A Short History of Russia – Mark Galeotti

Versailles, France

This is an excellent introduction to Russia’s history. Mark Galeotti is a reference who definitely captures and conveys Russia’s grandeur and of its core characteristics : reinvention.

The world’s most misunderstood nation, master of reinventionOne of the most powerful nations on earth, a master game-player on the global stage with a rich history of war and peace, glory and. tragedy, poets and revolutionaries.

A Short History of Russia, Mark Galeotti

Sure, Mark Galeotti challenges some of the core components of Russian Identity (the reason behind the choice of Christianity for instance), downplays the historical role of Catherine the Great in transforming Russia and makes reinvention sound like some Orwell’s 1984 history rewriting, but it is still a refreshing critical view.

Besides, a Short History of Russia enlightens on the historical challenges of power in Russia, mainly the relation between the center and the periphery :

there is the constant struggle between centre and periphery, which is an inevitable challenge in a sprawling land, even today in the age of modern communications. The resulting pattern of power, of myriad principalities merging, dividing and competing, gathered to the centre and then again lost, would become fundamental to Russia

A Short History of Russia, Mark Galeotti

This book is definitely a must-read for its historical big picture.