A History of Russia

Nicholas V. Riasanovsky

Oxford University Press 1984
A book review by Danny Yee © 1995 http://dannyreviews.com/
Riasanovsky's opus is a fairly straightforward attempt at a comprehensive history of Russia. Separate (and fairly self-contained) sections cover Kievan, Appanage, Muscovite, Imperial and Soviet Russia. The basic structure is a series of roughly chronological chapters covering the political and military history of a period, followed by chapters on its art/architecture/culture, religion, social history, and economics. This is all fairly standard stuff, but Riasanovsky presents a nice balance between the different approaches and his account is eminently readable. The text is plentifully provided with maps and there are twenty four pages of attractive black and white photographs. There is a structured list of suggestions for further reading in addition to the bibliography.

The coverage of Soviet Russia is now out of date, of course, with so much in the way of additional information having been revealed during the last decade; if that is what you are chiefly interested in then you will want the recent fifth edition. Since I was most curious about the earlier history, I was happy to find that the mid point of the volume fell as far back as 1800.

Note: this is now up to an eighth (2010) edition!

April 1995

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%T A History of Russia
%A Riasanovsky, Nicholas V.
%I Oxford University Press
%D 1984
%O hardcover, 4th edition, b&w photographs, bibliography, index
%G ISBN 0195033612
%P xx,692pp,24pp illus