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The Russian Moment in World History


The Russian Moment in World History Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Is Russian history one big inevitable failure? The Soviet Union's demise and Russia's ensuing troubles have led many to wonder. But this is to look through a skewed prism indeed. In this provocative and elegantly written short history of Russia, Marshall Poe takes us well beyond the Soviet haze deep into the nation's fascinating--not at all inevitable, and in key respects remarkably successful--past.

Tracing Russia's course from its beginnings to the present day, Poe shows that Russia was the only non-Western power to defend itself against Western imperialism for centuries. It did so by building a powerful state that molded society to its military needs. Thus arose the only non-Western path to modern society--a unique path neither European nor Asian but, most aptly, Russian.

From the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries, Russia prevailed despite unparalleled onslaughts by powerful Western armies. However, while Europe nurtured limited government, capitalism, and scientific and cultural revolution, early Russian society cultivated autocracy and command economics. Both Europe and Russia eventually created modern infrastructures, but the European model proved more productive and powerful. The post-World War I communist era can be seen as a natural continuation of Russia's autocratic past that, despite its tragic turns, kept Russia globally competitive for decades.

The Russian moment in world history thus began with its first confrontations with Europe in the fifteenth century, and ended in 1991 with the Soviet collapse. Written with verve and great insight, The Russian Moment in World History will be widely read and vigorously debated by those who seek a clear and unequivocal understanding of the complex history that has made Russia what it is today.


Offers a reinterpretation of the course of Russian history from the time of its earliest settlers to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Table of Contents

List of Maps ix

Preface xi

Chapter 1: What Russia Is and What It Is Not 1

Chapter 2: From Slavs to Rus' 10

Chapter 3: From Rus' to Russia 28

Chapter 4: The Challenge of Early Modernity 38

Chapter 5: The Origins of the Russian Moment 46

Chapter 6: The Progress of the Russian Moment 58

Chapter 7: From Early Modernity to Modernity 71

Chapter 8: The End of the Russian Moment 86

Chapter 9: Coda: What Might Have Been 91

Chronology 105

Bibliographic Note 111

Index 115

Product Details

Princeton University Press
History : Europe - Russia & the Former Soviet Union
Poe, Marshall T.
Poe, Marshall
Publication Date:
February 2006

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Russia » General Russian History
History and Social Science » World History » General
Humanities » Philosophy » General

The Russian Moment in World History
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Product details 136 pages Princeton University Press - English 9781400840755 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Offers a reinterpretation of the course of Russian history from the time of its earliest settlers to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
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