Robert Legvold

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2015
Robert Legvold

At first blush, there would seem to be a wide gap between a “presidential decree” in the Russian context and an “executive order” issued by a U.S. president. Remington, however, makes precisely that comparison.

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2015
Robert Legvold

The image of Russian civil society as passive and cowed by the Kremlin misses the mark, Greene argues in this subtle and well-substantiated study. 

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2015
Robert Legvold

Grynaviski challenges conventional wisdom by arguing that international cooperation is often the product of misunderstandings rather than shared views. 

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2015
Robert Legvold

In Kotkin's masterful biography—the first entry in a planned trilogy—Stalin emerges as a more vivid and complete figure than he does in countless other accounts.

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2015
Robert Legvold

In Hartley's book, Siberia emerges as an intricate, colorful mosaic, not a barren black-and-white photo. 

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2015
Robert Legvold

The bulk of the book concerns money—dirty money, in massive quantities—and the marvelously circuitous ways it has been amassed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and those around him.

Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2014
Robert Legvold

Becirevic walks the reader through the controversy surrounding the concept and definition of “genocide,” then makes an energetic case that the term applies to the war waged by Serbian forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992–95.

Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2014
Robert Legvold

Rangelov explores how nationalist excesses undo the rule of law -- and how the rule of law, when properly defended, can tame nationalism.

Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2014
Robert Legvold

Although the international communist movement’s abject servility to Joseph Stalin has been well documented, it is still stunning to read about the contortions that communists all over the world undertook to placate the Soviet leader.

Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2014
Robert Legvold

Sunderland blends Ungern-Sternberg’s life story with an exquisite portrait of the far-flung reaches of the Russian empire -- the tale of one man encountering historic change in almost incomprehensibly complex surroundings.

Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2014
Robert Legvold

In 1939, Hitler and Stalin had concluded a pact promising not to interfere in each other’s aggressive military campaigns. Moorhouse captures the essence of the wretched deal better than anyone has before. 

Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2014
Robert Legvold

Sakwa uses the story of Khodorkovsky’s spectacular rise and fall to pry open the inner workings of the Russian political system.

Capsule Review
SEPT/OCT
2014
Robert Legvold

Schrad argues that vodka played a central role in shaping Russian history. For centuries, vodka has served as a cynically employed instrument of power, a key to state finance, and a source of Russian society’s backwardness. 

Capsule Review
SEPT/OCT
2014
Robert Legvold

Leroux-Martin reflects on the way that, for outside peace makers, the aftermath of a war can pose challenges almost as great as the war itself.

Capsule Review
SEPT/OCT
2014
Robert Legvold

Using recently released documents, Plokhy traces the complex events that led to the Soviet Union’s implosion and profiles the principal actors, revealing that their roles were far more complicated than is generally assumed. 

Capsule Review
SEPT/OCT
2014
Robert Legvold

True spy stories are good fun, and this one -- relating the madcap efforts of a small band of British intelligence agents sent into Russia during World War I -- is better than most.

Capsule Review
SEPT/OCT
2014
Robert Legvold

For one shining period, the shtetls of eastern Europe were not the melancholy, ramshackle places familiar from Fiddler on the Roof. On the contrary, until the 1840s, shtetls were economically vibrant, culturally diverse, lively merchant communities. 

Capsule Review
SEPT/OCT
2014
Robert Legvold

Wolmar is a historian of railroads, and he recounts the vital role that the Trans-Siberian Express played in saving the Soviet Union during World War II. 

Essay
JUL/AUG
2014
Robert Legvold

The crisis in Ukraine has pushed Moscow and the West into a new Cold War. For both sides, the top priority must now be to contain the conflict, ensuring that it ends up being as short and as shallow as possible.

Capsule Review
May/June
2014
Robert Legvold

Figes argues that the Russian Revolution lasted until the Soviet Union’s end in 1991.

Capsule Review
May/June
2014
Robert Legvold

Gaiduk focuses on the formative first 20 years of the UN, the period during which high hopes for the organization dissolved into the pedestrian maneuvering of Cold War politics.

Capsule Review
May/June
2014
Robert Legvold

Duncan Lee was a descendant of the two Lee brothers who signed the Declaration of Independence, and of Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general. From 1942 to 1945, he spied for the Soviet Union.

Capsule Review
May/June
2014
Robert Legvold

In 1896, Winston Churchill was a young cavalry officer desperately in search of notoriety and glory.

Capsule Review
May/June
2014
Robert Legvold

The Ceausescu regime’s misguided policies on population growth and on the treatment of abandoned children left as many as 170,000 Romanian children in appallingly bad institutions.

Capsule Review
May/June
2014
Robert Legvold

Krapfl looks at the complex and dramatic transformations that the revolution of 1989 inspired in average Czechoslovaks.