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Russia: A 1,000-Year Chronicle of the Wild East (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 19. Mai 2011

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  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 624 Seiten
  • Verlag: BBC Books (19. Mai 2011)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1849900728
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849900720
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 16,2 x 5,1 x 24 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 743.804 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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"Sixsmith has the knack of delivering complex material with a clear voice" (The Times)

"A lively chronicle" (Orlando Figes Sunday Times)

"Russia, a 1,000 Year Chronicle of the Wild East contains many of the required ingredients to become the leading popular history of Russia. Colloquial, personal and anecdotal in style ... well researched and factually sound." (TLS)

""Russia" delivers a thoroughly satisfying history...a lively opinionated narrative." (Publishers Weekly) -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .


The definitive history of Russia and its people, to accompany the landmark BBC Radio 4 series.

In diesem Buch (Mehr dazu)
Ausgewählte Seiten ansehen
Buchdeckel | Copyright | Inhaltsverzeichnis | Auszug | Stichwortverzeichnis | Rückseite
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1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Dag Stomberg am 21. März 2012
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This book relates the most penetrating and comprehensive reckoning

of individuals having profound powers over masses of people comprising Russia.

It is both proficient and lucid.

Strongly recommended!

Dag Stomberg
St Andrews, Scotland
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 24 Rezensionen
35 von 36 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Finally, a readable, responsible, and up-to-date history of Russia! 1. Mai 2012
Von R. M. Peterson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Over the past decade, I had begun reading three other histories of Russia, but none was good enough for me to sustain interest for more than about one hundred pages (each was too dry and academic). Martin Sixsmith's RUSSIA, however, was eminently readable, such that I breezed through it in about a week.

Martin Sixsmith is principally known as a journalist for the BBC, reporting chiefly on Russia. In addition, he lived in Russia for periods of time as a youth. Thus, he has more personal background and "feel" for the country than many Westerners. Some might balk at the term "Westerners" as something distinct from Russians but, as suggested by the subtitle to this book, for Sixsmith Russia is -- and long has been - more "Eastern" than "Western". Its history, as chronicled by Sixsmith, has been a vacillation between East and West, between Asia and Europe, and between autocracy and democracy:

"Those who regard Russia as a proto-European nation miss the point. Russia looks both ways: to the democratic, law-governed traditions of the West, but at the same time * * * to the Asiatic forms of governance she imbibed in the early years of her history, what Russians refer to as the `silnaya ruka', the iron fist of centralized power."

That is the central theme of Sixsmith's RUSSIA. He begins his tale in the ninth century with the Rus -- a pagan tribe that in myth (and to some extent in history as well) was the progenitor of the Russians. He then continues with the protracted forging of a Rus-sian nation, primarily as security against the Germans, Poles, and Lithuanians from Europe and the Mongols (or Tartars) from Asia. The book then charts the expansion of Russia into an empire, with appropriate attention to such major figures as Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, and Catherine the Great. The saga continues with the continuing cycle of reform then repression during the nineteenth century, culminating in the two revolutions of 1917. By that point, the reader is halfway through the book. The next two hundred pages cover the Soviet Union under the megalomaniac butchers Lenin and Stalin (one of the virtues of Sixsmith's account, in my opinion, is his un-romanticized assessment of Lenin as the Pol Pot that he foreshadowed).

The final hundred pages of the book cover the rise of Gorbachev, the introduction of perestroika and glasnost, the fall of Gorbachev and the Soviet Union (attributable in significant part to the policy of glasnost), and then the ups and downs of Yeltsin and Putin, with the political pendulum continuing to swing between democracy and autocracy.

Sixsmith's RUSSIA is an ambitious book and, by and large, Sixsmith pulls it off admirably. Many matters, perforce, are covered somewhat superficially (entire books have been written on what Sixsmith sometimes discusses in one paragraph). I noticed a few statements that were inconsistent with things that I have read elsewhere and believe to be more accurate, but in the grand scheme of "1,000 Years of Russian History" they were minor. There is not a lot of detailed analysis, but that's not what the book's mission is. Sixsmith's RUSSIA is a readable overview of Russian history up to almost yesterday, and as such it is a five-star success.

