Now in its fifth edition, this definitive history of the Russian land and people builds on its success as a fascinating survey of two thousand years of struggle to harness vast resources and talents into a powerful and cohesive nation. From its beginning as a savage and exotic land, Russia underwent a complex evolution of political, social, and religious forces--the barbarism of its internal conflicts in seeming contradiction with its goals to advance in the realms of technology, art, education, and high culture. From the conflicts of the fantastically wealthy ruling class to the poor and oppressed masses emerged the Communist party and the enigmatic figures whose charismatic manipulation of political power reflected the myriad rulers before them. Finally, as the modern world watched, this great entity collapsed in a devastatingly brief time, millennia of precarious conflict proving too much for the tenuous coalescence of twentieth-century politics.
Written in an engaging and accessible style, this text presents students with a comprehensive look at the momentous events and legendary figures which helped shape Russia's turbulent history.