Dominic Lieven, Trinity College, Cambridge University
"This is a lively and readable account, covering more than a thousand years of Russian history in an authoritative narrative. The author deals perceptively not only with political developments, but also with those aspects of modern Russian culture and science that have had an international impact."
Maureen Perrie, University of Birmingham
"If you want to understand Russia, and the story of the Russians, you can do no better than Paul Bushkovitch’s A Concise History of Russia. Bushkovitch has performed a minor miracle: he’s told the remarkably complicated, convoluted, and controversial tale of Russian history simply, directly, and even-handedly. He doesn’t get mired in the details, lost in the twists and turns, or sidetracked by axe grinding. He tells you what happened and why, full stop. So if you want to know what happened and why in Russian history, you be advised to begin with Bushkovitch's masterful introduction."
Marshall Poe, University of Iowa
"Both learned and accessible, this short history of Russia’s troubled passage to the present tells a story of a state and a people who created an empire that much of the world saw as a threat. Whether as the ‘Gendarme of Europe’ or the ‘Red Menace,’ Russia and its Soviet successor (even Putin’s Russia today!) have been as much misunderstood as they have been feared. Paul Bushkovitch brings us a sober reading of Russia’s difficult rises and falls, expansions and contractions, reforms and revolutions. Rather than seeing the preceding millennium as a prelude to the seventy years of the Soviet Union, he gives us a rounded portrait of a country hobbled and humbled by its own geography, institutions like autocracy and serfdom, and grandiose plans to create utopia. Judicious in its judgments, this gracefully written work ranges from high politics to music and literature to open a window through which a reader might begin or renew an acquaintance with the enigmas that were Russia."
Ronald Grigor Suny, University of Michigan
"Bushkovitch avoids the pitfalls of generalization, giving a neat and succinct overview of many different areas that manages to be clear and concise without sacrificing too much detail."
George Gilbert, European History Quarterly