Cover: Russia and the Russians: A History, Second Edition, from Harvard University PressCover: Russia and the Russians in PAPERBACK

Russia and the Russians

A History, Second Edition

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Product Details


$32.00 • £25.95 • €29.00

ISBN 9780674061958

Publication Date: 09/01/2011


752 pages

6-3/8 x 9-1/4 inches

38 halftones, 14 maps

Belknap Press

Not for sale in UK & British Commonwealth (except Canada)

Praise for the first edition:

[A] comprehensive and intelligent survey of Russian history for the general reader…[that follows] the twists and turns of Slavic history from the principalities of Kievan Rus in the late ninth century to the presidency of Boris Yeltsin… [A] most excellent historical survey.The Economist

For the general reader, this book is the King James version of Russian history.—Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs

Russia’s history, more than that of almost any other country, lends itself to passion and polemic…[Hosking] nevertheless attempts…a dispassionate account. Writing with enviable lucidity, he sets out to dispel the current negativeness and general ambivalence that characterizes both Western and native assessments of Russia’s role in the world… His general argument is compelling.—Ronald Grigor Suny, The New Leader

There…seems to be a general failure to understand Russians on their own terms—as people who, on one hand are no different than the foreigners trying to analyze them and, on the other hand, think and act in ways that baffle outsiders. In other words, Russians behave just like us, except when they don’t. Those seeking answers to these mysteries will welcome Geoffrey Hosking’s latest work, Russia and the Russians, a massive survey that begins with the Kievan Rus in the ninth century and ends with Vladimir Putin’s arrival in the Kremlin in 2000. Mr. Hosking has made an important contribution to those seeking to better understand a country and its people.—Ron Laurenzo, The Washington Times

For the thousand years of its recorded existence, Russia’s history has been as dramatic, tragic, and inspiring as that of any nation, exerting a perennial attraction that cries for the one-volume introduction Hosking is well equipped to provide. His book is especially welcome because he links the Communist era, now that it is over, to the enduring themes of the Russian experience… This is a high-quality overview.—Gilbert Taylor, Booklist

Hosking’s narrative is so compellingly and gracefully written and so meticulously researched that the reader will find an abundance of treasure. While more valuable to the general reader than the specialist, the latter will still derive insight from the book. This quality is never better illustrated than in the introduction, where Hosking sets forth ‘the four salient characteristics’ that have ‘imparted to Russia a paradoxical combination of colossal strength and almost crippling weakness.’ His treatment of the Nikonian reforms, social transformation and terror during Stalin’s collectivization, and Gorbachev’s perestroika are similarly stimulating… [Hosking’s] insight and expertise provide a learning experience for all levels of reader.—G. E. Snow, Choice

Hosking…offers a comprehensive survey from the beginnings of Kievan Rus through Russia’s recent independence, emphasizing the impact of relations between Russians and non-Russians… This book’s strength lies in its revealing Russia’s continuities. The result compares favorably with some of the best Russian histories of recent decades while also consolidating new scholarship. Highly recommended.—Zachary Irwin, Library Journal

Russia and the Russians…is a comprehensive and up-to-date textbook of Russian history… [Hosking] covers every aspect of Russia from the terrain itself, to the tsars, to Russian nationalism, to the Cold War, to Perestroika, to the Russian Federation—and he is thorough. Russia and the Russians is a book for the serious student of history.—Freda Fuller Coursey, The Times Record News (Wichita Falls, TX)

A book intended for a general educated audience and students, a survey of the entire course of Russian history. Hosking is up on the current literature and is invariably judicious in dealing with historiographical controversies.—Terence Emmons, Stanford University

Hosking’s book has comprehensive sweep and a clear writing style. It is filled with judicious appraisals of a number of critical historical issues. A book of vast erudition written by an eminently qualified scholar, it is much-needed.—Martin Miller, Duke University

Awards & Accolades

  • 2002 Independent Publisher Book Award for History
Common Reads: First-Year Experience [picture of open book]

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