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Russia: A History [Kindle Edition]

Gregory L. Freeze
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The history of Russia - from Kievan Rus to Vladimir Putin

Russia: A History cuts through the myths and mystery that have surrounded Russia from its earliest days, with startling revelations from classified archives that until comparatively recently were not even known to exist.

A distinguished team of historians has stripped away the propaganda and preconceptions of the past to tell the definitive story of Russia, from tenth-century Kiev and Muscovy through empire and revolution to the fall of Communism and the 'new order' of the 1990s and early 21st century. A compelling story in its own right, it is essential reading for anyone with an interest in Russia and its place in the world.

This updated edition now covers the developments in the Putin era in the first decade of the 21st century.

Editorial Reviews


Review from previous edition: "A brisk, exciting tour of Russia's long journey from its Kievan origins to the early Yeltsin years ... stunningly beautiful illustrations and transparent prose" --Los Angeles Times

"brings together the latest research into all aspects of Russian history and ... lends itself to reading by the general public as well as the undergraduate." --Contemporary Review

"a lavishly illustrated volume, with a heavy-weight text" --Edward Acton, The European

About the Author

Gregory L. Freeze is Beinfield Professor of History at Brandeis University, Massachusetts. He has been a research associate of the Davis Center for Russian Studies at Harvard University since 1972, and is chief editor and director of the Russian Archives Series.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2771 KB
  • Print Length: 656 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0199560412
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 3 edition (November 27, 1997)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #496,058 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent Overview of Russian History July 9, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The history of Russia, which goes back more than a thousand years, is certainly a very long subject to be attacked in a single volume. This book does a pretty decent job of looking at the entire history of the country from the early days as a coalition of kingdoms, the imperial era, the Soviet era, and the modern-day Russian Federation. The history explained in this book mostly covers economics and domestic politics.

One disappointment I had with this book was that I wished certain subjects were better covered. For example, one of Russia's most notorious czars, Ivan IV "the Terrible," is barely mentioned. There is no description in the book about what made him so "terrible." Another thing is that multiple authors write the chapters. This gave an inconsistent style to the book when reading it from cover-to-cover.

However, I felt the book gave a good, overall description of Russia's long history. I would recommend this to those interested in history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Understanding Russia's Past To Understand Russia Today August 29, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Given the prominence of Russia in today's news media, a prominence not seen since the waning days of the Cold War, it makes sense to try to understand Russian history to place today's events into an informed context. Having read books on select periods of Russian history (Orlando Figes' sublime Natasha's Dance and the Massie books on Peter, Catherine, and Nicholas & Alexandra), I wanted to learn more about periods of Russian history I knew little about. This book succeeded. Mostly.

It mostly succeeds because of the limitations of any book that tries to discuss an entire country's history in a limited amount of space. Choices need to be made. In this case, the book focuses on political and military history at the expense of cultural and social history. For the latter I highly recommend Natasha's Dance. Russian culture is among the world's most monumental in achievement and should be explored by anyone interested in the subject matter.

The limitations of the book also cause there to be more focus on periods later in Russian/Soviet history. So the pre-Petrine period gets only a 100 pages (despite being one of the more interesting periods for me). And the period from Peter the Great onwards gets 500 pages. Regarding the writing style - it depends who is writing. This is a collection of essays and some authors are better able to convey ideas and facts in a more user friendly format. Freeze's own chapters tend to be among the best - especially the chapter on the second 'Time of Troubles' 1985 - 1999. To understand this period is to understand how Russia works today.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fairly short, successful introduction May 11, 2010
Freeze's book examines the history of Russia from the early years to the present. It is a fairly readable book. Not all that needs to be said can be said in such a short history. Nevertheless it accomplishes its task well and is well illustrated. Freeze has collected a number of authors who speak with some convincing authority. Overall this book is fairly successful in its aims to be a basic, historical introduction to Russia.
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Reading of first chapters came across as too "academic", but became more readable for those simply interested in the history of Russia. One disappointment: no mention of the formation of the Soviet Union on December 30, 1922. For an overall history of important events, people, and role in the world -- probably better off with some of the other history of Russia books available on the market.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Russia: A History by Gregory L. Freeze May 24, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was very helpful to me in preparation for a program on Russia, Although I would have liked more history, The book gave sufficient information for the limited time I had.
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