Read 89 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. He manages to pack quite a bit of information in such a small space from such a long period. Nowadays he is focusing on Russia in its international framework. 24 Politics and political leaders are the main characters of this detailed, balanced trip through Russia's tumultuous century because, as Service says in his introduction, "[t]he economic, social and cultural order in Russia in the twentieth century is quite incomprehensive without sustained attention to political developments." This is the story of these characters: everyone from the ineffectual but perfectly positioned Somerset Maugham to vain writers and revolutionary sympathizers whose love affairs were as dangerous as their politics. These years of civil war in Russia were years when the West strove to understand the new communist regime while also seeking to undermine it. He does not believe in demonising the Russian leader. Free delivery worldwide on over 20 million titles. 'Immensely scholarly but also vivid and readable. This book tells the story of these complex interactions in detail, revealing that revolutionary Russia was shaped not only by Lenin and Trotsky, but by an extraordinary miscellany of people: spies and commissars, certainly, but also diplomats, reporters, and dissidents, as well as intellectuals, opportunistic businessmen, and casual travelers. Russia is now undergoing tremendous changes on several fronts, and its history is likewise ready to be reinterpreted. Russia has had an extraordinary history in the twentieth century. Top subscription boxes – right to your door, © 1996-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Through the prism of Lenin's career, Service examines events such as the October Revolution and the ideas of Marxism-Leninism, the one-party state, economic modernisation, dictatorship, and the politics of inter-war Europe. A riveting account of the last eighteen months of Tsar Nicholas II's life and reign from one of the finest Russian historians writing today. He served two terms as president, before himself relinquishing the post to his prime minister, Dimitri Medvedev, only to return to presidential power for a third time in 2012. Audible Audiobook Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. Please try again. Churchill gave Russia that interesting title of the enigma inside the mystery inside the riddle. 6 best Russian history books. Reviewed in the United States on June 3, 2007. Find all the books, read about the author, and more. Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices. Updating his acclaimed History of Modern Russia, Robert Service provides a panoramic perspective on a country whose Soviet past encompassed revolution, civil war, mass terror, and two world wars. Robert Service has written a calmly authoritative biography on this seemingly unknowable figure. Hardcover In "A History of Twentieth Century Russia" Robert Service brings a well written general history that in many ways addresses this. But Yeltsin has ``reintroduced violence as a method of political struggle'' in his attack on the Duma and in Chechnya, and democratic and legal procedures ``have been treated with contempt.'' The last 50 pages are devoted to developments since the implosion of the Soviet Union. This is a story that moves--fast, dramatically, and brutally--as when Service narrates the unlikely events by which the Bolsheviks seized power or the grim ideological instigation of collectivization and purges in the 1930s, compounded by Stalin's colossal diplomatic and military blunders in the run-up to World War II. Yet, just six years earlier, when Mikhail Gorbachev became general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and chose Eduard Shevardnadze as his foreign minister, the Cold War seemed like a permanent fixture in world politics. What a history that country had in the twentieth century and what repercussions it had on the entire world! On 26 December, 1991, the hammer-and-sickle flag was lowered over the Kremlin for the last time. How are we to make sense of this history? Robert Service is one of Britain’s best-known experts on Russia and the Russian Revolution. This popular, concise and highly readable study discusses the key themes and debates about the Russian Revolution. Paperback Through this sharply observed exposéf conflicting loyalties, we get a very vivid sense of how diverse the shades of Western and Eastern political opinion were during these years. Robert Service is the author of twelve books, including The End of the Cold War; Spies and Commissars; the acclaimed Lenin: A Biography; Stalin: A Biography; and Comrades: A History of World Communism. Meanwhile, the Bolsheviks tried to spread their revolution across Europe at the same time they were seeking trade agreements that might revive their collapsing economy. Overthrowing the conventional image of Stalin as an uneducated political administrator inexplicably transformed into a pathological killer, Robert Service reveals a more complex and fascinating story behind this notorious twentieth-century figure. For those seeking an overview of 20th century Russian history it doesn't really get much better than this. Robert Service is Professor of Russian Studies at St Antony’s College, Oxford. