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Fragile Empire: A History of Imperial Russia Alexander Chubarov

Fragile Empire: A History of Imperial Russia

Alexander Chubarov

Published
ISBN : 9780826411884
Hardcover
256 pages
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 About the Book 

With the fall of communism and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the tsarist past has caught up with Russias present with a vengeance. The process of rethinking the past is not without its pitfalls: the negative evaluations of tsarist Russia,MoreWith the fall of communism and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the tsarist past has caught up with Russias present with a vengeance. The process of rethinking the past is not without its pitfalls: the negative evaluations of tsarist Russia, obligatory in the former Soviet Union, have given way to uncritical romanticizing. There has never been a greater need for a fair, balanced interpretation of the tsarist record. This book re-examines Russias imperial past from the reign of Peter the Great to the collapse of tsarism in 1917. It presents pre-revolutionary Russia as an empire of great internal contradictions. A colossus that extended over one-sixth the earths landmass, it was ever vulnerable to foreign invasion. It possessed one of the worlds largest populations, the majority of whom lived in poverty and discontent. It commanded the worlds richest natural resources, yet its productive forces were constricted by the remnants of feudalism. It strove to cement its multiethnic population by systematic Russification, which only stimulated nationalist movements. It gloried in being a peoples autocracy at a time when the regime was increasingly detached from its people.