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A History of Russia 8th Edition
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"A History of Russia is one of the best, if not the best, one-volume texts of Russian history from Kievan times to the present. It does an exceptionally effective job of synthesizing a basic (yet always interesting and stimulating) narrative of Russian/Eurasian history with an introduction to historiographical debates about the major scholarly issues, showing how scholarship on certain issues has evolved over time. Generations of students have profited remarkably from this book. It is both a wonderful teaching tool and a useful reference book for scholars."--Glennys Young, University of Washington
About the Author
Nicholas Riasanovsky is Professor Emeritus of History the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of several books, including A Parting of Ways: Government and the Educated Public in Russia: 1801-1855 (1976) and The Image of Peter the Great in Russian History and Thought (OUP, 1985).
Mark Steinberg is Professor of History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Specializing in the cultural, intellectual, and social history of Russia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, his many books include Voices of Revolution, 1917 (2001) and Proletarian Imagination: Self, Modernity, and the Sacred in Russia, 1910-1925 (2002). Since 2006, he has been editor of the journal Slavic Review.
Top Customer Reviews
Riasanovsky takes the reader mechanically through the development of the Russian state. He begins with the geopolitical landscape as it existed prior to the Russians then examines in detail the flowering of Kiev, the appanage system, and the Muscovite, imperialist, revolutionary, and Soviet eras. Riasanovsky's painstaking attention to detail and thorough familiarity with other historiographies provide the reader with a comprehensive evolutionary picture. For example, his illustration of the early appanage system and the continuation of class disparities well into the 20th century shed ample light on the fertile ground into which Vladimir Lenin was able to sow the communist theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. His verbal portraits of leaders such as Ivan the Terrible and Catherine the Great give meaningful context to the power struggles and political imbroglios which characterized specific reigns.Read more ›
The book at hand does indeed present a comprehensive coverage of Russian history, albeit in a somewhat dry fashion. Do not expect to finish this book and be left with crisp and colorful images of Russia's history. But what you can expect is a comprehensive coverage of every period of Russian history, complete with dates, names, and places. After a once-over, this book can be used as a reference, or a refresher on a particular timeframe in the history of the country. I am still looking for a more captivating work on Russian history, so anyone knows of any - please recommend.
This book is a STANDARD history of Russia, used by many, including my, college courses on the subject. It is generally considered a classic.
If you want, or profess, to understand Russian history, this book is a must. Absolutely. First rate. NO, not without the author's personal imput.
But what book is without that imput? NONE.
Buy it, read it, and try to understand. Yes, read others, but read this first.
THIS IS THE STANDARD TEXT.
Take care and God bless your endeavors.
As to a reader's criticism, Riasanovsky is indeed somewhat biased, but certainly no more than the typical American historian writing about US History. He gives more than equal blame, for instance, to Nicholas II for getting his country involved in the Crimean War. He certainly never acts as an apologist for any of the Russian rulers at any stage, though his admiration for Peter the Great and Catherine can't be denied.
Poles, Ukranians, Lithuanians, etc. are not going to be won over by this book, but it is to the author's credit that the reader understands why they wont be. But winning anyone's approval is hardly Riasnovsky's object. He's primarily trying to tell the story of a people, and he succeeds on that level, quite brilliantly. The story he tells is complex and fascinating, to say the least. So many colorful and unforgettable characters advanced across Russia's historical stage, that any other country would be hard put to come up with such a cast or a saga.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the (if not the) most well-written and deeply insightful histories I've ever read.
Usually the last chapter of such broad-sweeping histories is prospective, and... Read more
Surprised to learn that I paid $77.00 for a paperback, 8th edition, 2011, when what was shown was the hard-cover 1999 edition. Read morePublished 7 months ago by david murray
On the one hand, I didn't dislike this book. It was very detailed and could drift into the boring realm at times, but it was also 816 pages long so what would a person expect? Read morePublished 9 months ago by Caitlin
Read this in college originally....enjoyed it more for some reason then. It is a well written book with a good take on Russian History in my opinion.Published 9 months ago by Eric Lundberg
From time to time, Riasanovsky might seem a little dry to the casual reader, but this is an excellent rendering of Russian history from the beginning to age of Gorbechov; not only... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Phillip Parotti
Thorough history, I am enjoying the read. I don't have others to compare it to, which is why it didn't receive a 5. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Andrew F
I don't understand how the seventh edition had fewer language issue.... and this one, seems like a lot of translation issues and or just bad wording choices and grammatical errors. Read morePublished 17 months ago by K. Boult