. The only one who gets and real time spent on him is Peter the Great. The book is also plagued by a good number of spelling mistakes and strange grammar, which occasionally makes the narrative difficult to follow. The authors have also made some strange choices regarding the spelling of Russian names, choosing to keep the original Russian spelling of some, while changing to a more Westernised style for others - and occasionally use two different spellings for a name, changing it between the narrative text and the text below the illustrations. The book also has some problems with breezing past certain concepts, unloading unexplained Russian words and moving on wihout going into detail - while on other occasions being incredibly repetitive in explaining other terms. The overall feel is one of an inconsistent, but basically decent, read.

  • David Withun
    2019-03-16 13:57

    This book was a very fair and comprehensive introduction to the history of Russia from its earliest origins through to today. The authors did a very good job of remaining impartial even when approaching highly controversial subjects, such as the relationship between Russia and the Ukraine; they were nearly always careful to provide both (or more) perspectives on such contentious issues. I also especially appreciated the authors' explanations of Russian culture in the various periods and their references to specific pieces of art, poetry, literature, etc. This was very helpful in following the developments of Russian thought and society and in conducting additional research. Happily, it also exposed me to several excellent composers and writers with whom I was previously unfamiliar.Though their treatment of the Soviet Union was a decent introduction to the topic, I would have liked to have seen a more thorough treatment of the matter, especially one that gave a better “on the ground” perspective. In previous and later chapters of the book, the authors seem to take pains to provide us with a picture of the way the average Russian lived during a given period of Russian history, but their treatment of the average Russian under the Communists is insufficient and incomplete. I would also like to have seen the sections covering the life of the Russian Orthodox Church expanded, though this might reflect my own interests more than any insufficiency on the part of the authors. Overall, I can say that I recommend this book as a worthwhile starting place for anyone interested in learning more about the history of Russia. After reading this book and digesting the overview it provides, one can then dig a bit deeper into the more thorough treatments of more specific topics, a great deal of which they authors list in their extensive bibliography.

  • Sharon
    2019-03-15 07:45

    This is probably the best history "textbook" I've ever read. This has gotten me through my Russian history course. Never underestimate the power of a good textbook, especially in the face of a poor lecturer..

  • David
    2019-03-03 10:02

    A good textbook with clear and simple prose, but very dry for the casual reader. X happens and then Y happens and professors Z1 and Z2 have such-and-so interpretations, but with almost no quotations from primary sources or detail to give color (and improve retention of the material).

  • Ratratrat
    2019-03-02 12:53

    Ereditato dalla biblioteca di mio papà, edizione italiana Garzanti copertina rigida 1965 e letto tanti anni fa. fu la mia prima introduzione alla storia russa. Interessante, dovrei rileggerlo alla luce di tanti libri letti poi su singoli aspetti.

  • Revanth Ukkalam
    2019-02-28 12:43

    This is a how a history book must be written. It is an account of Russia's transition from the early Ruirikid State in Kiev to the present. Without going into trivial details and never being verbose, the book surveys the political, economic, social, religious landscapes and other areas too. It gives you a taste of the average Russian's life and spirit through its history. It is exceptionally balanced. Wherever needed it gives a fair idea to the student, of the differing schools of thought addressing a question. Without being at the same time too neutral to be indifferent, it gives an understanding of the debates surrounding Russian historiography. Also newcomers to the subject don't find themselves lost as one sees Russia in its place in the panorama which means one always gets the crucial part of history: context.I felt uncomfortable in the beginning owing to the unfamiliarity of this terrain. Thanks to Riasanovsky the terrain became more and more understandable. This however does not mean the unfamiliarity is shed. This is precisely why I am not prepared to write a critical review on this book. To me as a reader, it was a great experience. So from me - a big thumbs up.

  • Ivan Kapersky
    2019-03-27 10:46

    With all the recent activity in Ukraine and Crimea,the history of Russia deserves another opportunity to be read it again. Russia's history no doubt indeed is very complicated and uncertain. The author explains multiple theories with the origins of the Kievan Rus. The author explores each period of time with different categories as: literature, architecture,education and political organization. The version I read was the 4th which ends in 1976. The book narrative is easy and difficult in some parts,but the author explains every major aspect in detail.

