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Russia: A Short History (Short Histories) [Kindle Edition]

Abraham Ascher

Kindle-Preis: EUR 9,19 Inkl. MwSt. und kostenloser drahtloser Lieferung über Amazon Whispernet

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"A brilliant balancing act. A comprehensive introduction for the general reader." Rusistika


From the emergence of the first Slavic state to the conflict in Chechnya and the policies of Vladimir Putin, this is a concise yet thoughtful guide to the complex and turbulent history of Russia and its people. Paying particular attention to the implications of a future without Putin at its helm, Abraham Ascher provides a skillful blend of detail and analysis for all the key points in Russian history, from the Bolshevik Revolution to the coup that ousted Gorbachev. Newly updated to cover Russia's growing economic stature as well as the mounting divergence between Russia and the US' foreign policy stance, this stimulating introduction will prove useful and enlightening for students, scholars, and travellers alike.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 807 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 288 Seiten
  • Verlag: Oneworld Publications; Auflage: Second Edition (1. Juni 2011)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00550O2S6
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #424.498 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.3 von 5 Sternen  17 Rezensionen
34 von 35 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Brief and Comprehensive 14. Dezember 2004
Von D. Hindes - Veröffentlicht auf
An excellent general overview, Ascher has succeeded in condensing a tremendous amount of information into a concise and highly readable book. This is an accomplishment not to be underestimated! Many could write the same book in 2,000 pages, but to get it all into 250 is a noteworthy. I've studied Russian history in some depth, but I was looking for something that gets straight to the point to use teaching a high school class. I was really impressed with this book, and would recommend it to anyone who wants a comprehensive yet brief overeview of the subject.
21 von 21 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A very informative and insightful text 8. August 2008
Von Nicholas Simmons - Veröffentlicht auf
Abraham Ascher's book Russia: A Short History is an informative and insightful summary of Russia's long and storied history. Beginning with the emergence of the first Slavic state and finishing with Putin's presidency, Ascher brilliantly encapsulates Russia politically, socially, and culturally. He does a great job of condensing almost a millennium of material into an easy to read 250 page book. I do not envy his job as I'm sure it pained him to try and summarize so much with so few sentences. Although I only began reading from chapter 3 I can still confidently say that I owe a great deal of what I now know about Russian history today to what I read in Ascher's text.
After touching on the time period between 1000 and 1650, Abraham really begins to tap into his genius at the start of Peter the Great's rein in 1695. He proves he is not just a great historian but also a good writer by telling memorable stories which compliment the objective narrative. One can tell that Ascher truly enjoys discussing Russian history especially the great rulers such as Peter, Catherine, Lenin and Stalin. If I had to guess I would say that Ascher's area of expertise would be from the revolutions of the early 20th century and through the USSR's rein. It is during these later chapters that Ascher makes his most precise analyses and gives his most thorough commentary.
Obviously the book is not recommended to those seeking an in-depth review of Russian history. That would be impossible to achieve in only 250 pages. The book best serves those who are seeking a shorter examination. One should not assume however, that Ascher substitutes quality for brevity.
I used the book as a source of information for my Russian history class, and it proved to be a great way to prepare for class discussion. It was easy to read and I absorbed a lot of information in a quick amount of time. I never thought I would be able to learn from a text book that just contained text. Besides a few maps, there are no pictures or diagrams in Ascher's book. To be honest, it hardly mattered to me and I felt Ascher wrote in a manner with which I was able to fully comprehend. I would recommend Russia: A Short History to all who are seeking a concise and insightful review of Russian history
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Best on the period from 1725-1924 10. Dezember 2012
Von Jan Øystein Thorsnæs - Veröffentlicht auf
Russia - A short history represents a balanced, complete and yet compact history of Russia in English covering the period from the the rise of Kiev Rus to ~2008. If the Putin era (and to a lesser extent the Yeltsin years) is important to you, you have to look elsewhere. First because the years after 2008 is not included and 2nd because the period from 1996-2008 is the weakest part of Ascher's book.

When I give "Russia - a short History" 4 stars, it should be interpreted as the average of 3 stars to his coverage from 1953 to 2008, 5 stars from 1725-1924 and 4 stars for the period up to 1725 and 1924-1953. If you first and for most are interested in the period from 1725 (meaning the period of Palace revolutions, the period leading up to Napoleon's invation of Russia, the revolution and the Russian Civil war and death of Lenin) this is a good choice. If the period after the death of Stalin in 1953 is important to you, you should look elsewhere as there is a very wide choice of introductions to Russian history under ~350 pages.

Ascher delivers good and balanced portrats of of the rulers of Russia up to 1953. Ascheer describes the Intelligentsia anno the 1850s as a small, well-educated class, limited to the capitol that did not agree amongst themselves beyond being critical to the authorities and with limited appeal beyond their own class. I found the similarities with the Orange movement in Ukraine and the liberal opposition in Modern Russia, as one of the most interesting points in Ascher's book. On the other hand he writes very little about life on the countryside, despite that more than 90% of the population lived and died on the countryside in Imperial Russia. The colonisation of Siberia from late 1500 is hardly mentioned. The coverage of Everyday life in the Soviet period is also very limited.

According to Ascher 13,5 million Soviets were killed in WWII while according to Bartlett in "A history of Russia" it was between 25 and 27 million. Most other estimates I have seen is between 20 and 28 million (check Wikipedia for instance). I am sure Ascher have good arguments for his estimate, but it would be interesting to know how he counts as his estimate is unusual.

It is evidently put very limited work into the so called 2nd edition. The writer has added a few pages to the last chapter without going though the rest of the book to change references to contemporary Russia and changing from present to past in the chapter about the Yeltsin era. The last chapter has become very long (why on earth is Khruschev and Putin put into the same chapter...) and dealing with too many different topics. If 1953-1991 and 1991 to 2008 where put into 2 chapters they would become twentysomething pages each, like most of the other chapters.

All in all Ascher delivers a good introduction to Russian history, especially on the period from 1725 to 1924.
8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Perfect read for beginners. 31. Juli 2011
Von Magnitogorsk - Veröffentlicht auf
Briefly covers Russian history from the Rurikids to the Putin years, easy to read and contains all the important themes of an incredible history. If you have any interest in Russia and it's history, then this is the perfect book to wet your appetite and get you hungry for more!
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Russia Briefly 5. Mai 2013
Von Ronald Santen - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
A good starter on the topic..but if you want any real detail you need to seek special texts on the subject. The revolutionary period from 1905 to 1939 in particular is hurried,but I is good easy reading
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