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Russia: People and Empire, 1552-1917

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  96 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
The Soviet Union crumbles and Russia rises from the rubble, once again the great nation -- a perfect scenario, but for one point: Russia was never a nation. And this, says the eminent historian Geoffrey Hosking, is at the heart of the Russians' dilemma today, as they grapple with the rudiments of nationhood. His book is about the Russia that never was, a 300-year history o ...more
Paperback, Enlarged Edition, 576 pages
Published October 15th 1998 by Harvard University Press (first published March 3rd 1997)
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John Carter McKnight
Apr 13, 2014 John Carter McKnight rated it really liked it
A solid, lengthy cultural history of Russia. Hosking's thesis is that Peter the Great's Westernizing forced a breach between people and empire, that has yet to heal. His reach is broad, covering the autocracy, administration, intelligentsia, and peasantry over the period from Ivan IV through the Bolshevik Revolution.

My only gripe is that Hosking wraps too quickly, breezing through 1917, where he could be hammering his thesis home.

Note: the Kindle edition is a complete mess. Don't read it. It's
Sep 02, 2012 Robbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable introduction to Russian imperial history. His thesis that Russian empire-building obstructed Russian nation-building is one that I find quite convincing.
Abdalla El-Hariry
Mar 16, 2015 Abdalla El-Hariry rated it did not like it
Alex Stargazer

The first thing I should say: this book is long. Like, 600-odd Kindle pages long; and probably closer closer to 800 when printed. So—you better like your Russian history.

I dare say I’m not too familiar with reviewing non-fiction (alas my erudite charms stem from other sources) but, nevertheless, I feel this book is pretty good as these things go. Allow me to elaborate...

Detail, Accuracy and Scope

This book is pretty detailed. But not nearly as detailed as you’d expect; a reality of any book that

Chandra Powers
Dec 30, 2015 Chandra Powers rated it it was amazing
Thorough & interestingly written. I like how it organizes his book & chapters. I read it as an undergrad for a 300 level history class & it was a good book to assign for college students. It also helped me on my "core & periphery" analysis paper I had to do because of the way he organizes the book it was easy to utilize.
Dec 14, 2009 Liz rated it liked it
Shelves: class
I thought he gave a nice overview of Russian history pre-Soviet Era. Combined with other resources, this was a perfect base for my Russian history class. He uses simple language so the text is easy to follow. But he does not leave out analysis and discourse from the period.
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Geoffrey Alan Hosking is a historian of Russia and the Soviet Union and formerly Leverhulme Research Professor of Russian History at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) at University College, London.
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