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The Third Rome: Holy Russia, Tsarism and Orthodoxy Paperback – February, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Matthew Raphael Johnson holds a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska in political science. Presently, he is a researcher in Russian history and politics at the Foundation for Economic Liberty in Washington D.C.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: The Foundation for Economic Liberty, Inc.; Second Edition edition (February 2004)
  • ISBN-10: 0974230308
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974230306
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,125,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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_The Third Rome: Holy Russia, Tsarism & Orthodoxy_ by Matthew Raphael Johnson, published by The Foundation for Economics Liberty and made available through _The Barnes Review_, is a fascinating account written from the perspective of a pro-Russian nationalist and monarchist of the history of Holy Russia prior to the horrors of the Bolshevik revolution. This book is unique in that the author takes a revisionist perspective of Holy Russia and does not kowtow to the idols of academia and liberalism. The author at once argues in favor of the tsars, as righteous defenders of Holy Russia and the Orthodox tradition against the encroachments of the West. The author also argues in favor of the Russian peasant, smeared by the revolutionist wing of the progressive party as backwards and illiterate. Contrary to this perspective, the author shows how Holy Russia was in fact a land of great learning and culture in which the Orthodox tradition survived through the ages unhampered by Western materialism and Enlightenment progressivism until the revolution overtook Russia.

The author begins by shedding light on the beginnings of the Russian state, constantly besieged by Mongol invaders. The Russian state was originally headed by Riurik, a "legendary" Varangian ruler, who made his capital in Novgorod. The Russian state enjoyed free trade with Byzantium but was made to pay tribute to the quasi-Jewish Khazar empire. Later the capital was moved to Kiev and eventually to Moscow, the "third Rome" enjoying the appeal as the head of the Orthodox state and the Christian center of Russia. The author contrasts early Russian paganism, which may have been an important precursor to Christ, with Orthodox Christianity which subsequently came to overtake it.
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This is truly one of the most important books that Western readers can encounter in terms of understanding our current world situation. In this wonderful history, Dr. Johnson blows apart many of the misguided myths relative to Holy Russia. Having read a lot of Hilaire Belloc, I have come to a real appreciation of the Catholic social teachings of distributivism and subsidiarity. It is remarkable to realize, in carefully reading Johnson's excellent book, that Holy Russia was the embodiment of these ideals.

The propaganda job that has been done on the truth of Holy Russia is one of the great disgraces of modern history. Matthew Raphael Johnson is to be tremendously commended for finally and effectively inveighing against this untruth. It is truth such as this that will set us free.

Addendum 06-May-06:

I had occasion this week to reread this very important and excellent book. In the time between readings, I have tried to educate myself relative to European history, philosophy, and economics. With this in mind, it is truly a wonder to rediscover in Dr. Johnson's monumental account of Holy Russia the legacy of a state founded on the very sound ideas of the Christian Faith. It is without question that the existence of this Christian polity was an embarrassment to the liberal masonic oligarchs who sought to rule the world in 1917 and still seek the same goal today. Yet, as Dr. Johnson illustrates, the spirit of Holy Russia lives. Praise God.

Reading widely, I would make the following bold claim relative to this excellent book. I believe it is the most important and insightful book thus far written in the new century. Read it carefully. And be renewed with hope in Christ in the process!
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I was assigned this book for a Russian history course I am taking. You will notice from the first page that Matthew R. Johnson is not your run of the mill Phd. He thinks for himself and is able to put the History of Holy Russian into its proper context. This is critical since so many in the West look at the Russian culture as backwards. Find out whom really bank rolled the Communist and was Ivan the terrible really that bad? This history book reads like a fast paced novel and you will find yourself nodding your head in agreement with his statements.

If you are Orthodox or not this book will help you understand why Holy Russia was such a threat to the West and why the West wanted it to be destroyed. Although Johnson feels passionately about this topic, his choice of words could hamper some readers. I think they were honest but I will concede there could have been less name calling.

Having said that, I highly recommend this book to everyone. You will see the motivational differences between East and West in an Honest and sound context.
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4. 5 stars. Bold defense of a forbidden subject. The author challenges all of your assumptions about Russian history. The author convincingly makes the case that Holy Russia defended Christianity against the hordes of Islam and Revolution. While he does delve into "conspiracy theory," it must be noted that all European revolutions were started by conspiracies. This doesn't need to be proven. Secondly, until 1914 "conspiracy history" was an acknowledged and somewhat respected discipline.

As to the thesis, i thought it was relatively simple: Russia saw itself as the continuation of the Rome idea (at that was clearly documented in the 1400s). Whether she was correct to see herself thusly is completely beside the point. Johnson's main point, and I suspect this gets him in trouble with SCOBA, is that after Peter the Occultist, Russia split in two: the concept of Holy Russia was largely negated by Peter (and found continuation only in some monasteries and the Old Rite) and the concept of Modern Western Russia.

Ironically, ever since Johnson's book came out, mainstream SCOBA historians have said the exact same thing...well, paralleling Johnson's thesis anyway. See Dmitri Pospielovsky's *The History of the Orthodox Church in Russia.*

Unfortunately, he could have better documented the Masonic connections with the conspiracies. I think he is correct but needs documentation. That is my one flaw in the book.

Fr Johnson does a good job in documenting the Jewish and capitalist connections to the October Revolution. The Schiff and Rockefeller family needed a weak and de-Christianized Russia in order for the Anglo establishment to dominate Europe. Secondly, these capitalists did not actually want everyone to benefit from the free-market. Oligarchs never do.
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