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 7, 2016, Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 15, 2015, Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 18, 2014, Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 23, 2013, This item arrived quickly and efficiently. Service (Russian History and Politics/Univ. Robert Service Penguin, 1998 - Russia (Federation) - 653 pages 1 Review Russia had an extraordinary twentieth century, undergoing upheaval and transformation. It is hard to think of another country - including the United States - that had more of an impact on world politics. At times the emphasis was upon shaking up the ingredients, at others upon stabilization. Until its denouement, no Western or Soviet politician foresaw that the standoff between the two superpowers -- after decades of struggle over every aspect of security, politics, economics, and ideas -- would end within the lifetime of the current generation. The early years of Bolshevik rule were marked by dynamic interaction between Russia and the West. Please try again. Rodric Braithwaite, New StatesmanVladimir Putin has dominated Russian politics since Boris Yeltsin relinquished the presidency in his favour in May 2000. He reveals a premier who cannot take his supremacy for granted, yet is determined to impose his will not only on his closest associates but on society at large. If you just want a medium-strength review of Russia (more than Fodors, but not 600 pages), it might be a little more than you need. This book deserves a place among the best studies of one of the most fascinating figures in modern history' Harold Shukman, The Times. I wanted to "catch up" as I was on my way for a 10 day visit in the hinterlands of Russia and would be not in the "tourist" mode but observer mode. A comprehensive beginners guide to 20th century russia, Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 29, 2006. Follow to get new release updates and improved recommendations. He has widened the focus out from 1917 so as to cover both the final years of the Romanov dynasty and the inception of the Soviet order. Robert Service is a Fellow of the British Academy and of St Antony's College, Oxford. Robert Slusser’s book supplies chapter and verse on the way Trotsky misconstrued Stalin’s role in the months before October 1917. When Mikhail Gorbachëv introduced perestroika in the mid-1980s, the USSR went through a springtime of growth and release. Intimidation of the populace, though essential, was not the only ingredient extending the Soviet Union's longevity. I did not expect to laugh while reading it but some moments were surprisingly funny. In Kremlin Winter, Robert Service, one of our finest historians of Russia, plots the seasonal shifts in events since 2012 and those that may be expected in the immediate future. It's an intellectual read, but very well written - as a non-academic I enjoyed it greatly. ( Unable to add item to List. The Last of the Tsars by Robert Service review – dispelling the myths. Service's forecast is ``not entirely'' pessimistic. Just recently finished reading it. Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2019. His other books include biographies of Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky, a textbook on the Russian Revolution and Russia: Experiment with a People, from 1991 to the Present. Under a succession of leaders from Lenin to Gorbachev, various methods were used to conserve and strengthen this compound. The achievements of the 1990s have been substantial in terms of elections, a free-market economy, press freedom, and economic recovery. The American Historical Review has published a critical examination of two books: the denunciatory biography Trotsky by British historian Robert Service and In … . Worth a read for anyone interested in the subject or would like an insight into what makes the Russians of today 'tick. Robert Service, our pre-eminent Kremlinologist, does not offer a lot of new gossip about Putin. Robert Service brings a new light to current Russia and I loved the historian's approach to politics. Russia needs a period of quiet, but it would be idle to assume, he concludes, that its capacity to astound the world has been exhausted. In wide-ranging discussions on topics from Kremlin politics to rock music and macroeconomics to contemporary poetry, Service takes us inside to witness the changes from both … He has written several books, including the highly acclaimed Lenin: A Biography, Russia: Experiment with a People, Stalin: A Biography and Comrades: A History of World Communism, as well as many other books on Russia's past and present. ). . ), Kremlin Winter: Russia and the Second Coming of Vladimir Putin, ( A History of Modern Russia: From Tsarism to the Twenty-First Century, Third Edition, ( ... Robert Service is something of a titan in the world of Soviet historiography. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Something we hope you'll especially enjoy: FBA items qualify for FREE Shipping and Amazon Prime. Now, on the hundredth anniversary of that revolution, Robert Service, the eminent historian of Russia, examines Nicholas's life and thought from the months before his momentous abdication to his death, with his family, in Ekaterinburg in July 1918. I’ve tried in this book to bring back the historical Nicholas – a decent family man, complacent ruler and a far-right political thinker – a much more complex man than the rather romantic figure that appears in both Russian and western books to this day. It is an extraordinarily lucid, masterful account of the most complex and turbulent period in Russia's long history. Students of Russian history will find this book informative and surprisingly powerful, in particular, Service's narrative on the causes of the Soviet collapse, which he believes Gorbachev's radical social reforms brought about by inadvertently opening the door for dramatic change to take place. There's a problem loading this menu right now. 31 of Slavonic and East European Studies, Univ. His research interests cover Russian history from the late 19th century to the present day and he has written numerous books on the subject. Service covers his topic comprehensively, beginning with the final years of the tsarist regime and continuing through the rise of the Bolsheviks, the terror of the Stalinist years and the slow, uneven disintegration that culminated with the reforms initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev and the dismemberment of the Soviet Union. