Synopses & Reviews
This lucid account of Russian and Soviet history presents major trends and events from ancient Kievan Rus to Vladimir Putins presidency of the twenty-first century. Now thoroughly revised and updated, Russia and the Soviet Union
does not shy away from controversial topics, including the impact of the Mongol conquest, the paradoxes of Peter the Great, the inevitability” of the 1917 Revolution, the Stalinist terror, and the Gorbachev reform effort. The sixth edition includes a new chapter on Vladimir Putin, additional treatment of social and foreign policy issues, and an updated chapter on post-Soviet Russia and the Yeltsin era. Distinguished by its brevity and amply supplemented with useful maps, illustrations, photos, and suggested readings, this essential text provides balanced coverage of all periods of Russian history and incorporates economic, social, and cultural developments as well as politics and foreign policy.
1. Ancient Russia and the Kievan State
2. Russia Divided and Conquered, 10541462
3. Moscow and the Gathering of the Russian Lands,” 13281533
4. Ivan the Terrible and the Time of Troubles, 15331618
5. The Molding of Russian Society, 16131689
6. Peter the Great and Westernization, 16891725
7. Change and Continuity, 17251801
8. Power, Backwardness, and Creativity, 18011855
9. Reform, Reaction, and Modernization, 18551904
10. Revolution, Reform, and War, 19041917
11. Revolution, Civil War, and the Founding of Soviet Society, 19171928
12. The Second Revolution, the Stalinist System, and World War II, 19281946
13. The Soviet Union as a Superpower: Change, Stagnation, and Cold War,” 19461984
14. The Gorbachev Revolution” and the Collapse of the Soviet Union, 19831991
15. The New” Russia in the Post-Soviet Era 19912000
16. Putins Paradoxes
"Comprehensive, balanced, up to date, engaging, and deftly written, Russia and the Soviet Union
is the best brief history of Russia available today. The book is perfectly suited for use in introductory courses on Russian history and for general readers seeking to make sense of Russia over the centuries. Thompson has packed a lifetime of thoughtful reflection, teaching, and distinguished research into this volume."
-Donald J. Raleigh, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"Through a fresh format and effective revisions, John Thompson has rendered still more succinct what was already a very neat, comprehensive and highly readable text. With updated biographies ('Further Reading') in several chapters and some new illustrations, as well as an additional chapter on Russia under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, Russia and the Soviet Union
in its sixth edition remains a superlative text for both students of Russian history and the casual reader."
-Vicki Hendrickson Grove, University of Colorado, Boulder
"Russia and the Soviet Union
is a superb one-semester text for a course in Russian history from origins to the near-present. Thompson does a judicious job of introducing key debates and does not hesitate to express his own considered opinion where warranted. The balanced coverage of medieval, early modern, modern, and contemporary periods is extremely important for introductory courses, as is the newly revised section of Russia under Putin. Overall, this is a readable, exciting, stimulating book which always has students asking for more."
-David W. McFadden, Fairfield University
This balanced and succinct presentation covers the entire expanse of Russian history from the first Kievan states (800 a.d.) to the present day Putin era.
About the Author
John M. Thompson, a graduate of Columbias Russian Institute, taught history at Indiana University for seventeen years and was a distinguished visiting professor at the US Air Force Academy and the Air War College. He currently teaches Russian and world history at Midcoast Senior College in Maine.