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A Detailed Text Book
on November 14, 2012
I purchased this book to learn the complete history of Russia - or at least have access to any period in it's history up to the present. Well, this book certainly is giving me that! The beginning is traced very far back in time when tribes roaming over the vast area from present day Europe to China roamed in and out of the present day Russia fought, intermarried to some extent, spoke different dialects, and took on still different identities. This early history introduces many names of peoples, languages, individuals, and places - truly more than I could connect with any continuity. So although the text does not read like a novel, the combination of its organization, chapter and section heading, along with the very complete index make it very useful to me. The book is arranged chronologically only to some degree, but chapters (all about equal length) emphasize different aspects of the society - government, politics, peoples, economics, leaders, foreign relations and wars, comparison of agriculture verses industry, etc. This makes the book the powerful resource I wanted - one I could put aside then come back to when I wanted particulars - usually about a leader, or period. I've yet to read through to the present, Putin's leadership, but have read over enough periods in Russia's history so far to understand where names like Marx, Lenin, Trotskii, and Stalin fit. I'm beginning to understand why the culture of Russia is very different from the US perhaps mostly because of it's vast area, climate differences, subcultures, classes, poverty, and some very cruel difficult periods. No small revelation is the importance that revolution has played - even to the degree that it has been considered inevitable and necessary by many of Russia's leaders. The evolution of the form of government into present day communism is just beginning to become clear as I continue the book.