  • Simona Bartolotta
    2019-03-06 08:00

    Reading this for university.

  • Rosa
    2019-03-12 09:56

    Someone quiz me on Russian history, I dare you. I'm ready. 800 large, small text and tiny margin-ed pages ready.

  • Eric
    2019-03-20 08:41

    Clear and presented in a manner which I didn't think was terribly dry(warning: I'm nerdy about history), I found this to be everything I wanted in an initial foray into Russian history. Riasanovsky does not force his opinions on the reader, nor does he make any unfounded claims. Quite matter-of-fact and balanced with alternate theories presented where appropriate and sources meticulously recorded. Further, there is an extensive list of reading material provided at the end of the text for those who wish to get into more detail on a given period than was allowed for in this volume. Is it perfect? No. Can one book adequately cover a topic this immense? No. Still, I feel it was an excellent read and extremely informative. A gentleman scholar was kind enough to give insight and a helpful list here: http://waltrichmond.blogspot.com/2013... . This gentleman certainly knows more than I ever shall about a great many things, Russia among them.

  • Vanjr
    2019-03-08 15:52

    This is an academic textbook that covers the history of Rus/Russia to approximately 2010. Its covers both classic history but also culture of each time period. The authors are well read and sometimes appear to be unable to strongly favor any point of view. It is less straightforward than Russia and Russians which is a more one opinion work. I enjoyed learning a lot. The only flaw/disappointment was how they dealt with Stalin or rather did not deal with him. From reading this text one would not get the impression of who or what Stalin was. All and all a good read for anyone wanting an english text that deals with Russian and particularly good are the insights into culture in different time periods.

  • Ariana
    2019-03-13 11:56

    A very broad look at Russia's History. A good source for quick facts and a general scope on Russia, but not that great for a close look at any particular ruler.

  • Mike
    2019-03-26 10:46

    Classic history of Russia by noted scholarThis classic survey of Russian history is an excellent overview of this sprawling cultural, military, and political power which has had such a major impact on the world over the last centuries. Written by one of the pre-eminent scholars in the field, it can serve as a textbook introducing students to major topics, a reference for those looking for summaries and overviews of key themes and developments, or simply an informative work for those wanting a decent introduction to the history of this fascinating and complex land.

  • David
    2019-03-20 16:02

    This is an academic survey and has all the vices and virtues of the genre. It's comprehensive and learned, and generally well-written and edited, but also a bit dry and abstract. One doesn't get much of a sense of what life was like at a given time. Still, it fulfilled its function. I wanted a chronological survey, and I got a decent one. Now I have an idea of what blanks I want to fill in.

  • Em Elizabeth
    2019-03-20 12:44

    3.5 stars. Yes, I did read the whole thing, thank you very much. I absolutely loved my history of Russia class, and this was certainly the better of the two required textbooks.

  • Michael
    2019-03-16 14:05

    Although German history was my primary focus in Graduate School, I would be hard-pressed to come up with as comprehensive and useful a history of that country, from its misty past in prehistory to the conflagrations of the Twentieth Century and the comparable stability since, as this book is for Russia. Unlike many of the books I read in school, I frequently turn to this one to clarify a fact or refresh my memory of the general picture of Russia at a given point in its history. When I did use it for school, it was among the best sourcebooks I was assigned, and I think I actually kept up with the reading assignments, aided no doubt by the accessible and interesting style of the writing. It’s probably impossible to write about the history of Russia without taking sides on certain issues, but Riasanovsky attempts to acquaint the student with the historiographical scope of each issue he introduces. He is skeptical, for example, of the popular theory that Vikings colonized much of Russia via its extensive river system and were responsible for building the civilization eventually called “Kievan Rus,” (which some nationalists today claim for Ukraine) but he does give this narrative as complete an explanation as possible. He is clearly no fan of Stalin, and gives complete coverage of the oppressive and extremist nature of that regime, but he also points out that Russia might not have survived World War Two without him. While highly critical of the USSR, he never gives in to anti-Soviet propaganda, often discovering areas in which the Soviet Union did advance or give its people what it wanted. My edition of the book ends with Yeltsin, the once-popular but now seen as weak leader who ushered in the democratic experiment as well as the rise of a new class of plutocrats. Watching Russian history since then, as Putin has consolidated power and allowed a new elite to crystallize from the robber barons, I have often been grateful for the context provided by this book and the courses I took with it. No doubt Russia will again surprise the West with its development in the future, but this book will continue to be a useful way to understand that trajectory, for anyone from a beginning student to a specialist.

