Best Books on Russian History

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Best Books on Russian History

The Russia we see today is the largest country on the planet. We have seen in the pages of history a Russia that spanned all over the globe. It touched borders with three continents and was easily the largest nation on the planet. The only problem with such a large country is that it has a lot of history.

Yes, Russia is known for having the most extensive history record only second to Asia. Due to its numerous conquests and rebellions, the Russian people have seen every shade of war and enjoyed large periods of prosperity. They have seen it all.

Over the years, Russia has seen its core values shifted. It has seen its borders grow. But nothing lasts forever, and Russia has seen its borders shrink and its sovereignty challenged, but the people of Russia have never faltered. They have such a rich history, even in such extreme conditions their culture and traditions have remained strong they use them as a guide. Theirs is a history that must be read and shared with everyone.

These five books are in not chronological order, but in order of the impact they had on Russian life

1. The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia by writer Kodansha Globe Review

This is a book by Peter Hopkirk’s. This book details the account of the great imperial struggle. This gives the reader an idea about the stakes that were in place for supremacy in Central Asia. This is seen as the essential reading if anyone wants to know about the legacy of that. The book summarizes to say that the game is still not finished. This is a struggle that will be played out in anywhere where power lies.


  • The book has a complete series of events
  • Good price point


  • Information sources are not mentioned

The Great Game

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2. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich Reprint Edition Review

This book takes place in the era of world war 2. This delves into the madness of it all and plays history through the lens of a solder. During World War II, a Russian soldier is wrongfully convicted of treason. After that, he is sentenced to a labour camp for ten years deep in Siberia. This is the most remote region on the planet. It is a cold and desolate wasteland with temperatures that reach minus 40 overnight.

For ten years, the soldier is stuck in the Siberian labour camp. This masterpiece begins and places itself in modern Russian fiction. This is the account of a man who has faced many evils with dignity and strength.

This book is one of the most significant works ever to emerge from Soviet Russia. This puts light on key facts that happened during world war 2. Where countless induvial were keep in labour camps as free labour until the end, these heinous war crimes were going on after the war. This was a dark part of Russian history but a crucial part still. This story is the prevalence of human morals over relentless dehumanization practices needed to fight in bloody wars.


  • Great and interesting read
  • The account of good and bad parts of history


  • Fictional elements

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

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3. The Russians Hardcover – January 1, 1976 Review

This book of written by Hedrick Smith. Expresses emotion that all humans wish they could express. This is a book that is for the Russian people. They tell their stores to the writer who has presented them beautifully. The book shows that the writer took the time to go to Russia and speak to the people.

This is a book that showcases the resilient nature of the Russian people. They have survived all situations. They have lived difficult lives. In cramped flats, and on dirt-floors, they have lived their lives. All of the people have given their stories to the writer peasants and bureaucrats and artists. This is an account of the Russian people and their history through their words.


  • The history of the people of Russia
  • Explain culture and history


  • Some stories might be fiction

The Russians

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4. Putin Country: A Journey into the Real Russia Paperback – March 14, 2017 Review

This is the most current selection of Russian history. This is a book set in the presto era with the state of Russia and its people in the foreground. While powerful forces are at hand trying to control the world through their influences.

The book focuses on the shadow of the power the Russian union once had, from the Soviet nuclear program to its contained lakes. The book speaks about the effects of such a powerful push for progress and its after-effects for the generations to come. The goal of the book was to tell the story about the remains of U.S.S.R.’s and the effects it had on its people.


  • A modern look at the history
  • After-effects of the cold war


  • Focus on USSR downfall

Putin Country

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5. Warning to the West Paperback – September 1, 1986 Review

This book is written by the author Alexander Solzhenitsyn. This book is written in a unique style. As if telling of looming danger. This is a Warning to the West, which includes the opinion of the people regarding the history of the West and Russia.

The book details the West’s growing weakness and complacency. The writer believes that the spirit of the Russian people will be a growing strength. This will help them establish supremacy over the West. All these historical findings are evidence of a rise of a power which will win over the world without the risk of a nuclear holocaust.


  • Great read
  • Historical look and future predications


  • Some Fictional elements

Warning to the West

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The story does start from a band of Russian tribes forming together to form the first Russian empire. After that early Mongol invasion to the tsarist regimes, all were ages of warfare and trivial peace. This period lasted until the modern era arrived. These are the ages of empires and their conquest until we reach the age of enlightenment and industrialization.

Russia has contributed a lot over the years, and I am certain it is a country that will continue to do so for a long time. That’s why it is important always to remember the history of such a fascinating place.

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.