Customer Review

8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a complete history, 2 Sep 2010
This review is from: Russia and the Russians: From Earliest Times to the Present: From Earliest Times to 2001 (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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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Oct 2010 15:39:07 BDT
Tony Roberts says:
I would be interested to know whether the person who left an 'unhelpful' marker in the review section meant that my review was unhelpful, or that they just didn't like what I said about the book? Its too common these days for these markers to mean that the review was not liked, rather than it being helpful or not.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Dec 2010 14:19:13 GMT
Greycat says:
Could you recommend any alternatives that are better?

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Dec 2010 19:46:48 GMT
Tony Roberts says:
There's this book A History of Russia, Central Asia and Mongolia: Inner Eurasia from Prehistory to the Mongol Empire v. 1 (Blackwell History of the World) for starters. I've only read this volume and not the second one, but it gives a much deeper comprehensive history of the region. Yes, its not just about Russia, but it includes Russia amongst it.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jan 2011 13:45:44 GMT
AnB says:
Depends on the type of reading you are looking for. If you want something whithout white spots you should go to Cambridge History of Russia (3 bands). The rest of books are not very detailed. Unfortunately, really in-depth course are all in Russian and not available for English reader.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Nov 2012 16:07:32 GMT
TomSzikovski says:
Thanks very much. Actually useful information in a review!!

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Nov 2013 11:29:32 GMT
D. G. Evans says:
Thank you Tony Roberts. I will add David Christian's book to my wish list: it certainly looks to be a good book.
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