Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Short History of Russia” as Want to Read:
A Short History of Russia
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Short History of Russia

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  207 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Occasionally there arises a man in history who, without distinction of birth or other advantages, is strong enough by sheer ability to grasp the opportunity, vault into power, and then stem the tide of events. Such a man... was Boris Godunof, a boyar, who had so faithfully served the terrible Ivan that he leaned upon him and at last confided to him the supervision of his f ...more
Paperback, 292 pages
Published January 1st 2013 by Cosimo Classics (first published 1900)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Short History of Russia, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Short History of Russia

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Parmele ends the history at the climax of Russian history. Even from the vantage point of 110 years later the series of events in that history point to one of two likely options: a re-embrace of the west and a democratisation of the governmental system or a turning again to the East and a return to despotic government. Parmele envisions a continuing orientalising of Russia, but imagines that the days of abject inhumanity to the masses were over. The Tzar's cruel massacre of hundreds of innocent ...more
Andrew Coates
Sep 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting, actually makes the history of a country bearable, which is sometimes a hard task. Learned a lot and enjoyed it while I did.
Teo Swee Wei
What makes this interesting to read is the fact that it was published in 1907, before the fateful events that would take place a decade later.
Víctor Manuel
Let's face it. My 20th century Spanish school education didn't have much about Russian history in the syllabus. Thus, after spending over three weeks in St Petersburg I felt I lacked certain background knowledge. This was the first, and free, book on Russian history I found in the Kindle store and I'm satisfied after several hours of reading. From Rurik all the way to 1907, when this books was first published, I now know much more than I did before and will hopefully help me moving forward.

This book was an okay overview of the history of Russia.
But the title itself proclaims that it is just a short history, so it is not too indepth.
As it was published in 1907, the Russian Revolution hadn't happened yet, and it was poignant to read at the end:
"who can foresee what will be the end, and what the ultimate destiny of the Empire which had its beginning in a small Slavonic State upon the Dnieper."

One thing that slightly puzzled me was an addendum at the end of the book which was quite
Nov 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Glah, I accidentally deleted my review... I clearly need a nap! Either way, I'm not going to rewrite it in full.
I recommend this book, as it condenses a broad overview of Russian history, from ~800CE until its writing in 1907, into a mere 300-odd pages. The date at which it was written adds to the book in my opinion: firstly, the style is flowery and interesting, rather than using the dry tone adopted by the predominant number of modern history books. Secondly, some of the events in the book wer
Mar 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Nice, readable history from earliest peoples to 1900s. It a good overview although the final chapter, ending with the author's fervent hopes that Russia has reached a tipping point away from barbarism and toward civility by the early 1900s was apparently over optimistic! Lives up to its name and sort of quaint when reading some of the passages.
Tina  Roper
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I enjoyed reading this, it was not at all dry and textbook-ish. I found a lot of the information useful as I had never heard or read the majority of this history during my stint in public school. I recommend this to anyone looking for a quick, easy to follow, non politically correct version of Russian history.
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Good free read.

In retrospect, perhaps there is no shortcut to Russian history.
Still, this book gave me a quick synopsis of the history of such a complex and vast nation.
I will now catch up on the Bolsheviks as the book that covered hundreds of years stopped suddenly and unexpectedly short.
Ciprian-Marius Bujor
O scurta istorie a Rusiei, publicata în 1907 și cu toate acestea foarte interesanta, actuala și premonitorie, avand în vedere ca printre ultimele fraze autoarea ghicește destinul dinastiei Romanovilor și transformările care au zguduit imperiul țarist. Scrisa într-un stil simplu, cursiv, este o lectura plăcută.
Patty Chang
Dec 30, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
pretty bad, biased, focused o. the personalities of leaders with. little analysis

Wow, pretty poor scholarship. Kind of a gossipy take on the rulers of Russia with very little historical context or analysis. Basically sees the Russian rulers as a bunch of incompetent boobs with the possible exception of Catherine the Great and Peter the Great.
Feb 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Its oldness is what really makes this book interesting--it was a blast to see late-19th/early-20th century battles that we think of as preludes to WWI presented as being important in their own right. I wish there had been more about Russia's early history, but this was a pretty good overview. I'm interested into diving into more specific books on the topic now.
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
as this was written in 1906 by an American it gives a fascinating look at how opinions of nations such as japan, korea and russia habe drastically altered. an easy read that simply gives info rather than provoking debate.
Bryan Trinh
Feb 26, 2013 rated it liked it
It gives a good brief history of Russia, sometimes feeling too brief though.
Qipin Xue
Sep 05, 2007 added it
Recommends it for: ?
Shelves: culture
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, non-fiction
The past is a foreign country: their history is different from ours.
Sep 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Good general background. Finishes before the Revolution.
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book REALLY stinks. Did anyone edit it?
rated it liked it
Nov 24, 2012
rated it did not like it
Oct 15, 2016
rated it it was ok
Nov 10, 2017
John Clark
rated it really liked it
Aug 18, 2014
rated it liked it
Oct 12, 2016
gabriela seavitte
rated it liked it
May 04, 2014
rated it liked it
Aug 24, 2012
Kamakshi Balasubramanian
rated it it was amazing
Mar 04, 2015
JD Brigance
rated it really liked it
Sep 30, 2015
rated it liked it
Jan 09, 2017
Andrea McWilliams
rated it liked it
Jul 21, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Evolution of a State or Recollections of Old Texas Days
  • The Religion of Ancient Egypt
  • Traditions Of The North American Indians, Vol. 1 (Of 3)
  • Andersonville
  • Woman's Life in Colonial Days
  • The Discovery of Witches
  • The Flying Circus of Physics
  • Life On The Old Plantation In Ante-Bellum Days
  • Logic Deductive and Inductive
  • Gingerbread Cookbook
  • Introduction to the Philosophy and Writings of Plato
  • Evolution: A View from the 21st Century
  • Bringing the Thunder: The Missions of a World War II B-29 Pilot in the Pacific (Stackpole Military History)
  • Math for Grownups
  • [Citation Needed]: The Best of Wikipedia's Worst Writing
  • The Logic of Chance: The Nature and Origin of Biological Evolution
  • The Story of Ireland
  • Ten Great Events in History
Mary Platt Parmele (July 14, 1843 - May 26, 1911) was an American author and historian.

Mary Platt was born in Albany, New York and educated in New York. Her first marriage was to J. J. Agnew and her second marriage to Theodore W. Parmele. From 1892 she began contributing philosophical articles and short stories to reviews and magazines, and published Kingdom of the Invisible and Christian Science.
More about Mary Platt Parmele...

Nonfiction Deals

  • Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Sometimes You Win--Sometimes You Learn: Life's Greatest Lessons Are Gained from Our Losses
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Long Tail: Why the Future Is Selling Less of More
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Quantum Healing (Revised and Updated): Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Funny In Farsi: A Memoir Of Growing Up Iranian In America
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Effortless Healing: 9 Simple Ways to Sidestep Illness, Shed Excess Weight, and Help Your Body Fix Itself
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir
    $11.24 $1.99
“There are to-day two millions of nomad Mongols encamped about the south-eastern steppes of Russia, still living in tents, still raising and herding their flocks, little changed in dress, habits, and character since the days of Genghis Khan. While this is written a famine is said to be raging among them.” 1 likes
“The religion of the Mongols at the time of the invasion was a paganism founded upon sorcery and magic; but they soon thereafter adopted Islamism,” 0 likes
More quotes…