Synopses & Reviews
A major new history of the Russian conflict immortalized by Tolstoy in War and Peace
Russia's expulsion of Napoleon's Grande Armée in 1812 is considered one of the most dramatic events in European history. However, Tolstoyan myth and an imbalance of British and French interpretations have clouded most Westerners' understanding of Russia's role in the defeat of Napoleon.
Based on a fresh examination of Russian military archives, Russia Against Napoleon provides the first-ever history of the period told from the Russian perspective. In Dominic Lieven's account, Russia's victory in 1812 was just the beginning of what would be the longest military campaign in European history, marked by Russia's epic efforts to feed and supply half a million troops as they crossed an entire continent.
Moving from the 1807 treaty signed by Napoleon and Tsar Alexander I through the Russian army's improbable entry into Paris in 1814, Lieven provides suspenseful accounts of events, such as the burning of Moscow and the great battles of Leipzig and Borodino, as well as astute analyses of the great military strategists of the time. The result is a magisterial work sure to be eagerly anticipated by military and history buffs alike.
"Lieven, professor of history at the London School of Economics, uses Russian archives as the basis for this seminal reinterpretation of Napoleon's defeat in 1812-1814. Russia's leaders cleverly engaged Napoleon in a kind of drawn-out campaign the French system was least able to wage. Russia's armies outfought Napoleon's, thanks in good part to the 'courage, endurance, and loyalty' of soldiers led by officers whose central virtues were honor and courage. Russian staffs and administrators kept the troops supplied despite the long and increasing distances between bases and theaters of operations. And coordinating the effort was Tsar Alexander II, whose 'courage, skill, and intelligence'held together the final alliance against Napoleon all the way from Moscow to Paris. Lieven weaves these threads together with flair and offers insight into the specifics of everything from infantry tactics to diplomatic negotiations. He concludes that Russian and European security were mutually dependent, and that Russia's war was seen by Europeans a one of liberation from Napoleon's exactions and ambitions. While debatable, neither point can be dismissed. Illus., maps." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Based on a fresh examination of Russian military archives, "Russia Against Napoleon" provides a unique history of the period, told from the Russian perspective.
The first history of the epic defeat of Napoleon's empire told from the Russian perspective.
Though much has been written about Napoleon's doomed invasion of Russia and the collapse of the French Empire that ensued, virtually all of it has been from the Western perspective. Now, taking advantage of never- before-seen documents from the Russian archives, Dominic Lieven upends much of the conventional wisdom about the events that formed the backdrop of Tolstoy's masterpiece, War and Peace. Lieven's riveting narrative sweeps readers through epic battles, tense diplomatic exchanges on which the fate of nations hung, and the rise of Russia from near-ruin to Europe's liberator. Rich in detail, Russia Against Napoleon is a groundbreaking masterwork.
One of the worldand#8217;s leading scholars offers a fresh interpretation of the linked origins of World War I and the Russian Revolution
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 Warand#8217;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 Lievenand#8217;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.
About the Author
Dominic Lieven is a senior research fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, and a fellow of the British Academy. He previously taught Russian Studies at the London School of Economics for thirty-three years. His last book, Russia Against Napoleon, won the 2009 Wolfson Prize for History and the Prix Napoleon.