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Books > History > Europe > B006WNSKCO
  1. A Concise History of Russia (Cambridge Concise Histories)
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  2. A Concise History of Russia (Cambridge Concise Histories)

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    Customer Ratings (17 reviews)
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Additional Information

Accessible to students, tourists and general readers alike, this book provides a broad overview of Russian history since the ninth century. Paul Bushkovitch emphasizes the enormous changes in the understanding of Russian history resulting from the end of the Soviet Union in 1991. Since then, new material has come to light on the history of the Soviet era, providing new conceptions of Russia's pre-revolutionary past. The book traces not only the political history of Russia, but also developments in its literature, art and science. Bushkovitch describes well-known cultural figures, such as Chekhov, Tolstoy and Mendeleev, in their institutional and historical contexts. Though the 1917 revolution, the resulting Soviet system and the Cold War were a crucial part of Russian and world history, Bushkovitch presents earlier developments as more than just a prelude to Bolshevik power.

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Paul Bushkovitch
Kindle Edition
Kindle eBook
Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

This is one of the most enjoyable and entertaining histories I have ever read. Although the author inflects his writing with no sensationalism or emotional subjectivism, he knows how to turn a phrase in a way which leaves the reader eager to see what happens next. Every time I finished a chapter, I just had to read the first page of the next chapter to get a hint of what was to come! The history reads very cohesively, and binds together like a "story." I definitely plan on reading this whole book again, just for pleasure (I originally read it for a course).

Do note that this is not like a typical textbook-- there are no bolded terms, no chapter outlines, no supplementary timelines of important events, etc. As I said above, it reads more like a novel.
Despite the many excellent works on Russian history, decent single volume surveys are few and far between. Geoffrey Hosking and Abraham Ascher both have written short histories of Russia that, while good, left one wanting more (I was not that enamored with Hosking's longer survey). This book is significantly longer than either of them, and does a good job narrating and explaining Russian history.
A very good introduction covering many aspects of Russian history that are overlooked in more general accounts, but lacking depth overall. The shifts in the second half of the book between leader-centric, cultural, and imperialist chapters became distracting. In condensing the dense subject, the author seemed to lose the ability to be a storyteller, but nevertheless enticed an interest in finding more sources for specific eras.
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