  • SL Walker
    2019-03-14 08:41

    I was recommended this book in Professor Irwin Weil's syllabus for 'Classics of Russian Literature'. This is essential reading for anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of Russia. It covers the creation of Russia to the Soviet era. It is very comprehensive, covering not only the rulers but also explains the economic, cultural and social scene. It also introduces the key historical approaches and explains the issues surrounding certain sources. I would recommend buying the latest edition so that you have the most recent events. It also assumes knowledge of major wars and for me, the Cold War could have done with a section but I think this is because I had a 4th edition. It's well indexed and comes with useful appendixes for references, e.g. lineage of all the rulers. Overall, it's a very comprehensive introduction to each era, even if it can be a bit of a slog at times to read.

  • Walter
    2019-03-23 14:56

    The version of this book that I wrote was published in the early 1980s, so I am hoping that later versions of the book have improved. Over all this is a very good history of Russia. Riasanovsky focuses on the various forces that interact in the Russian people; the West versus the Slavic heritage, the Orthodox heritage versus Communism, indeed, Russia is a land of contradictions. I would actually give this book two ratings. For its coverage of Russia prior to 1917 I would give it five stars. This is an excellent history of Czarist Russia.However, for the period since 1917, this book would rate only 3 stars. I'm not sure why this is. Riasanovsky's profound analysis seems to be stulted considerably when he discusses the Soviet Union. He whitewashes the atrocities of the Soviet government considerably. In his discussion of Stalin he barely touches on the Ukrainian famine of the 1930s, describing it as an aberration of the implementation of the first five year plan and not what it was, the intentional starving of over 30 million peasants who resisted collectivization. In his treatment of World War II he does not even mention the famous "stab in the back", in which the Red Army invaded Poland at the same time that the Nazi army did, dividing Poland among them. Perhaps Riasanovsky sympathized with the Communists. More likely, he was being prudent for a Russian historian of the 1980s, who depended on the Soviet government for access to the archives and artifacts in the Soviet Union that he needed to do his job. This is why one must utilize post-Soviet materials in order to get a good understanding of Soviet history.Overall I would recommend this book for students of Russian history.

  • Mt
    2019-03-09 13:44

    Comprehensive and sweeping as the Steppe, Riasanovsky clearly demonstrates his knowledge of the history of Russia. The book provides a thorough description of the foundations of Russua--especially its Kievan roots and through the Romanov dynasty. This edition--published during the Andropov-Chernenko transition--however, fails to draw the Russian authoritarian through-line: to rule Russia means to rule with an iron fist, whether that be Rus, Mongol, Romanov, or Bolshevik.While aptly criticizing the Soviets for the stifling of creative energies and economics, he seemingly accepts their rule as inevitable. (I doubt this Marxist irony was intentional.) On the penultimate page (p. 597; hardbound):"Of special significance for the future of the Soviet Union might be a confluence of economic change and general liberal opposition and protest. If Stalinism represented deep winter, the entire period since the death of the supreme dictator might be designated as the thaw. The thaw continues. Timid though the voice of Soviet intellectuals is...its very presence marks a drastic change from the 'thirties, the 'forties, or the early 'fifties."

  • Buddy Don
    2019-03-26 14:40

    This is a text book, so it has everything one might hope for in a history: great bibiliography, both for English and Russian sources, great maps, fantastic index -- in fact, everything one could want to learn about Russia ... in 1984, since that's the edition I read. That means the writer could not know how certain things would turn out, and makes many of his claims easy to evaluate. He seems to have well understood the pressure Reagan's military buildup would have to have on the USSR, but he doesn't have the hindsight to see how things would turn out.I've recently read biographies of Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great and The Romanovs as a monarchy, and while Riasanovsky's book is thorough in covering all periods, it makes light work (and barely mentions, obliquely it seems) the extent of the tortures and other violent episodes of the time of Ivan and Peter, at least. He seems to skate right over that kind of thing. But for a general history, this is a good starting place. I hope to find something a little more current to round out the view.

