The Story of Russia (Hardback)
  • The Story of Russia (Hardback)
zoom

The Story of Russia (Hardback)

(author)
7 Reviews Sign in to write a review
£25.00
Hardback 368 Pages
Published: 01/09/2022
  • In stock
  • Free UK delivery

Usually dispatched within 2-3 working days

  • This item has been added to your basket
Waterstones Says

From the bestselling author of A People's Tragedy and Natasha's Dance comes a vibrant, authoritative history of the competing ideologies and self-perpetuating mythologies that have informed Russian history from the formation of the state of Rus to Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

From the great storyteller of Russia, a spellbinding account of the myths and ideologies that have shaped the country's past - and how they can inform its present.

No other country has reimagined its own past so frequently, or endured such vast differences in ruling ideologies, as Russia. This story begins in the first millennium, when the Viking-Slavic state of Kievan Rus was formed, and ends with Putin's war against Ukraine. Spanning the medieval myths of Russia's holy mission, the popular belief in a paternal tsar and the notion of the 'Russian soul', Orlando Figes explores the ideas that have guided the country's actions throughout its long and troubled history.

The Story of Russia is about the stories the Russians have told of their past, and the ideas that have shaped those stories, as much as it is about the events and institutions, social groups and leaders that make up that history. Here, Figes brings into sharp relief the recurrent themes that remain so important in understanding the country today through the vibrant characters of its rich history: from Boris and Gleb, the first saints of the Russian Church, to the crowning of sixteen-year-old Ivan the Terrible in a candlelit cathedral; and from Catherine the Great, riding out in a green uniform to arrest her husband at his palace, to the bitter last days of the Romanovs.

Beautifully written and based on a lifetime of scholarship, The Story of Russia is quintessential Figes: sweeping, suspenseful, masterful. 

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781526631749
Number of pages: 368
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Figes’s book is an absorbing and enlightening read, a triumph of concision, analysis and insight - Daily Mail

A deeply impressive and deeply immersive book . . . The author sets out to reveal Russia’s history, its people’s perception of their past and the manifold ways in which those in power manipulate both events and legend to shape the present. It is a saga of multi-millennial identity politics - Spectator

To understand Putin's paranoia, read this book on Russia's history - Telegraph

A lucid chronological journey that ably illustrates how narratives from the nation’s past have been used to shape its autocratic present - Observer

If you really want to understand Putin’s Russia today, anchored in its past of myths, then you simply have to read Figes’s superb account in The Story of Russia - Antony Beevor

An indispensable survey of more than 1,000 years of history shows how myth and fact mix dangerously in the tales this crucial country tells about itself - Guardian

A magnificent, magisterial thousand year history of Russia . . . its tsars and tyrants, wars and massacres, ideas and dreams vividly drawn, its analysis of Russian power and empire essential reading today - Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of THE ROMANOVS and STALIN: THE COURT OF THE RED TSAR

An expert on Russia delivers a crucially relevant study . . . A lucid, astute text that unpacks the myths of Russian history to help explain present-day motivations and actions - Kirkus (starred review)

Urgent and revelatory and brilliantly told, it’s all the things you pray a book will be when you first pick it up - Peter Morgan

Excellent short study - Max Hastings, Sunday Times

The historian’s latest work on Russia is a lucid chronological journey that ably illustrates how narratives from the nation’s past have been used to shape its autocratic present - Angus Macqueen, Observer

Figes skilfully assesses the evolution of the forms of government and society that inhibited the development of controls of the tsar - BBC History Magazine

Accessible and epic . . . A great introduction to an enthralling subject - History Revealed

An impressive account of the ideas, myths and ideologies that have shaped that country and the way its people interpret the past . . . Figes’s book offers a valuable, instructive overview - Independent

Anyone who wants to detox from Putin’s mythomanic claims about Russia’s history and what it means for today’s world will find some relief in The Story of Russia . . . Figes presents Russia’s history in a straightforward manner - Irish Independent

Valuable book - Irish Times

[An] imaginative sweep and a capacity to encapsulate in a memorable way - TLS

Orlando Figes provides valuable lessons about the importance of mythologizing the country’s past in his sweeping new survey of Russian history - New York Times