Incidentally, what helps to make the narrative so readable is that it is liberally sprinkled with interviews that Sixsmith conducted and with anecdotes from his personal experiences in Russia (or, the former Soviet Union). There also are numerous apt and instructive references to Russian culture, including many translations of excerpts from Russian poetry of note. Finally, the book includes seven useful maps as well as three sections of photographs, some in color.
41 von 49 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Cartoon history of Russia 23. August 2012
Von Igor Biryukov - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
The tragedy of Russia's relations with the West is that Russia, a Great Power, has never been fully accepted as part of Europe. Never, not even today. There has been always an assumption that Russia was on the fringe of Europe. She is often referred to as an Asiatic and almost an inferior power. In 1856 after the Crimean war when somebody objected that the terms imposed on Russia were very harsh, much harsher incidentally than those imposed by Bismarck on France in 1871, Palmerston replied: "Well what can an Asiatic power expect?"

Martin Sixsmith is a British journalist who used to be with Her Majesty's Civil Service during Tony Blair's years. In 2002 he resigned his post because of infamous Jo Moore's "spin scandal". Later he produced a novel about near-future politics called "Spin". Now he is an expert on Russia. It's a field where one can apparently earn a living by using circular reasoning: Russia isn't the West because the Russians are not like us and they are not like us because they didn't join the West and therefore they will never be like us. I would call these guys mass-market intellectuals with a special emphasis on Russia. Their task and purpose is to justify the policy of "soft containment" of Russia, as oppose to the policy of "creeping integration" advocated by the Germans and the French.

Writing books in English where Russia portrayed negatively or stigmatized has become a growing cottage industry. Here is how it is done: Russia is portrayed as simply a huge barbarian mass, ruled by cartoonish despots, where few pro-western individuals risking their lives are bravely struggling against the tyrannical regimes. These books deny that Russia is civilization on its own right. The writers like him usurp the honor of having civilized Russia today and in the past, in pre-revolutionary times.

His book is just one example of the avalanche of books appeared recently where Russia is a "bent twig" growing off an ostensibly healthy tree of the splendid Western civilization. His interpretation of history of Russia seems to me incredibly biased and self-serving. It is a kind of canvass to which they paint their own Weltanschauung, which is vaguely liberal and progressive, as opposite to Russia's, which reactionary and wild. Russia is "The Wild East".

The book is a collection of journalistic cliches. I paid particular attention to his rendering of Russia's military history. Sadly, it's not impressive. On page 325 he sarcastically writes: "The Winter War showed the Red Army to be far from invincible force". On the contrary, it showed that The Red Army was a formidable force but only lacking leadership. Where the Red Army was led well, for example by Zhukov during border war with Japan in 1939, the Red Army showed itself a very formidable opponent and an excellent fighting machine indeed. On page 520 he writes about the war in Chechnya: "Despite the brutality, there was little public opposition to the war". Surely, the war remains a brutal business even for the Royal British army.

With regards to the intervention in Russia in 1919 he writes as if the Allies were the friendly guys who were just helping out with the battle against the Bolsheviks (page 222). The truth is rather more complicated. In the 19th century Russia had great conflicts with Great Britain particularly in the Middle East. With the Russian revolution there followed a very great increase in the cleavage between Russia and Great Britain. An often forgotten thing in the West today is that Great Britain and France with some cooperation from America, conducted wars of intervention on a very considerable scale against the Bolshevik government. It created hostility on both sides. It certainly greatly increased antagonism and suspicion throughout the inter-war period. During the Cold war, it seems to me both Russia and the US have been motivated in retrospect more by mutual suspicion, rather than by any conscious design to destroy each-other. To conclude, I disagree with author's approach which seems to me peering into the past to justify the current policies of "soft containment" of Russia, I disagree his rendering of Russian past, and I disagree with his cartoon version of history.
12 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
100 year chronicle not 1000 6. August 2013
Von L. Schultz - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
A very engaging book if you are interested in the history of the communist party in Russia. The title says "1000 year chronicle of the wild east".......The book is 538 pages long but the first 900 years of the chronicle is covered in only 183 pages!!That is where the revolution of 1917 picks up. So 355 pages are used to cover less than the last 100 years.... A very misleading title....very disappointing. Do not buy this if you are looking for a history of Russia......
9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A marvelous history 30. Mai 2012
Von flea - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Martin Sixsmith has been able to distill 1000 years of history into a wonderfully flowing and readable account of world events from a Russian perspective. Having grown up during the cold war, it is interesting to compare the perceptions I had (and currently have) of the USSR with what was (and is) really going on there. I am an avid reader of history, and this is one of the best history books I have read.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Exactly what I wanted 28. Februar 2013
Von Amado Camps - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I read several reviews, some unhappy that most of the book is from the 19th century onward, however 1000 years would take up several books to accomplish. I needed a sense, a understanding of the country and this book gave me that. Russia is a country I knew little about and this helped immensely.
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