The Conquest of a Continent: Siberia and the Russians / Edition 1

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"In The Conquest of a Continent, the historian W. Bruce Lincoln details Siberia's role in Russian history, one remarkably similar to that of the frontier in the development of the United States. . . . It is a big, panoramic book, in keeping with the immensity of its subject."—Chicago Tribune"Lincoln is a compelling writer whose chapters are colorful snapshots of Siberia's past and present. . . . The Conquest of a Continent is a vivid narrative that will inform and entertain the broader reading public."—American Historical Review"This story includes Genghis Khan, who sent the Mongols warring into Russia; Ivan the Terrible, who conquered Siberia for Russia; Peter the Great, who supported scientific expeditions and mining enterprises; and Mikhail Gorbachev, whose glasnost policy prompted a new sense of 'Siberian' nationalism. It is also the story of millions of souls who themselves were conquered by Siberia. . . . Vast riches and great misery, often intertwined, mark this region."—The Wall Street JournalStretching from the Urals to the Arctic Ocean to China, Siberia is so vast that the continental United States and Western Europe could be fitted into its borders, with land to spare. Yet, in only six decades, Russian trappers, cossacks, and adventurers crossed this huge territory, beginning in the 1580s a process of conquest that continues to this day. As rich in resources as it was large in size, Siberia brought the Russians a sixth of the world's gold and silver, a fifth of its platinum, a third of its iron, and a quarter of its timber. The conquest of Siberia allowed Russia to build the modern world's largest empire, and Siberia's vast natural wealth continues to play a vital part in determining Russia's place in international affairs.Bleak yet romantic, Siberia's history comes to life in W. Bruce Lincoln's epic telling. The Conquest of a Continent, first published in 1993, stands as the most comprehensive and vivid account of the Russians in Siberia, from their first victories over the Mongol Khans to the environmental degradation of the twentieth century. Dynasties of incomparable wealth, such as the Stroganovs, figure into the story, as do explorers, natives, gold seekers, and the thousands of men and women sentenced to penal servitude or forced labor in Russia's great wilderness prisonhouse.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Russia's conquest of Siberia, begun in 1582 with Cossack chieftan Ermak Timofevich's crushing of the Tatars, transformed the obscure kingdom of Muscovy into the world's larget contiguous empire. To Siberia's native nomads, hunters and reindeer herders, the conquest brought cruel exploitation, torture and corruption under military governors. Three and a half centuries later, the industrial complex that Stalin built east of the Urals manufactured the tanks, planes and guns that defeated Hitler, and Stalin's Siberian slave labor camps swallowed up millions of innocents. Its fragile ecology devastated by industrializers Khrushchev and Brezhnev, Siberia is today one of the world's worst environmental disaster zones. In Lincoln's ( In War's Dark Shadow ) compulsively readable epic narrative, Siberia's dark history comes alive as a vast human drama of greed, adventure, exploration, ambition, persecution and protest. Tamerlaine, Danish explorer Vitus Bering (in the service of Czar Peter the Great), Dostoevsky, Lenin, rogues, reformers and Siberia's natives people this prodigiously researched tapestry. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Lincoln ( Red Victory , LJ 2/15/90) chronicles Siberia's role in Russian history, from the formation of the state to the disintegration of the Soviet Union. The author uses primary and secondary documents to create this basic text, which is written for the undergraduate and general reader. Lincoln treats Siberia's resources as a measure of Russia's greatness. He traces Siberia's conquest and colonization; the search for its wealth; its role as an outlet for excess, criminal, and dissident labor; its industrial development and the development of the railroad; its part in the wars and upheaval of the 20th century; and, finally, the recognition of widespread pollution and environmental problems. Historians may still long for a scholarly, comprehensive study of Siberia, but this well-written and -researched book fills a void and belongs in general collections.-- Rena Fowler, Humboldt State Univ., Arcata, Cal.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801489228
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Maps     xii
Prologue     xix
The Beginnings
The Fury of God     3
"Great Khan of All the People Living in Felt Tents"     8
Batu's Winter War     17
On Kulikovo Field     24
The Russians Take Siberia
Anika and His Sons     33
Ermak's "Conquest"     41
The Siberians     48
To the Great Ocean     57
Searching for Grain     64
Discovering a Passage Between Two Continents     73
Life on the Siberian Frontier     81
The Russians Explore Their Conquest
The Demidovs, Frontier Iron, and Tsar Peter     93
Bering's First Voyage     100
The Great Northern Expedition     107
The Russians "Discover" America     122
The "Russian Columbus"     134
At the Threshold of a New Era     143
The Largest Part of the Russian Empire
Governor-General Speranskii     155
Katorga and Ssylka     163
Two Princesses     168
Dostoevskii in the "House of the Dead"     177
The Search for Gold     183
Muravev Takes the Amur     190
Kennan's Journey     197
The "Politicals"     207
"By Administrative Process"     211
Lenin in Exile     216
An Iron Road Across Asia     223
Building the World's Longest Railroad     231
Amur River Boats and Russia's Manchurian Connection     239
Lake Baikal     246
"A Small Victorious War"     250
The Immigrants     257
Siberia's Wild East     263
The Lena Goldfields Massacre     270
"I Hate the Autocracy So Much"     276
Before the Storm     281
War and Revolution     287
Red Siberia
The Czech Legion     297
"Pitch-forked into the Melee"     304
Siberia's Supreme Ruler     309
The Bolsheviks Take Siberia     318
Jack Scott and Siberia's Magnetic Mountain     324
Edible Fossils     332
Socialist Reconstruction     350
The Great Relocation     558
Siberia's Modern Age
Stalin's Last Years     367
Virgin Lands     371
Bratsk Power Station     378
The BAM     385
The Riches of Samotlor and Urengoi     393
Siberia's Soviet Heritage     400
Acknowledgments      411
Key to Abbreviations     415
Notes     417
Works and Sources Cited     461
Index     479
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