The Grand Strategy of the Russian Empire, 1650-1831

The Grand Strategy of the Russian Empire, 1650-1831

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Description

At its height, the Russian empire covered eleven time zones and stretched from Scandinavia to the Pacific Ocean. Arguing against the traditional historical view that Russia, surrounded and threatened by enemies, was always on the defensive, John P. LeDonne contends that Russia developed a long-term strategy not in response to immediate threats but in line with its own expansionist urges to control the Eurasian Heartland. LeDonne narrates how the government from Moscow and Petersburg expanded the empire by deploying its army as well as by extending its patronage to frontier societies in return for their serving the interests of the empire. He considers three theaters on which the Russians expanded: the Western (Baltic, Germany, Poland); the Southern (Ottoman and Persian Empires); and the Eastern (China, Siberia, Central Asia). In his analysis of military power, he weighs the role of geography and locale, as well as economic issues, in the evolution of a larger imperial strategy. Rather than viewing Russia as peripheral to European Great Power politics, LeDonne makes a powerful case for Russia as an expansionist, militaristic, and authoritarian regime that challenged the great states and empires of its time.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 278 pages
  • 166.9 x 231.9 x 28.2mm | 544.32g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Uitgawe and Revised ed.
  • 10 maps
  • 0195161009
  • 9780195161007
  • 2,058,623

Review quote

[a] detailed analytical exposition. * British Journal of Eighteenth Century Studies * his work alters the way we think about grand strategy and presents Russia more systematically than one normally expects; and for this achievement LeDonne deserves praise. * Ab Imperio * does contain some interesting ideas * Robert I Frost, The English Historical Review * A fascinating fusion of geopolitics and military history. * Jeremy Black, Times Higher Education *show more

About John P. Ledonne

John P. LeDonne is a Senior Research Associate at the Davis Center for Russian Studies, Harvard University. He is the author of The Russian Empire and the World, 1700-1917 (OUP, 1997), Absolutism and Ruling Class: The Formation of the Russian Political Order, 1700-1825 (OUP, 1991), and Ruling Russia: Politics and Administration in the Age of Absolutism, 1762-1796.show more

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