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Imperial Apocalypse: The Great War and the Destruction of the Russian Empire

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Imperial Apocalypse describes the collapse of the Russian Empire during World War One. Drawing material from nine different archives and hundreds of published sources, this study ties together state failure, military violence, and decolonization in a single story. Joshua Sanborn excavates the individual lives of soldiers, doctors, nurses, politicians, and civilians caught Imperial Apocalypse describes the collapse of the Russian Empire during World War One. Drawing material from nine different archives and hundreds of published sources, this study ties together state failure, military violence, and decolonization in a single story. Joshua Sanborn excavates the individual lives of soldiers, doctors, nurses, politicians, and civilians caught up in the global conflict along the way, creating a narrative that is both humane and conceptually rich. The volume opens by laying out the theoretical relationship between state failure, social collapse, and decolonization, and then moves chronologically from the Balkan Wars of 1912-13 through the fierce battles and massive human dislocations of 1914-16 to the final collapse of the empire in the midst of revolution in 1917-18. Imperial Apocalypse is the first major study which treats the demise of the Russian Empire as part of the twentieth-century phenomenon of modern decolonization, and provides a readable account of military activity and political change throughout this turbulent period of war and revolution. Sanborn argues that the sudden rise of groups seeking national self-determination in the borderlands of the empire was the consequence of state failure, not its cause. At the same time, he shows how the destruction of state institutions and the spread of violence from the front to the rear led to a collapse of traditional social bonds and the emergence of a new, more dangerous, and more militant political atmosphere.


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Imperial Apocalypse describes the collapse of the Russian Empire during World War One. Drawing material from nine different archives and hundreds of published sources, this study ties together state failure, military violence, and decolonization in a single story. Joshua Sanborn excavates the individual lives of soldiers, doctors, nurses, politicians, and civilians caught Imperial Apocalypse describes the collapse of the Russian Empire during World War One. Drawing material from nine different archives and hundreds of published sources, this study ties together state failure, military violence, and decolonization in a single story. Joshua Sanborn excavates the individual lives of soldiers, doctors, nurses, politicians, and civilians caught up in the global conflict along the way, creating a narrative that is both humane and conceptually rich. The volume opens by laying out the theoretical relationship between state failure, social collapse, and decolonization, and then moves chronologically from the Balkan Wars of 1912-13 through the fierce battles and massive human dislocations of 1914-16 to the final collapse of the empire in the midst of revolution in 1917-18. Imperial Apocalypse is the first major study which treats the demise of the Russian Empire as part of the twentieth-century phenomenon of modern decolonization, and provides a readable account of military activity and political change throughout this turbulent period of war and revolution. Sanborn argues that the sudden rise of groups seeking national self-determination in the borderlands of the empire was the consequence of state failure, not its cause. At the same time, he shows how the destruction of state institutions and the spread of violence from the front to the rear led to a collapse of traditional social bonds and the emergence of a new, more dangerous, and more militant political atmosphere.

30 review for Imperial Apocalypse: The Great War and the Destruction of the Russian Empire

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tommy

    A great read on the collapse of the Russian Empire!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Daniels

    Above average, I learned a lot, it does a fantastic job and actually becomes quite an exciting read at some parts

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rayrumtum

    A fascinating read on Russia during the First World War. Unlike most books of this type, it does not focus on the tsar and his generals. Rather it looks at the situation from a lower level to show how inept the government was in areas such as food distribution,medical treatment of the wounded and civilians, security etc. Groups tried to spring up in the firms of NGOs, but we're stifled by the government fearful of any infringement on its absolute powers. Any sympathy one might have for the tsar A fascinating read on Russia during the First World War. Unlike most books of this type, it does not focus on the tsar and his generals. Rather it looks at the situation from a lower level to show how inept the government was in areas such as food distribution,medical treatment of the wounded and civilians, security etc. Groups tried to spring up in the firms of NGOs, but we're stifled by the government fearful of any infringement on its absolute powers. Any sympathy one might have for the tsar and the old regime is pretty much killed by this book. Plus it is sickening the only solutions the government and people could come up with was the kill or rob a Jew.

  4. 5 out of 5

    University of Chicago Magazine

    Joshua A. Sanborn, AM'93, PhD'98 Author From the author: "Lafayette College historian Joshua Sanborn re-examines the Russian experience of World War I with an eye toward integrating that conflict with the global history of the twentieth century. His conclusion is that the experience of war and state failure in Eastern European borderlands between 1914-1918 can be seen as an early example of decolonization. The Revolution of 1917, he suggests, should be seen as a manifestation of imperial crisis an Joshua A. Sanborn, AM'93, PhD'98 Author From the author: "Lafayette College historian Joshua Sanborn re-examines the Russian experience of World War I with an eye toward integrating that conflict with the global history of the twentieth century. His conclusion is that the experience of war and state failure in Eastern European borderlands between 1914-1918 can be seen as an early example of decolonization. The Revolution of 1917, he suggests, should be seen as a manifestation of imperial crisis and social collapse rather than as its cause."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Vlady Kozubnyak

  6. 4 out of 5

    Will Wojtkiewicz

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Bryson

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alexis

  9. 4 out of 5

    Darby Holladay

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    James

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    Zach

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ross

  13. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Misich

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amber Nickell

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

  16. 5 out of 5

    Louis Perello

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  18. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Ward

  19. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mihovmihail55

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alli

  22. 5 out of 5

    Grant Stover

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Prater

  24. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Dotterer

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ina Cawl

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ekul

  29. 4 out of 5

    Juha

  30. 4 out of 5

    Chris Scheel

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