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Russia: A History
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Russia: A History (udgave 1998)

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256378,657 (3.36)2
Since the coming of perestroika in 1985, scholars have had unprecedented access to Russian archives. In Russia: A History, editor Gregory Freeze and twelve other American and European historians have mined these newly opened archives and browsed through the best contemporary scholarship to provide a major reinterpretation of the history of one of the world's great powers. Here is the first major history of Russia to appear since the fall of the Soviet Union, beginning in the 8th century and ranging across a thousand years to the recently established Commonwealth of Independent States. What emerges is a nation of extremes--of imperial opulence and abject poverty, tyrannical power and subversive resistance, artistic achievement and economic crisis, glittering cities and frozen steppes. The contributors capture a powerful sense of Russia's national destiny of repeated themes and unchanging conditions. We see, for instance, that time and again, all-powerful autocrats like Ivan the Terrible and Stalin employed brutality to eliminate any challenge to their authority. Yet their hold on power was always under attack, threatened by bureaucratic incompetence, pervasive corruption, and resistance from below. Russian rulers have also had to contend with the same immense physical challenges: a huge and widely dispersed population, a perennial dearth of means and men to govern, a primitive infrastructure which, as the authors show, periodically dissolved into times of trouble, as in 1598, 1917, and 1991. Handsomely illustrated with nearly 170 illustrations, including 12 color plates, this landmark history cuts through the myths that have surrounded Russia to tell the absorbing story of one of the world's most powerful nations.… (mere)
Medlem:millerhj
Titel:Russia: A History
Forfattere:
Info:Oxford University Press, USA (1998), Edition: 1, Hardcover
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Russia: A History af Gregory L. Freeze

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The narrow focus on political history was frustrating at times - for example, the effects of the Crimean War on public opinion is discussed at length, but the description of the war itself is so paltry that I had no idea who Russia was fighting against in the war, and could only infer that she lost.

The broad temporal sweep (400 pages for 500 years) seems like it'd be aimed at newcomers to the country's history, but I found I had to supplement the text with Wikipedia on nearly every page simply to understand the terms and historical figures used without introduction. People who don't need that sort of help might be bored by the overview.

Still, the subject matter is fascinating; despite several different authors writing for different eras, the link between historical causation still stands out. The consistent failure to divide land in an intelligent manner, the incompetency of the ruling class and the repeated way that reform always seemed to make things worse could be described as the major themes. ( )
  poirotketchup | Mar 18, 2021 |
The text was entirely too dry, and mashed together. It was unreadable... ( )
  TheInvernessie | Nov 26, 2013 |
Interesting though, as must always been the case with such a single-volume history , it did veer towards the simplistic. Still, I enjoyed it, ( )
  Eyejaybee | May 25, 2011 |
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Since the coming of perestroika in 1985, scholars have had unprecedented access to Russian archives. In Russia: A History, editor Gregory Freeze and twelve other American and European historians have mined these newly opened archives and browsed through the best contemporary scholarship to provide a major reinterpretation of the history of one of the world's great powers. Here is the first major history of Russia to appear since the fall of the Soviet Union, beginning in the 8th century and ranging across a thousand years to the recently established Commonwealth of Independent States. What emerges is a nation of extremes--of imperial opulence and abject poverty, tyrannical power and subversive resistance, artistic achievement and economic crisis, glittering cities and frozen steppes. The contributors capture a powerful sense of Russia's national destiny of repeated themes and unchanging conditions. We see, for instance, that time and again, all-powerful autocrats like Ivan the Terrible and Stalin employed brutality to eliminate any challenge to their authority. Yet their hold on power was always under attack, threatened by bureaucratic incompetence, pervasive corruption, and resistance from below. Russian rulers have also had to contend with the same immense physical challenges: a huge and widely dispersed population, a perennial dearth of means and men to govern, a primitive infrastructure which, as the authors show, periodically dissolved into times of trouble, as in 1598, 1917, and 1991. Handsomely illustrated with nearly 170 illustrations, including 12 color plates, this landmark history cuts through the myths that have surrounded Russia to tell the absorbing story of one of the world's most powerful nations.

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