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Russian history was typically studied through liberal or socialist lenses until Richard Pipes first published his translation of Karamzin's Memoir. Almost fifty years later, it is still the only English-language edition of this classic work. Still fresh and readable today, the Memoir-in which Alexander I's state historian elaborates his arguments for a strong Russian state-remains the most accessible introduction to the conservatism of Russia's ancien regime. This annotated translation is a "faithful rendition of the letter and spirit of the original," which not only introduces readers to the sweep of Karamzin's ideas, but also weaves together a fascinating version of Russia's rich history. With a new foreword by Richard Pipes, Karamzin's Memoir on Ancient and Modern Russia is a touchstone for anyone interested in Russia's fascinating and turbulent past.
Richard Pipes is Baird Professor of History at Harvard University.
Nikolai M. Karamzin (1766-1826) was a Russian historian, poet, and journalist. He was appointed court historian by Tsar Alexander I.