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on 7 May 2010
Honestly, this book is brilliant. It is well researched and written clearly making this complex topic accessible and understandable to all levels from GCSE upwards.
The inclusion of charts and tables allows the readers to really get to grips with the trends of the period, and the images and maps included are well suited to the topics covered.
This book was brilliant in my exams, a treu life saver. The author, in addition to being an incredible author and historian, is a brilliant and dedicated teacher. This I speak from experience, as he has succeeded in making history accessible, enjoyable, and fun, as well as giving us all guaranteed A in our exams. This brilliance has come across in this work as well as his two others (so far) and I would recommend this book to anyone studying Russian history, and more widely to anyone who enjoys history.

We love you Andy!
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on 5 February 2011
Having previously bought a similar textbook that covered the period 1855-1964 (flagship history), but not the exact OCR specification, I was thoroughly pleased with this purchase.

As most of you know, the OCR exam on this period is more about exam technique and writing about as many comparisons and differences as you can, not so much about knowledge. This book is perfect for thi. Instead of just following a broadly chronological path like the flaship history one, and throwing as much knowledge as possible at you; it divides the book up into the seperate themes that OCR recommends on its specification. For example, the economy, social changes etc. This really helps when revising, as you can write notes on all the seperate themes and construct essays much easier than if you had to search for all the themes in a purely chronological textbook.

The actual wording of the textbook is great, not too stuffy but the author certainly does not talk down to you. The amount of detail is just right, and while some may say the abudance of graphs and tables may get boring, I would totally disagree. It makes an interesting change to pages of text and puts important events such as Wittes' "Great spurt" into context by showing you how large the improvements to the Russian economy were. The use of little boxes to the side of the main body of text that either explain a bolded words meaning or give more knowledge of an important russian figure were also excellent and stopped me from going off track to look them up on the internet.

The essays at the end of each themed chapter were also excellent. The author shows us a great A/A* answer then compares it to a lower C grade answer. You really get a feel for how to structure and write about all types of essays, and were of definite use to me while revising.

Overall a solid 5 stars from me, an excellent textbook for revision for the OCR exam, as well as an interesting read for those who like this period of history!

P.S. if you ARE doing the OCR A Historical themes: Russia and its rulers, I really recommend you get THIS book, and not "Flagship History - Russia 1855-1964". I have done a review on it and it is nowhere near as easy to revise or read from as this textbook!
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on 10 June 2010
This book is brilliant. It is stuffed full of all the relevant information needed to pass the A Level OCR exam and is my opinion a much better buy than the Heinemann book designed for the exam in collaboration with the exam board. This is due to the fact that it's a lot easier to understand given the way the book is set out and that it includes everything you could possibly need to know which I don't think the Heinemann book does.
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on 28 June 2010
This is the perfect book for the A level history themes. It gives you exactly the information you need in a brilliantly organised and simple layout which is far superior to that of the other Russian historical themes books like Mike Wells's OCR A Level History A: Russia and its Rulers 1855-1964. Makes revision almost enjoyable.

My only criticism is that the knowledge detail isnt great, but thats not really its purpose. Its disection of the themes is top stuff nonetheless, and a perfect companion would be michael lynch's Russia AS book (green one) From Autocracy to Communism: Russia 1894-1941 (Access to History)to brush up on the details which is also a Hodder Arnold Publication.

Another strong point which puts it head and shoulders above Mike Wells's one is the example essays after each theme. These were ideal when looking at how to structure essays which is a bit of a nightmare otherwise.

If you use this book with revision you should have no problems hitting top grades. simple as.
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on 5 November 2011
A quick note on the Kindle Edition specifically: it's really good. As with the paper copy, it tackles the course synoptically and thematically, and this is only helped by the glossary which is incredibly useful when starting out the course. In other words, the whole thing is very well hyperlinked, so if it mentions Chapter 3, you can jump to Chapter 3 and if it mentions the Constituent Assembly, you can jump to the glossary definition, for instance. That's really useful, probably less so if you're several months into the course, but it's perfect when you're starting out.
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on 8 June 2013
i was struggling with history but as soon as i bought this book, wow! the sample essays of A and C grades really help you understand what you need to do, although the length f the sample essays are unrealistic- i don't actually think they were done within an hour. Nonetheless, fantastic! It's so detailed, and written in a student friendly way so you understand it well :)

I definitely recommend this!
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on 13 June 2013
This is one of the best books I came across to help me study for my A2 History exam.

It is themed synoptically rather than chronologically which is hard to get your head around at first but in the exam you write synoptically so it's very helpful to draw links across the period from different leaders.

Definitely use this for Russian History!
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on 21 October 2010
The purchase arrived very swiftly and in great condition- perfect for an A Level student who is relying upon fast deliveries to aid their education. Would definately buy again from this supplier and would reccommend them.
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on 21 October 2014
Went from a C to getting an 100% in my Russian exam - all due to this book and hard work. Would definitely, definitely recommend !
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on 15 January 2015
Excellent for you if your studying history at school. Easy to understand and has clear photos.
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