Book details

The Story of Russia

Author: Orlando Figes

The Story of Russia

The Story of Russia

$29.99

About This Book

"If you really want to understand Putin’s Russia today, anchored in its past of myths, then you simply have to read Figes’s superb account in The Story of Russia."
—Antony...

Page Count
368
Genre
On Sale
09/20/2022

Book Details

"If you really want to understand Putin’s Russia today, anchored in its past of myths, then you simply have to read Figes’s superb account in The Story of Russia."
—Antony Beevor, author of
Stalingrad

From “the great storyteller of Russian history” (Financial Times), a brilliant account of the national mythologies and imperial ideologies that have shaped Russia’s past and politics—essential reading for understanding the country today

The Story of Russia is a fresh approach to the thousand years of Russia’s history, concerned as much with the ideas that have shaped how Russians think about their past as it is with the events and personalities comprising it. No other country has reimagined its own story so often, in a perpetual effort to stay in step with the shifts of ruling ideologies.

From the founding of Kievan Rus in the first millennium to Putin’s war against Ukraine, Orlando Figes explores the ideas that have guided Russia’s actions throughout its long and troubled existence. Whether he's describing the crowning of Ivan the Terrible in a candlelit cathedral or the dramatic upheaval of the peasant revolution, he reveals the impulses, often unappreciated or misunderstood by foreigners, that have driven Russian history: the medieval myth of Mother Russia’s holy mission to the world; the imperial tendency toward autocratic rule; the popular belief in a paternal tsar dispensing truth and justice; the cult of sacrifice rooted in the idea of the “Russian soul”; and always, the nationalist myth of Russia’s unjust treatment by the West.

How the Russians came to tell their story and to revise it so often as they went along is not only a vital aspect of their history; it is also our best means of understanding how the country thinks and acts today. Based on a lifetime of scholarship and enthrallingly written, The Story of Russia is quintessential Figes: sweeping, revelatory, and masterful.

Imprint Publisher

Metropolitan Books

ISBN

9781250796899

In The News

“If you really want to understand Putin’s Russia today, anchored in its past of myths, then you simply have to read Figes’s superb account in The Story of Russia.”
—Antony Beevor, author of Stalingrad

“A book of singular power and significance and exquisite prose that takes us to the beating heart of history and culture and helps us to understand our own times as well as those past. A stunningly precise and affecting read, one that left me wanting even more from this brilliant writer.”
—Philippe Sands, author of East West Street

"Urgent and revelatory and brilliantly told, it’s all the things you pray a book will be when you first pick it up."
—Peter Morgan, creator of The Crown

"Crucially relevant . . . convincing . . . A lucid, astute text that unpacks the myths of Russian history to help explain present-day motivations and actions."
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


Praise for Natasha’s Dance


“Scintillating . . . An exceptional history of Russian culture and a joy to read.” San Francisco Chronicle

“Stunning and ambitious . . . Figes captures nothing less than Russians’ complex and protean notions regarding their national identity.” —The Atlantic Monthly

“Staggering . . . A vivid, entertaining, and enlightening account of what it has meant to be culturally a Russian over the last three centuries.” —Los Angeles Times

“Masterly.” —New York Review of Books

“A big, bold, interpretative cultural history.” —Foreign Affairs


Praise for The Europeans

“Magnificent . . . Beautifully written, immaculately researched, and thoroughly absorbing from start to finish.” —Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads: A New History of the World

“Monumental . . . A welcome vivification of a splendid if vanished way of life.” —Douglas Hofstadter, The Wall Street Journal

“Magisterial, beguiling, searching.” —William Boyd, The Guardian

About the Creators

The Story of Russia

The Story of Russia

$29.99