Thursday, September 3, 2015

Quick Review: "The End of Tsarist Russia" by Dominic Lieven

From Goodreads:  World War I and the Russian Revolution together shaped the twentieth century in profound ways. In The End of Tsarist Russia, acclaimed scholar Dominic Lieven connects for the first time the two events, providing both a history of the First World War’s origins from a Russian perspective and an international history of why the revolution happened.

Based on exhaustive work in seven Russian archives as well as many non-Russian sources, Dominic Lieven’s work is about far more than just Russia. By placing the crisis of empire at its core, Lieven links World War I to the sweep of twentieth-century global history. He shows how contemporary hot issues such as the struggle for Ukraine were already crucial elements in the run-up to 1914.

By incorporating into his book new approaches and comparisons, Lieven tells the story of war and revolution in a way that is truly original and thought-provoking.

My Thoughts:  The End of Tsarist Russia is an incredibly well-researched work.  I'm fascinated by Russian history and Wor and I thoroughly enjoyed this book as much as I have enjoyed Lieven's work in the past.  The level of detail is intense; this is definitely not a book you can rush through. 

The End of Tsarist Russia is a comprehensive look at Russian domestic and foreign policy in the years leading up to World War I.  It discusses events in various parts of Europe and Russia's relationships with other countries and how they led to the political climate in 1914 that sparked the war.  It definitely wasn't as simple as Austria's heir being assassinated; as is portrayed in this book, there were tensions for years, the assassination was just the straw that broke the camel's back.

The one thing that I felt was lacking in this book was more about the internal struggles within the Russian state that led up to the fall of tsarist Russia.  I felt like the title was a little misleading and I expected more about what was going on within the country with the common people.  

Overall, this was an excellent read and I highly recommend it to someone looking for a scholarly work of non-fiction.  4 stars.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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