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Russia of the Tsars (History Files)

Peter Waldron

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A short and accessible history of Russia under the Tsars, beautifully illustrated and including a set of facsimile documents which bring the historical record vividly to life


Between the 17th century and the 1917 revolution, the Russian Tsars became absolute rulers of the largest and most diverse empire in the world. The splendour of their court and their capital city, St Petersburg, was extraordinary, but the imperial edifice was supported by the toil of millions of serfs tied to the land. This empire of contradictions – so powerful but so backward – was to have a profound influence on both Europe and Asia.

Peter Waldron tells the stories of all the Russians, exploring how the vastness of the empire and its extremes of climate affected the lives of rulers and peasants alike. He examines the great flowering of Russian art, literature and music, the pressures for and against reform, and finally the fall of the Tsarist regime in a cataclysm of violence.

Exclusive to this series, is a set of loose-leaf facsimile documents, among them a letter from Peter the Great, an excerpt from Catherine the Great’s charter to the nobility, and the announcement of Tsar Nicholas II’s abdication in 1917.

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'Combines the high production values associated with Thames & Hudson with the impressive text to be expected from a leading specialist on the period'
The Historical Association

'It's not just that it's so attractively illustrated, or so profusely ... It's the number of arrestingly unfamiliar illustrations - including early examples of colour photography'

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 21.0 x 17.0 cm

Extent: 144 pp

Illustrations: 133

Publication date: 26 April 2011

ISBN: 9780500289297

Contents List

Introduction: The Empire of Russia • Peter the Great and the Westernization of Russia • Russia’s Rural World • The Tsars Triumphant,1750–1850 • Building an Empire Reform and Reaction, 1850–1900 • The Flowering of Russian Culture • Conclusion: The End of Tsarism • Resources: chronology | transcriptions and translations of the documents | glossary | further reading | picture credits • Index • Facsimile Documents

About the Author

Peter Waldron is Professor of Modern History at the University of East Anglia. He is the author of The End of Imperial Russia (1997) and Governing Tsarist Russia (2007).

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