Russia and the Russians by Geoffrey Hosking
A History

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Synopsis

From the Carpathians in the west to the Greater Khingan range in the east, a huge, flat expanse dominates the Eurasian continent. Here, over more than a thousand years, the history and destiny of Russia have unfolded. In a sweeping narrative, one of the English-speaking world's leading historians of Russia follows this story from the first emergence of the Slavs in the historical record in the sixth century C.E. to the Russians' persistent appearances in today's headlines. Hosking's is a monumental story of competing legacies, of an enormous power uneasily balanced between the ideas and realities of Asian empire, European culture, and Byzantine religion; of a constantly shifting identity, from Kievan Rus to Muscovy to Russian Empire to Soviet Union to Russian Federation, and of Tsars and leaders struggling to articulate that identity over the centuries.

With particular attention to non-Russian regions and ethnic groups and to Russia's relations with neighboring polities, Hosking lays out the links between political, economic, social, and cultural phenomena that have made Russia what it is--a world at once familiar and mysterious to Western observers. In a clear and engaging style, he conducts us through the Mongol invasions, the rise of autocracy, the reigns of Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great, the battle against Napoleon, the emancipation of the serfs, the Crimean War, the Bolshevik Revolution, Stalin's reign of terror, the two World Wars, the end of the USSR, to today's war against Chechnya. Hosking's history is shot through with the understanding that becoming an empire has prevented Russia from becoming a nation and has perpetuated archaic personal forms of power. This book is the most penetrating and comprehensive account yet of what such a legacy has meant--to Russia, and to the world.

 

About Geoffrey Hosking

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Geoffrey Hosking is retired Professor of Russian History at the University College London.
 
Published January 1, 2001 by ALLEN LANE. 608 pages
Genres: History, Travel. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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of London) builds on the central question posed in Russia: People and Empire 1552–1917 (1997): How do the Russians define themselves—by geography, language, culture, or empire?

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Publishers Weekly

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To demonstrate that Russia's recent political and socioeconomic problems do not mean that she need no longer be taken seriously... as threat or as potential ally, Hosking ambitiously and diligentl

May 21 2001 | Read Full Review of Russia and the Russians: A Hi...

The Guardian

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Russia and the Russians Geoffrey Hosking Allen Lane The Penguin Press £25, pp736 When Geoffrey Hosking was given the chair of Russian history at London University 17 years ago, he was one of a tiny group of Britons who had spent time in the country he taught about.

Jun 10 2001 | Read Full Review of Russia and the Russians: A Hi...

Publishers Weekly

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Demonstrating a thorough knowledge of Western and Russian sources, he covers the main topics in imperial Russian history: the rise of the Russian state, the peasantry, imperial expansion, the church, the army, the nobility and more.

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Publishers Weekly

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Additionally, Hosking attributes the sharp increase of orphans during the 1930s primarily to civil war, collectivization and urbanization, noting, ""clearly it was also linked to the legislative weakening of the family"" (i.e., the legalization of abortion, civil marriage, divorce and equal prope...

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