Russian History: A Very Short Introduction
Russian History: A Very Short Introduction
  • Examines Russian history in an impartial way, arguing that 'Good Russia' and 'Bad Russia' are one and the same
  • Puts into context the difficulties Russia faces in terms of the size of its territory, its ability to rule the masses, its diverse population, and its harsh and vulnerable environment
  • Gives attention to the important individuals in Russian history; from Peter the Great and Catherine II to Lenin and Stalin
  • Considers Russia's relationship with the West and Europe
  • Examines the Soviet experience and the post-Soviet era

Spanning the divide between Europe and Asia, Russia is a multi-ethnic empire with a huge territory, strategically placed and abundantly provided with natural resources. But Russia's territory has a harsh climate, is cut off from most maritime contact with the outside world, and has open and vulnerable land frontiers. It has therefore had to devote much of its wealth to the armed forces, and the sheer size of the empire has made it difficult to mobilise resources and to govern effectively, especially given the diversity of its people. 

In this Very Short Introduction, Geoffrey Hosking discusses all aspects of Russian history, from the struggle by the state to control society, the transformation of the empire into a multi-ethnic empire, Russia's relationship with the West/Europe, the Soviet experience, and the post-Soviet era. 


1: Kievan Rus and the Mongols
2: The Formation of the Muscovite state
3: The Russian Empire and Europe
4: The Responsibilities and dangers of Empire
5: Reform and revolution
6: The Soviet Union's turbulent rise
7: The Soviet Union: triumph, decline and fall
Further Reading


Geoffrey Hosking was formerly Professor of Russian History at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL from 1984 to 2007. He has written numerous books including Beyond Socialist Realism (Holmes and Meier, 1980), A History of the Soviet Union(Fontana Press, 1992), Russia and the Russians (Penguin, 2001), and Trust: money, markets, and society (Calcultta & London, 2010). He is a Fellow of the British Academy.

"Hosking is a master storyteller" - The Week

"A beautifully written volume ... Hosking gives us significant details and real insight" - Spectator

"recommend[ed] to everyone who is eager to get an insight view into Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet history of the (until now) biggest country in Eurasia." - Zaur Gasimov, Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas


ISBN : 9780199580989

Geoffrey Hosking
176 ページ
112 x 173 mm





Russian History: A Very Short Introduction

Russian History: A Very Short Introduction

Russian History: A Very Short Introduction