Sweeping and concise . . . It is a skilled piece of compression - Tablet

This is a brilliant condensation – his analysis of Soviet Russia is superb – of a seriously complex tale - Spectrum

The Story of Russia combines profound knowledge and understanding of the longer, deeper structural processes of history with the personal experience of an author seeking to understand what is happening on the ground today - Financial Times

Orlando Figes’s latest book provides fascinating insights into this contemporary conundrum. The Story of Russia is a truly incisive and important dissection of Russia’s troubled past, both real and mythical, but it also provides a crucial context for understanding the present - Jewish Chronicle

This book is a timely reminder of the malign uses to which history can be put - Politics Home

A brilliantly concentrated meditation on the power of myth and history, and the ability of both to form and deform and guide and misguide the present. Thoughtful, nuanced and above all persuasive, it shows how we are all trapped in the loops and coils of myth, memory and forgetting, and demonstrates the urgent need for historians to remember, and insist on the truth - William Dalrymple, Books of the Year, Spectator

Beautifully brief, The Story of Russia shows centuries of regimes that revisit their past to manipulate the future, and eternally start from the wrong place acting in venal self-interest rather than the true national interest - Best Books of 2022, Financial Times

Given the news, Orlando Figes’s short book could hardly be better timed ... His story abounds in strange and memorable characters, from emperors to writers. But it’s the sheer sweep that impresses most, as he turns a potentially grim and overwhelming subject into a delightfully brisk and enjoyable read - Best History Books of 2022, Sunday Times

To understand Russia’s autocratic present, you must examine its past – although Russia’s perception of that past is ever-shifting. Its founding myths have shaped its history right up to the present. “Russia is a country held together by ideas rooted in its distant past, histories continuously reconfigured and repurposed to suit its present needs - Best Non-fiction of 2022, Irish Times

The Story of Russia by Orlando Figes (Bloomsbury, £25) looks 900 years earlier, to the national myths that Putin exploited in his invasion of Ukraine. “The country’s past will be reinvented by the Russian state as its needs change,” Figes observes - Best History Books of 2022, Telegraph

You may also be interested in...

Emperor of Rome
Added to basket
£11.99   £9.99
Paperback
Unruly
Added to basket
£10.99   £9.49
Paperback
The Wager
Added to basket
£10.99   £8.99
Paperback
Great-Uncle Harry
Added to basket
£10.99   £8.99
Paperback
The Rest is History
Added to basket
£10.99   £9.49
Paperback
Killing Thatcher
Added to basket
£10.99   £9.49
Paperback
Hitler, Stalin, Mum and Dad
Added to basket
£10.99   £9.49
Paperback
Pax
Added to basket
Pax
£12.99   £10.49
Paperback
The Savage Storm
Added to basket
£10.99   £9.49
Paperback
Beyond the Wall
Added to basket
£12.99   £10.99
Paperback
Endgame 1944
Added to basket
£25.00   £19.99
Hardback
Prisoners of Geography
Added to basket
The Earth Transformed
Added to basket
£12.99   £10.99
Paperback
Ask Not
Added to basket
£25.00   £20.99
Hardback
The Full English
Added to basket
£10.99   £9.49
Paperback
The Hundred Years' War on Palestine
Added to basket
An African History of Africa
Added to basket
£25.00   £20.99
Hardback
Crypt
Added to basket
£22.00   £16.99
Hardback

“Russia - "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma" Winston Churchill. This book helps to unpick the riddle.”

This is a terrific read. I’ve always been fascinated by Russian history (blame the biography of Anna Pavlova I was given as a child, and of course, the film “Doctor Zhivago”), and I have read a lot about it. Even... More

“Well written”

This is an important book to read to help understand what is happening between Russia and Ukraine at the moment. Orlando Figgs'writing is compelling, clear and obviously well researched.
Many thanks to the... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 22

“A fine history.”

This is a fine book that brings the reader about as up to date as possible for a history book, covering as it does the early stages of the current war in Ukraine.

Engagingly written and full of great stories, the... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 18

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.

env: aptum
branch: