"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Friday, March 28, 2014

Russian History

With all the recent focus on and discussion of Russia, including of course its annexation of Crimea and continued threats to Ukraine, a recent volume helpfully provides a much wider picture of Russian history, including chapters on the relationship to the Byzantine empire, and the development of (and schisms within) what we today call the Russian Orthodox Church, this latter article being written by Nadieszda Kizenko: Abbott Gleason, ed., A Companion to Russian History (Wiley Blackwell, 2014), 568pp.

About this book we are told:
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, substantial changes have transformed the way historians have interpreted Russia’s past. This companion provides an overview of Russian history, from the earliest appearance of the Slavs in history to the present day. It features 28 provocative essays written by both prominent and emerging international scholars covering major problems in Russia's history.
The book is structured chronologically, yet reflects the weight of interest in Russia’s recent history by giving its greatest coverage to the twentieth century. It offers a balanced review of both traditional and cutting-edge topics, demonstrating the range and dynamism of the field.

This companion comprises 28 essays by international scholars offering an analytical overview of the development of Russian history from the earliest Slavs through to the present day.
  • Includes essays by both prominent and emerging scholars from Russia, Great Britain, the US, and Canada
  • Analyzes the entire sweep of Russian history from debates over how to identify the earliest Slavs, through the Yeltsin Era, and future prospects for post-Soviet Russia
  • Offers an extensive review of the medieval period, religion, culture, and the experiences of ordinary people
  • Offers a balanced review of both traditional and cutting-edge topics, demonstrating the range and dynamism of the field

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