Cover: We Shall Be Masters: Russian Pivots to East Asia from Peter the Great to Putin, from Harvard University PressCover: We Shall Be Masters in HARDCOVER

We Shall Be Masters

Russian Pivots to East Asia from Peter the Great to Putin

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Product Details


$29.95 • £23.95 • €27.00

ISBN 9780674916449

Publication Date: 06/08/2021


384 pages

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

7 maps


[A] highly readable history… The over-ambitious, over-committed and over-confident policies of modern Russia through the globalization period and the rise of Asia in the 21st century mimics the hubris of Petersburg’s historical Pacific Ocean ambitions.—Tristan Kenderdine, Global Asia

A rich and well-informed chronicle of Russia’s engagement with Asia over the past three centuries… Captures the immensity, complexity, and importance of Russia’s eastern borderlands through the eyes of its explorers… A comprehensive and fluidly written survey that will be welcomed by students of international history.Publishers Weekly

As much of the world now turns more attention and resources to Asia, partly in response to China’s emergence as a global power, Miller’s terrific book reminds that Russia made moves toward the East five hundred years ago, and explains why ignoring the Russian factor in Asian geopolitics today would be a big mistake for strategists in Tokyo, Delhi, Brussels, or Washington. His masterful history shows why Russia has been an Asian power for centuries and will remain a central player in balance-of-power politics in Asia for decades to come.—Michael McFaul, author of From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia

In a panoramic account of three hundred years of Russian history, Miller presents a Russia little known in the West: a Eurasian power that treats its eastern calling as seriously as it does its western one. Exceptionally well written and argued, We Shall Be Masters helps us understand Russia on its own terms and offers historical insight into the future of its relations with China, its main rival and occasional ally in the region and the world.—Serhii Plokhy, author of Nuclear Folly: A History of the Cuban Missile Crisis

A sweeping overview of Russia’s long-running pattern of aspiring to yet often falling short of securing lasting influence over Asian affairs. Engaging and impressively researched, Miller’s book offers an insightful historical perspective on contemporary Russian–Asian relations.—Willard Sunderland, author of The Baron’s Cloak: A History of the Russian Empire in War and Revolution

Few historians have probed as deeply into the complex history of Russia’s imperial engagements in East Asia as Miller has done here. He weaves a subtle theme through a sweep of events, as Russian tsars, officials, diplomats, and explorers are lured east in various ‘spasms of enthusiasm,’ only for these various pivots to peter out owing to military failure, excessive cost, or simple exhaustion. A supple, well-written, and important work.—Sean McMeekin, author of Stalin’s War: A New History of World War II

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