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  • Published: 28 May 2015
  • ISBN: 9781846143823
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 480
Categories:

Towards The Flame

Empire, War And The End Of Tsarist Russia




A powerful, brilliantly written new account of the destruction of Imperial Russia

'As much as anything, World War I turned on the fate of Ukraine...'

The decision to go to war in 1914 had catastrophic consequences for Russia. The result was revolution, civil war and famine in 1917-20, followed by decades of Communist rule. Dominic Lieven's powerful and original new book, based on exhaustive and unprecedented study in Russian and many other foreign archives, explains why this suicidal decision was made and explores the world of the men who made it, thereby consigning their entire class to death or exile and making their country the victim of a uniquely terrible political experiment under Lenin and Stalin.

But Towards the Flame is about far more than Russia.

By looking at the origins and results of the First World War from a mostly Russian angle it offers a radically different view of why Europe descended into disaster. Dominic Lieven's interpretation of Europe's great war and Russia's revolution will overturn assumptions about events that still have major implications for world history down to the present day.

  • Published: 28 May 2015
  • ISBN: 9781846143823
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 480
Categories:

About the author

Dominic Lieven

Dominic Lieven graduated first in his year, 1973, at the University of Cambridge. He was a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard and, on completing his PhD, became a lecturer in the Department of Government at the London School of Economics, where he is now Professor of Russian Government. He has also been a visiting professor at Tokyo and Harvard universities, as well as a Humboldt Fellow in Gottingen and Munich. He has published widely, mostly on late imperial Russia, and his ancestors connect him to a surprising range of empires - among them, his great-uncle, Prince Anatol Lieven, son of Alexander II's Lord Chamberlain.

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Praise for Towards The Flame

A book of immense scholarship and engaging readability. Through an eastern window rarely opened to Western gaze, it illuminates the end of Europe's old order and the explosive start of the twentieth century. A century later, we are still struggling with this era's epic legacies.

David Reynolds, author of The Long Shadow: The Great War and the Twentieth Century

Not just one of the greatest historians on Russia, but also a great writer

Antony Beevor, The Independent

With its important new evidence about Russia's slide towards war, this is a much-needed account of a how a few clever but foolish men ruined their country and brought disaster on themselves

Victor Sebestyen, Sunday Times

Aristocratic values, imperial mindsets and the emergence of modern nationalisms are the big themes of this illuminating history of late tsarist Russia by Lieven... he writes with all the clarity, conviction and fluent command of sources that readers have come to expect of him

Tony Barber, Financial Times

This magnificent book, lively in perceptions and bristling with empirical novelty, traces the origins of the Russian-German rivalry. It is a pleasure to read

Robert Service, Literary Review

[Lieven's] intimate familiarity with the Russia he describes and his extensive study of the letters, diaries and books of the chief actors in Russia's descent "towards the flames" - many not hitherto accessible to historians - are what render this book so authoritative and readable

Serge Schmemann, The New York Times

Lieven presents Russia's road to war and revolution as a classical tragedy - a fate driven by the character of both the country and its rulers... [he] recovers a world that has been lost

William Anthony Hay, The Wall Street Journal

Lieven has a double gift: first, for harvesting details to convey the essence of an era and, second, for finding new, startling, and clarifying elements in familiar stories. This is history with a heartbeat, and it could not be more engrossing

Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs

Illuminating history of late tsarist Russia. Lieven writes with all the clarity, conviction and fluent command of sources that readers have come to expect of him

Tony Barber

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