Title: Russia: History of Russia: Kievan Rus to Vladimir Putin, Tsars and Revolutions – All Shaping Russian Culture and Russian History
Author: Ian Maslow
Publisher: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited
Date of Publishing: 18 May 2017
Genre: History/ Politics
A concise guide about the ground-breaking rise of a prodigious nation.
The foundations of modern day Russia began in 882 AD with the establishment of the Kievan Rus’ Kingdom. Earlier it was a monarchy and was ruled by many dynasties till the Mongol invasion that became an unstoppable force. Russia had already received the message of Christianity before the arrival of the Mongols and had been fairly Christianised leaving behind its pagan ancestry. The book provides a bird’s eye view of all the successive events in a sequential order. It is lucidly written in a modest and vibrant style. The book is educational and engaging in equal proportions. It cuts out any redundant information only to focus on the important events. The narrator’s conversational tone makes the reading process almost like listening to a lecture. The sections titled Misconceptions, Interesting Facts, You may not know and If the choice were yours provide a broader understanding of the historical data.Each chapter ends with a Questionnaire that serves to recapitulate the text well. The Tsardom marks the bloodiest period in Russian history with extreme famine and political and social disequilibrium as the Tsar posed to be a self- proclaimed God. This period was followed by an imperialistic Russia under many rulers and some of them were women. The guide is exceptionally factual but not mind-numbing. Important information has been jotted down in bullet points. A very complex set of historical events has been made easy to comprehend. The formation of the USSR marks Russia’s involvement in the WWII. A very key and interesting focus is the Stalinisation process. 1947 proves to be a turning point in world history with the Indian Independence on one end and the beginning of the Cold War on the end of the world. Two trusted allies of WWII turn enemies and lose their cordial ties. The incidents that followed are important in order to understand both European and American history as well as the genesis of the literary phrase ‘cold war’ that gained significant position.
The book is a great read for students of history and politics. It is useful as an introductory text at school levels or a complementary text in college courses. It provides an unbiased view of Russian history through a mature rendering of a dense narrative.
Concise, accurate and interesting.
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