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations, Select the department you want to search in. His prose is great and enjoyable. A History of Modern Russia: From Tsarism to the Twenty-First Century, Third Edition, Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science, Wolf Hall Trilogy 3 Books Collection Set By Hilary Mantel (The Mirror and the Light [Hardcover], Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies), Kremlin Winter: Russia and the Second Coming of Vladimir Putin, Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire, From the Bolshevik revolution in 1917 to the collapse of communism in 1991, from Lenin to Yeltsin, the history of Russia in the 20th century is a complex, tumultuous story of social, geographic, and political upheaval. He has written several books, including the highly acclaimed Lenin: A Biography, Russia: Experiment with a People, Stalin: A Biography andComrades: A History of World Communism, as well as many other books on Russia's past and present. Something went wrong. Russia had an extraordinary twentieth century, undergoing upheaval and transformation. Robert Service has revised and updated his popular book on the Russian Revolution, offering an integrated account of politics, sociology and economics. Recommended for academic libraries or public libraries with Russian history collections. ( If you're a seller, Fulfillment by Amazon can help you grow your business. Robert John Service FBA is a British historian, academic, and author who has written extensively on the history of the Soviet Union, particularly the era from the October … He is a prolific writer, penning eight books on modern Russian history, including biographies of Vladimir Lenin , Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin . --, In his fresh and lively survey of recent Russian history, Robert Service spans the whole era from the rise of communism in the first decade of this century to the aftermath of its collapse in 1991. Select the department you want to search in. He is also salutary in emphasizing the limitations of centralization in a country as disorganized as Russia and the growing ineffectiveness of terror in dealing with an increasingly complex society. Robert Service's The Penguin History of Modern Russia: From Tsarism to the Twenty-first Century provides a superb panorama of Russia in the modern age. His approach is fundamentally different from that of other contemporary authors such as Mark D. Steinberg and Vladimir Khustalev (The Fall of the Romanovs, LJ 10/15/95) and Valentin Berezhkov (At Stalin's Side, LJ 9/1/94). The book is incredibly well-researched and thorough. It's important to understand the context of this review. Stalin book. Book was in good condition. A History of Twentieth-Century Russia is the first work to use the mass of material that has become available in the documentary collections, memoirs, and archives over the past decade. Russia had an extraordinary twentieth century, undergoing upheaval and transformation. Sys., Iola, Perhaps intended for college curricula, Service's narrative nevertheless appeals to avocational students of Russia's past century because of its fluid, economical prose. Reading this book, helped me understand better the Russian view which was very different from the US view!I highly recommend this book for background information on Russia. At times, the author's attention to detail becomes excessive, and he pays only glancing attention to cultural trends that would have deepened his study. He paints a fascinating picture of a people in metamorphosis. ). --Jeremy Storey. Service notes progress made in education, palpable economic improvement, and privileges accorded to the, A balanced and thoughtful, if seldom particularly innovative, history of Russia in this century, concentrating on the Soviet era. There's no question that the Soviet regime was an indiscriminately ruthless entity. The latter is of obvoius relevance to anyone wishing to understand 21st century Russia. Dominic Lieven, Sunday Telegraph 'He has managed skilfully to depict the surreal life of an obsessive, brilliant and stubborn individual' Guardian 'Lenin's life was politics, but Service has succeeded in keeping Lenin the man in focus throughout . Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, original audio series, and Kindle books. Educated at Cambridge and Essex Universities, Service held a professorship at Oxford until 2013. In this engrossing account Robert Service traces the formation of the new Russia from the end of the Soviet Union in 1991 to the present. of London) has had access to some of the state and special archives in Moscow, although not as extensive an access as Dmitri Volkogonov (Autopsy for an Empire, p. 186). After reading this book you will have a very good understanding of what Russia and the former SSR's have been through and through this what may be in store for their future. Communist ideas and practices never fully pervaded the society of the USSR. A splendid book on a remarkable country. Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items. Robert Service gives a general overview in this book of the years 1900-2000 in Russia. Robert Service's new book, Russia: Experiment With a People, From 1991 to the Present, is published by Macmillan. 80 ). In discovering the origins of the USSR, he casts light on the nature of the state and society which Lenin left behind and which have not entirely disappeared after the collapse of the Soviet regime in 1991. This book deals almost exclusively with internal affairs in the USSR and then Russia and the break away republics. He is a fellow of St Antony's College and an associate fellow of the Hoover Institution. Robert Service is professor of Russian History at Oxford University, a fellow of St Antony's College and an associate fellow of the Hoover Institution. 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