Military History of Russia From Ivan the Terrible to the War in Chechnya

ISBN-10: 0275985024
ISBN-13: 9780275985028
Edition: 2006
Authors: David R. Stone
List price: $83.00
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Description: This book brings to light Russia's undeservedly-obscure military past, rectifying the tendency of American and Western military historians to neglect the Russian side of things. Russia, as both a Western and non-Western society, challenges our  More...

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Book details

List price: $83.00
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, LLC
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 280
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.298
Language: English

This book brings to light Russia's undeservedly-obscure military past, rectifying the tendency of American and Western military historians to neglect the Russian side of things. Russia, as both a Western and non-Western society, challenges our thinking about Western military superiority. Russia has always struggled with backwardness in comparison with more developed powers, at some times more successfully than others. The imperatives of survival in a competitive international environment have, moreover, produced in Russian society a high degree of militarization. While including operational and tactical detail that appeals to military history enthusiasts, this book simultaneously integrates military history into the broader themes of Russian history and draws comparisons to developments in Europe. The book also challenges old assumptions about the Russian military. Russian military history cannot be summed up simply in a single stock phrase, whether perennial incompetence or success only through stolid, stoic defense; it also shows numerous examples of striking offensive successes. Stone traces Russia's fascinating military history, and its long struggle to master Western military technology without Western social and political institutions. It covers the military dimensions of the emergence of Muscovy, the disastrous reign of Ivan the Terrible, and the subsequent creation of the new Romanov dynasty. It deals with Russia's emergence as a great power under Peter the Great and culminating in the defeat of Napoleon. After that triumph, the book argues, Russia's social and economic stagnation undermined its enormous military power and brought catastrophic defeat in the Crimean War. The book then covers imperial Russia's long struggle to reform its military machine, with mixed results in the Russo-Japanese War and World War I. The Russian Revolution created a new Soviet Russia, but this book shows the continuity across that divide. The Soviet Union's interwar innovations and its harrowing experience in World War II owed much to imperial Russian precedents. A superpower after the war, the Soviet Union's military might was purchased at the expense of continuing economic backwardness. Paradoxically, the very militarization intended to provide security instead destroyed the Soviet Union, leaving a new Russia behind the West economically. Just as there was a great deal of continuity after 1917, this book demonstrates how the new Russian military has inherited many of its current problems from its Soviet predecessor. The price that Russia has paid for its continued existence as a great power, therefore, is the overwhelming militarization of its society and economy, a situation it continues to struggle with.

DAVID R. STONE is Associate Professor of Russian history at Kansas State University. His first book Hammer and Rifle: The Militarization of the Soviet Union, 1926-1933 , was a History Book Club selection, winner of the Historical Society's inaugural Best First Book prize, and co-winner of the Shulman Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. The author of numerous articles on Russian and Soviet military and diplomatic history, Stone is currently working on a study of Trotsky's role in the creation and development of the Red Army.

List of Maps
Acknowledgments
Introduction
The Rise of Muscovy
The Time of Troubles
The Early Romanovs
Peter the Great
After Peter
Catherine the Great
The Napoleonic Wars
Repression and Defeat
Reform and Recovery
The Russo-Japanese War
World War I
The Soviet Experiment
The Great Patriotic War
The Soviet Superpower
The Emergence of a New Russia
Suggested Reading
Index

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