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Towards the flame: empire, war and the end…
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Towards the flame: empire, war and the end of Tsarist Russia (2016)

by Dominic Lieven

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A well written and great book.The author has deep knowledge of the many languages that it takes to do such a history, notably Russian, and has read all of the relevant diaries and other things that we cannot read or see. The book is a reasonable discussion of why Russia went into the war and what they most feared; the idea of revolution was pretty live during the entire period after 1905 when there was an early revolt that failed. Nicholas was an idiot but the author has good things to say about most of the diplomats. ( )
  annbury | Dec 26, 2016 |
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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.… (more)

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