Russia: A 1000-Year Chronicle of the Wild East

Russia: A 1000-Year Chronicle of the Wild East

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by Martin Sixsmith
     
 

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Combining in-depth research with his personal experiences as the BBC Moscow correspondent for almost twenty years, Sixsmith tells Russia's full and fascinating story, from its foundation in the last years of the tenth century to the first years of the twenty-first, skillfully tracing the conundrums of modern Russia to their roots in its troubled past.
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Overview

Combining in-depth research with his personal experiences as the BBC Moscow correspondent for almost twenty years, Sixsmith tells Russia's full and fascinating story, from its foundation in the last years of the tenth century to the first years of the twenty-first, skillfully tracing the conundrums of modern Russia to their roots in its troubled past.
Covering politics, music, literature and art, he explores the myths Russians have created from their history.
Marking the twentieth anniversary of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the complex political landscape of Russia and its unique place in the modern world.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Twenty years after the U.S.S.R.’s collapse, Russia remains a world-class power, and former BBC Moscow correspondent Sixsmith (Putin’s Oil: The Yukos Affair and the Struggle for Russia) delivers a thoroughly satisfying history. He reaches the 20th century well before the text’s one-third point, but skillfully summarizes the semilegendary ninth century merging of Slav and Viking tribes to form the “Rus” people. Two centuries of Mongol rule after 1200 isolated the country from Renaissance cultural values, but recovery under the Romanov Tsars (1612–1917) produced the world’s largest empire, a rich culture, and a stubbornly autocratic government that persists despite a reforming czar (Peter the Great), the Enlightenment (Catherine the Great), and two revolutions (1917, 1991). Sixsmith interrupts his story to visit historical sites and speak to Russians about their past, a tactic that may stir readers to do the same. A lively, opinionated narrative. (Mar.)
The Times Literary Supplement
"Russia, a 1,000 Year Chronicle of the Wild East has all the ingredients to become the leading popular history of Russia. Colloquial, personal and anecdotal in style . . . well researched and factually sound."
Booklist
"Sixsmith immerses readers in the Russian landscape and peoples with descriptions of places he's visited and quotations of poetry . . . Sixsmith effectively updates the continuities of Russian history, motivating readers to check out such scholarly surveys as Russia and the Russians, by Geoffrey Hosking."
Choice
"This entertaining, informative book presents a sweeping portrait of the entirety of Russian history from the founding of the first state on Russian soil in the ninth century to the present."
Reading Behind the Lines
"Among the many contemporary books about Russia, general readers are likely to choose Sixsmith's 600-page tome for its comprehensiveness and air of authority. As popular history, it is enjoyable and engaging."
--The Times Literary Supplement

"Russia, a 1,000 Year Chronicle of the Wild East has all the ingredients to become the leading popular history of Russia. Colloquial, personal and anecdotal in style . . . well researched and factually sound."
--Booklist

"Sixsmith immerses readers in the Russian landscape and peoples with descriptions of places he's visited and quotations of poetry . . . Sixsmith effectively updates the continuities of Russian history, motivating readers to check out such scholarly surveys as Russia and the Russians, by Geoffrey Hosking."
--Reading Behind the Lines

"Among the many contemporary books about Russia, general readers are likely to choose Sixsmith's 600-page tome for its comprehensiveness and air of authority. As popular history, it is enjoyable and engaging."
--CHOICE

"This entertaining, informative book presents a sweeping portrait of the entirety of Russian history from the founding of the first state on Russian soil in the ninth century to the present."
—The Times Literary Supplement
"Russia, a 1,000 Year Chronicle of the Wild East has all the ingredients to become the leading popular history of Russia. Colloquial, personal and anecdotal in style . . . well researched and factually sound."
—Booklist
"Sixsmith immerses readers in the Russian landscape and peoples with descriptions of places he's visited and quotations of poetry . . . Sixsmith effectively updates the continuities of Russian history, motivating readers to check out such scholarly surveys as Russia and the Russians, by Geoffrey Hosking."
—Reading Behind the Lines
"Among the many contemporary books about Russia, general readers are likely to choose Sixsmith's 600-page tome for its comprehensiveness and air of authority. As popular history, it is enjoyable and engaging."
—CHOICE
"This entertaining, informative book presents a sweeping portrait of the entirety of Russian history from the founding of the first state on Russian soil in the ninth century to the present."
From the Publisher
"Russia delivers a thoroughly satisfying history…a lively opinionated narrative." — Publishers Weekly

"Russia, a 1,000 Year Chronicle of the Wild East has all the ingredients to become the leading popular history of Russia. Colloquial, personal and anecdotal in style . . . well researched and factually sound." — The Times Literary Supplement

"Sixsmith immerses readers in the Russian landscape and peoples with descriptions of places he's visited and quotations of poetry . . . Sixsmith effectively updates the continuities of Russian history, motivating readers to check out such scholarly surveys as Russia and the Russians, by Geoffrey Hosking." — Booklist

"Among the many contemporary books about Russia, general readers are likely to choose Sixsmith's 600-page tome for its comprehensiveness and air of authority. As popular history, it is enjoyable and engaging." — Reading Behind the Lines, Russia

"This entertaining, informative book presents a sweeping portrait of the entirety of Russian history from the founding of the first state on Russian soil in the ninth century to the present." — —CHOICE

Kirkus Reviews
Former BBC Moscow correspondent Sixsmith charts a millennium of one-step-forward, two-steps-back Russian progress. Communism has long gone by the wayside in most of the former Soviet Union, writes the author, but the authoritarian, if not totalitarian, impulse remains strong. Even when Nikita Khrushchev made his celebrated four-hour-long denunciation of his predecessor Stalin in 1956, it was a compromise, since "its focus was on the repression of Communist Party personnel, rather than the sufferings of the ordinary people"--and it gave the speaker an excuse to say he didn't know what was going on. This tendency to absolutism--to "what Russians refer to as silnaya ruka, the iron fist of centralised power"--stretches back, as Sixsmith conceives the historical arc, to the days of Mongol rule and even before. Where the Mongols left Russia a smoking ruin, almost all the rulers who followed revisited the harshness on everyone they ruled. They also tended to apologize for one another; one of the many whip-smart sequences of Sixsmith's long book finds Stalin upbraiding filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein for being too hard on Ivan the Terrible, down to the point of making "Ivan's beard too long and pointy." Just so, these days Vladimir Putin is making kind noises about V.I. Lenin, one of a succession of red emperors. Against this Sixsmith traces countercurrents of liberalism and enlightenment, noting that the great subject of Russian culture is Russia herself and that against the prevailing absolutism has always pulsed a softly democratic current. A compelling look at Russian history by a practiced Russia hand--though some would complain that Sixsmith comes down a little too hard on Mikhail Gorbachev, even without a long, pointy beard.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590207239
Publisher:
The Overlook Press
Publication date:
03/15/2012
Pages:
624
Sales rank:
760,191
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 6.20(h) x 1.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Martin Sixsmith is the author of Moscow Coup: The Death of the Soviet System, The Litvinenko file: The True Story of a Death Foretold, and two novels. Educated at Harvard, Oxford, and the Sorbonne, he was the BBC Moscow correspondent for many years.

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Russia: A 1000-Year Chronicle of the Wild East 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DagStomberg More than 1 year ago
This books relates the most penetrating and comprehensive reckoning of individuals having profound powers over masses of people comprising Russia. Proficient and lucid! Strongly recommended.