By Robert Auty, Dimitri Obolensky
An creation, whole in a single quantity, to the heritage of Russia from medieval instances to the autumn of Khrushchev and past. A learn of the geographical surroundings within which the Russian nation grew to its current super-power prestige is through 5 chapters which debate the political, social, and financial background of the rustic, and 4 ultimate chapters learn respectively the function of the Church, Soviet executive and politics, the economic system of the Soviet kingdom, and the diplomacy of the USSR. every one bankruptcy has been in particular commissioned for this quantity, and the writers are stated specialists of their fields. each bankruptcy is through a advisor to additional studying. this can be maybe the main finished and authoritative collaborative historical past of Russia but to seem. it is going to be learn as a continuing account, and also will be consulted as a typical reference advisor in libraries of universities, schools, and faculties anywhere Russian and Soviet historical past, eu background, and diplomacy are studied. It varieties the 1st a part of the three-volume better half to Russian stories, the 2 different elements of which take care of Russian language and literature, and Russian paintings and structure respectively.
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Extra info for Companion to Russian Studies: Volume 1: An Introduction to Russian History
The Chinese are now reasserting their former claims to sovereignty over the Amur region, and encouraging the Japanese to press for the return of the southern Kurile Islands. Thus while the European frontier of the Soviet Union traditionally has been the most unstable, it now appears possible that the long Soviet border with China, although superficially more 'natural' than the European one, may stand the test of time less well. THE LOCATION OF ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES The most immediate and powerful link between the distribution of people and the fundamental character of the land (in terms of natural resources as well as climate and relief) is the pattern of economic activities.
The first category is also the oldest, being made up of well-established centres of market-oriented, labour-intensive industries. Moscow and Leningrad are obviously the most important of these, depending heavily on political patronage, invested capital, and a reserve - particularly precious in the early Soviet period - of skill and literacy. In the case of Moscow the city's central position in earlier times at the hub of the river system has been succeeded by a similar position with regard to the railways and now to the pipelines, so that high-value manufacturing, depending on skill and assembly of varied raw materials, can thrive.
The conquest of Middle Asia (Turkestan) was facilitated by the establishment of vantage-points in the Siberian steppe to the north and in the Transcaucasus to the west. The irrigated loss-lands had been occupied for centuries, but some Russian Cossacks were settled in the Semirech'ye region north of the Tien Shan mountains. 'Indirect rule' through local emirs and khans, and the promotion of cotton specialization, were the familiar hallmarks of the Russian occupation of this region. The last arena of Russian nineteenth-century expansion was the Far East - the Amur region and neighbouring Manchuria.