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The Russian Century: A History of the Last Hundred Years
Making extensive use of contemporary accounts, Moynahan traces Russia's turbulent 20th century, from the last days of tsarist rule to the Bolshevik Revolution, two world wars (and one cold one), and to the overthrow of the Communist regime. Simultaneously a political, social and oral history, this book will quickly become the preeminent short history of Russia's recent pas ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published December 4th 1995 by Random House
(first published September 27th 1994)
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Reading Moynahan's history of Russia is like diving into a great novel. He takes events from the country's history and uses his talent for writing to make it into a book you can't put down. His details of the WWII period are especially fascinating. Anyone with an interest in this country's past should read this as it will offer fabulous insight and knowledge without getting tedious.
Mar 23, 2014 Joanie rated it really liked it
This book covers Soviet history in the last century, from the decline of the Romanovs to the rise of the Bolsheviks, and through the wars and famine and changing of the guard 'til present day. It's mainly a collection of photographs, not too much text to read but Brian Moynahan's writing ties it all together rather well. It's as short a history you can write for the past century without cutting out too much, and as a newbie I can appreciate the starting points I have to do more research. The cul ...more
Written in 1994, it gives a concise overview of the state of Russia in the last years of the Romanovs on to the first years of post-Soviet times. Now, I've read a lot of histories in my time, and I've watched a lot of history unfold, but Russia was never something I focused on. They were always players, but I was overwhelmed putting their roles on the world stage in the context of their own history. The country was ripe for revolution 100 years ago, but holy crap, those poor people suffered unbe ...more
The whole cataclysmic history of Russia and the Soviet Union during the 20th century is told here in archival photographs in an oversize coffee table book. Reviewing a tragic history that left millions dead or exiled to Siberia in the wake of revolution, civil war, forced collectivization and terror under Stalin, and war with Nazi Germany followed by the Cold War with the West, it is remarkable to reflect that Russia in its Soviet phase still managed to progress to the point it became the world' ...more
Not a 'history' of Russia in the twentieth-century, but an extended historical essay on the meaning and practice of Russia. Tsarist autocracy supported by the orthodox church created a glorification of elites, a violent suppression of the masses, and an unbroken distrust and cynicism of the whole population became the standard for Russian government that has not been broken. Glory and degredation has marked the "Russian Century."
Great book! For me it functioned as a nice review of my Soviet History course, with a little extra pre/post-Soviet thrown in. Definitely lacking in detail, but the author does a good job of mentioning the relevant 20th century points and a great job of demonstrating them pictorially - particularly the Stalin and WWII years.
Brian Moynahan is an English journalist and historical writer.More about Brian Moynahan...