Towards the Flame
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Towards the Flame : Empire, War and the End of Tsarist Russia

3.72 (338 ratings by Goodreads)
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TLS BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2016FINANCIAL TIMES BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2015WINNER OF THE PUSHKIN HOUSE RUSSIAN BOOK PRIZE 2016 'Magisterial... reveals how much is at stake for world order in Ukraine and Syria.' Rachel Polonsky'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 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.Dominic Lieven is a Senior Research Fellow of Trinity College,Cambridge University, and a Fellow of the British Academy. His book Russia Against Napoleon (Penguin) won the Wolfson Prize for History and the Prize of the Fondation Napoleon for the best foreign work on the Napoleonic era.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 25mm | 326g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0141399740
  • 9780141399744
  • 10,914

Review quote

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 * FT *
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About Dominic Lieven

Dominic Lieven is a Senior Research Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge University, and a Fellow of the British Academy. His book Russia Against Napoleon (Penguin) won the Wolfson Prize for History and the Prize of the Fondation Napoleon for the best foreign work on the Napoleonic era.
show more

Review Text

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
show more

Rating details

338 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 21% (72)
4 38% (130)
3 33% (110)
2 7% (24)
1 1% (2)
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