  • Graham
    2019-03-12 10:47

    Miserable writing and poor factual presentation: I am at a loss to explain the five-star reviews of this book. It is one of the most poorly written history books I have ever read. Sentences and facts are constantly qualified, as if the author is afraid to state a fact or opinion. The thoughts and flow are poorly organized, which the author attempts to correct by using long compound sentences. Frequent reference is made to other works with nothing more, like "the Slavs ate green cheese, although some of it wasn't green and one must consider the arguments of Miakovsky in that regard". I was very excited to get a history of Russia, especially concerning the earlier periods, as I enjoy reading history and had just finished a good work on medieval Europe (@400 AD - 1200 AD). I really wanted to follow the connected tribal migrations and religious history to the east for the same period. I was sorely disappointed in my purchase and put it down after 100 pages. I suggest you look elsewhere for Russian history.

  • LaFleurBleue
    2019-03-26 10:54

    I wanted a book that was comprehensive on the history of Russia, understandable by a layman that did not know much about it beforehand, not too boring to be able to go through the end, not too full of references to other famous historian works.I found all of that and more. What I did not expect what that the tone of the book would be that wry and that many topics would be used as to show what the author believes to be the Russian soul and spirit (I'm not speaking about vodka there). So in a way, this book remains very neutral in the description of events and points of view, although at the same time it is indeed very sarcastic and personal.Even though it was around 1000 pages, I remember clearly both my husband and me reading easily and quickly through it and discussing it at length. We still discuss some of it from time to time.So whatever the failings in terms of writing and style, I do not hesitate in my rating it 5 stars.

  • Samangie
    2019-03-14 07:39

    Awesome overview of Russia from its humble beginnings to the madhouse it became during the post-Soviet era. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to learn about Russia for the very first time. It is also a nice resource for 'quick facts' about particular eras in Russian history/literature/political thought. It is incredibly readable as well dedicating entire sections to the aforementioned: history, political thought and literature. I managed to read the ENTIRE thing throughout the course of a single semester and LOVED every minute of it. I lost my text at London Heathrow (sad day) and ended up buying a second one that's how good this book is. If you love Russia or just aren't so sure about it - READ IT :)

  • Michael Linton
    2019-03-02 13:59

    This book was a bear of a book. It's 629 pages long and covers the history of Russia since the beginning of time. Since this covers hundreds of years, it cannot go into great detail for many of major events. Yet oddly, the author would felt it was important to cover the arts, literature, and present many statistics for every major time frame. I guess the author wanted to cover every aspect of Russian life.Overall, I am better informed about Russia and know which topics I would want to read about specifically. But, it was very challenging to stay engaged with the book.

  • Marco
    2019-03-21 10:38

    Lungo da leggere, complesso e pieno di informazioni concentrate. Copre bene tutti i passaggi storici, con approfondimento sulla cultura, arte, religione ecc...Copre tutto il periodo dal 900 AD fino al 1986 con integrazione di Sergio Romano fino a Putin.Lascia da approfondire in particolare il succedersi dei fatti storici particolari (guerre, battaglie , fatti spiccioli) che sono solo visti nelle loro conseguenze.Un ottimo compendio che fa ben comprendere sopratutto quanto sia complesso e diverso quel pezzo di mondo.

  • Grant
    2019-03-01 14:54

    The latest edition demonstrates why Risanovsky's and Steinberg's text remains the standard for undergraduate Russian history courses. This well-balanced volume covers Russia from prehistory to present, including political, economic, social, and cultural history. The last two chapters, on Putin's Russia, could use a touch more editing and proofreading, but all in all fine work.

  • Keeko
    2019-03-01 13:43

    I've wanted to read this for a long time because I wanted to learn about Russia, and this is the textbook they use at UCLA, but I was a little intimidated because I thought it might be overwhelming. Once I jumped in, I looked forward to reading it every day. I learned a lot, and the index may be one the best I've ever seen.

  • Jennifer Hawran
    2019-03-01 08:01

    I loved this book (the 4th edition) when I was in college. I still have it, I love it that much. And now I know that there is an 11th edition, which I want to get. But I won't get rid of the book from college. For sentimental reasons, I guess.