World War I and the Russian Revolution together shaped the 20th century in profound ways. In The End of Tsarist Russia, acclaimed scholar Dominic Lieven connects for the first time the two events, providing both a history of the First World War's origins from a Russian perspective and an international history of why the revolution happened. Based on exhaustive work in seven Russian archives as well as many non-Russian sources, Dominic Lieven's work is about far more than just Russia. By placing the crisis of empire at its core, Lieven links World War I to the sweep of 20th-century global history. He shows how contemporary hot issues such as the struggle for Ukraine were already crucial elements in the run-up to 1914. By incorporating into his book new approaches and comparisons, Lieven tells the story of war and revolution in a way that is truly original and thought provoking.
©2015 Dominic Lieven (P)2015 Tantor
"A Russian scholar opens up new, even startling historical connections." (Kirkus Starred Review)
I recommend this book for anyone who wants to know the underlying causes of WWI. To say Lieven's documentation of Russian foreign and domestic policy was thorough would be an understatement. However, given his use of a sliding timeline it can be hard to follow linearly. Overall, it was educational and enjoyable.
The subject matter is important, and the viewpoint, concentrating on the interplay among the geopolitics of empires, personalities, and ideology, is illuminating. However, there is much repetition, and the author frequently loses himself in over-detailed discussions of individual diplomats. The opening chapters, the final summarizing chapter, and the afterword are clear and fascinating, and full of provocative historical parallels.
The narrator was not a good choice for this material. His delivery was altogether too purring, insinuating, and over-inflected. I often listen while driving, and this reader made me sleepy.
An extremely comprehensive summary of Russian pre revolutionary government dulldrum. Although the narrator tried, this book was so dull that listening to it on my commute became extremely dangerous, as the creeping text pulled me ever closer towards sleep. I am extremely frustrated, because I was hoping for the actual downfall of the tsarists, seeing that the book was called: "the end of tsarist Russia.' I really expected it to cover the wars. Perhaps, I am biased as a military history fan, but this book was basically precommunist Russian cspan.
very detailed. you need to have a very solid grasp of ww1 before too read it. and it covers exclusively 1905 to 1914. mostly in the foreign ministry
This book goes very deep into the fracturing history of the Romanov empire. Well researched and written. If you just want the story of the final year, this is way more than that. I Should have just read this one though. The narrators strange pace, and breathy mispronunciations remind me of an athsmatic Captain Kirk reading a foreign language dictionary.
Almost breathy and suspenseful, which isn't at all appropriate. He read it as if it were a mystery novel. I kept listening, trying to adjust to his style, and finally gave up.
Great book, and yes, it can be dry - but I've been on a WWI kick lately and I've wanted to build out my understanding of Russia and it's role. That's exactly what this book would have delivered. I was really interested in this book, and it was disappointing that the narration didn't work for me at all. Lesson learned, this is why you should always check the preview! :)
This felt like an excellent prequel to The Guns of August. scrupulously researched.
If you are looking to learn about the fall of tsarist Russia and the bolshevik revolution this is the WRONG book.
History Nerd with an emphasis on the history of the Great War. I live in San Jose CA
As a history of Russia's entry into the Great War this volume sheds new light on a neglected part on that conflict. The actual content is novel and thought provoking. And now for the bad news, this history is nearly done in by a horrible reading.
There is an unfortunate default in many narrations that having a person with a sound footing in the queen's English is the sin qua non of a "serious" book and the acme of erudition. This particular book is an egregious example of such a bias.
Whatever class and "breeding" brought in by this particular voice actor, it is lost in the delivery. The delivery is sing-song, poorly paced and oddly delivered. The choice of verbal fry by the narrator can only be described as questionable at best and irritating at worst. The cut glass narration ends up in lacerating the delivery. Our poor history is left bleeding out, utterly victimized by the ham-fisted delivery of the narrator.
The narrator even manages to mangle common English borrowings from the French via the time-dishonored technique of French-frying standard English pronunciations. Alsace-Lorraine does have a time honored pronunciation in at least American and British English and there is no need to divert to a Gallic reconstitution of that pronunciation. It adds nothing to the narration and actually detracts from it to have the Francophone version crash into one's earbuds/headset.
Given the soporific and uninspired narration I can not recommend the audio version of this book. And if this particular book is any indication of how the narrator goes about his craft I would strongly recommend that any audio-book that he has lent his vocal cords to should be given a wide berth. I gave two stars even though it's a one and half star effort in this book.
One good point. I can, without hesitation, recommend this effort to any insomniacs looking for relief from that affliction. You'll be out like a lite in less than 45 minutes. But for others, a strong pot of coffee or a large can of energy drink is advised. The narrator is a great, crashing, uninspired bore.
No. While this is an interesting work of history offering a perspective on WW I and the Russian Revolution worth hearing, it is badly disfigured by a reader who woudl probably earn second place in a junior high essay contest reading his own words, but who has no business in a professional production. He imposes a terrible syncopation on well written sentences to the point that one cannot tell where the author's one thought end and the next begins. There are full stops in the middle of sentences between subject and verb, and completely egregious tonal signifiers for words chosen by the reader apparently at random. I could barely stand to listen.
Anyone who actually understands the spoken use of the English language.
Time yes, mental effort to hear, no.
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