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Russia and the Russians: From Earliest Times to the Present: From Earliest Times to 2001 Paperback – 25 Jul 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (25 July 2002)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 014029788X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140297881
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 102,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Russia and the Russians"...is a comprehensive and up-to-date textbook of Russian history...[Hosking] covers every aspect of Russia from the terrain itself, to the tsars, to Russian nationalism, to the Cold War, to Perestroika, to the Russian Federation--and he is thorough. "Russia and the Russians" is a book for the serious student of history. -- Freda Fuller Coursey "Times Record News" (09/09/2001)

About the Author

Geoffrey Hosking is Professor of Russian History at University College London. His previous books include the best-selling Russia: People and Empire, 1552-1917 and History of the Soviet Union Russia: People and Empire, 1552-1917 - 48,000 sales in the UK and Commonwealth.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 61 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 July 2003
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a concise history of russia, you cant go wrong with this book. I bought it as an introduction to Russia and Russian culture before i went to live in moscow for 6 months and found it to be a highly informative and entertaining work on what can appear to be an intimidating topic. You can't help but feel you're learning something new with every page turned, and personaly i found the subject fascinating. Even if you never intend to visit Russia, I feel this book is well worth a read for anyone with an interest in history as this sprawling country and its eventful past is so little-known to outsiders. A minor disappointment on my part, was the superficial coverage of individual characters and personalities bar the tsars and post revolution leaders (Rasputin for example gets barely a mention). This is not a critisism however, the books purpose is to give the reader a broad overview of 1000 years of history in 700-odd pages, which it does admirably.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By F Henwood TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a comprehensive, stimulating history of Russia from its earliest foundation in Kievan Rus in the 9th Century up until the rise of Vladimir Putin at the end of the 20th Century.

The book is wide-ranging, discussing many themes, and is well organised. Major figures are given their due but we aren't just treated to a tedious chronology of regal succession but the social, economic and cultural contexts that gave rise to such defining figures as Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible) and Peter I (Peter the Great), Stalin and Gorbachev.

The one-star review that complains that there is insufficient attention to the lives of its rulers misses the point. Russia has not just been defined by its rulers. It has been defined by its geography, namely its wide open borders that have made stabilising and securing frontiers so difficult. It has been defined by its harsh ecology and short growing season, which discouraged risk-taking and innovation among the peasantry but inspired strong communal values in the countryside, values at once intensely parochial but also providing the mulch for messianic political movements like Marxist-Leninism. And it has been defined by its culture, especially the influence, for better or for worse, of the Orthodox Church, the influence of which can be seen in the thinking of 19th Century Russian intellectuals and Slavophiles, with their romanticised conception of the narod (people), seeing Russia as a shining example to the rest of the world. This thinking owed much to the universal pretensions of Orthodox tradition. The continuities with the Bolsheviks' messianic ambitions can scarcely be overlooked. And, because Russia has been an empire as well as nation, it has also been defined by the people it has assimilated and conquered.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By meob on 6 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
This book was recommended by Orlando Figes and is well worth purchasing. It sets out clearly the complexities of Russian history form earliest times to 2001. I have found it easier to read than some other histories although a glossary of significant Russian words would be helpful but one can make one's own. A very good buy. Michael BaileyNatasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia
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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tony Roberts on 2 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
Be mindful if you do think of buying this book. There are large chunks missing from this 'history'. If you're like me and wish to read a chronological story with no gaps then this will be a disappointment.

The reason is that for much of the book the complete lives of many of the rulers are not there. Yes, there are parts touched on, but largely these interestingnand colourful characters do not have their complete lives told by this author. We go from one reign of a monarch to the next without finding out what happened to them, such as how did they die and how did the new monarch succeed the throne.

Its too disjointed for my taste and disappointing. Also as is the case in many histories, its far too biaised in favour of the modern era. Yes I know there's far more material and sources to pull on as you get closer to the current era but its just far too much a story of communism rather than a balanced story of Russia.

So yes it does touch on most of the reigns of the Tsars and Empresses etc, but don't expect a complete story from start to finish. Expect to read much about the communists and I detected very much a tone of admiration of them from the author. So again, don't expect an unbiaised history either.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
Acceptable, but no depth 6 July 2009
By Vladimir Korovkin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Well, generally one gets more or less accurate account of the events, though at times with strange omissions (e. g. the rule of Elisabeth and Anna in 18th century) and minor factual flows (e. g. Anna Akhmatova's son and husband were not in jail at the same time, the latter was executed some 16 years before the former was arrested).
Oddly enough the book totally lacks depth and insight which one may expect from an impartial foreign observer. It is more or less reflective compilation of the recent histories published in Russia in abundance since the end of communism.
No serious attempt of comparative analysis either with Western or Asian development is made (apart from reciting the stances of Russian semi-amateur thinkers of 19th century). The economic analysis is sporadic and absolutely shallow (which is a lethal flow of almost all histories of Russia). The book is especially misguiding in the account of industrial and technological and scientific development of the past two centuries.
To sum up: the reader gets more or less the same narrative of the Russian history that the one taught in the upper-secondary school in Russia. The praises for depth and insightfullness which are in reviews on the cover are completely irrelevant.
For the UNDERSTANDING of modern Russia one has to turn to something else.
Russia and the Russians 30 Nov. 2012
By bob felde - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked the book, but I wished it was not in paperback size. I would prefer full size books. I clicked the submit button, nothing happened!
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