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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Figes argues that the Russian Revolution lasted until the Soviet Union’s end in 1991.
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.
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.
In 1896, Winston Churchill was a young cavalry officer desperately in search of notoriety and glory.
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.
Krapfl looks at the complex and dramatic transformations that the revolution of 1989 inspired in average Czechoslovaks.
Until now, there have been no broad-based studies of the vexed contemporary U.S.-Russian relationship in English -- or, for that matter, in Russian. This volume fills that void admirably.
Brown warns of the dangers of leaders who, whether in a democracy or a tyranny, seek to dominate policy and all those around them.
The countries of the former Soviet Union form fertile ground for the study of how powerful security forces, opportunities for corruption, and the tug of war between local bosses and central authorities can combine to produce fragile states.
This book will enthrall anyone who has visited the Kremlin or gazed at pictures of it, presenting as it does a wonderfully detailed story of the fortress’ many incarnations over the centuries.
In this graceful, luxuriant history, Starr recovers the stunning contributions of Central Asian scientists, architects, artists, engineers, and historians during the four centuries that began just before the Arab onslaught of the eighth century.
Sometimes, meaning emerges from analysis; other times, from searing, soul-shaking experience.
In repressive societies, literature often carries a weight that it does not in free countries.
For all the attention paid to the carnage of the Yugoslav wars and the trials of those responsible for the violence, scholars have only just begun to assess the legacies of those leaders and their impact on their successors and the societies they left behind.
Koinova is interested in why ethnonationalist conflicts vary in the level of violence they generate, why violence at whatever level persists, and when and why things change for the better or the worse.
It takes a scholar as meticulous and thorough as Allison to properly chronicle the remarkably complex debate between proponents of traditional norms of state sovereignty and advocates for new norms of humanitarian interventionism.
In the debate over just how alienated Russian foreign policy has become from the interests of the United States and Europe, count Sherr among those arguing that the sides are worlds apart.
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