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Dark History of Russia: Crime, Corruption and Murder in the Motherland

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From monarchy to the world’s first socialist state, from Communism to Capitalism, from mass poverty to Europe’s new super rich, Russia has seen immense revolutions in just the past century, including purges, poisonings, famines, assassinations and massacres. In that time, it has also endured civil war, world war and the Cold War. But the extremes of Russian history are not From monarchy to the world’s first socialist state, from Communism to Capitalism, from mass poverty to Europe’s new super rich, Russia has seen immense revolutions in just the past century, including purges, poisonings, famines, assassinations and massacres. In that time, it has also endured civil war, world war and the Cold War. But the extremes of Russian history are not restricted to the past 100 years. When Napoleon invaded in 1812, the Russians retreated, slashing and burning their own country and Moscow itself, rather than conceding defeat to Napoleon. They were victorious, but at immense cost. Russia’s history is also spiked with mystery. Did Stalin shoot his wife? Who ordered the killing of Rasputin? Or the shooting of Anna Politkovskaya and the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko or the Skripals in Salisbury, England? What involvement and influence did Russian intelligence have on the 2016 US Election? In addition, it is a history of appalling disasters, such as at the Chernobyl nuclear power station and the sinking of the Kursk submarine. Ranging from medieval Kievan Rus to Vladimir Putin, Dark History of Russia explores the murder, brutality, genocide, insanity and skulduggery in the efforts to seize, and then maintain, power in the Slav heartland. Illustrated with 180 colour and black-&-white photographs and artworks, Dark History of Russia is a fascinating, lively and wide-ranging story from the Mongol invasions to the present day.


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From monarchy to the world’s first socialist state, from Communism to Capitalism, from mass poverty to Europe’s new super rich, Russia has seen immense revolutions in just the past century, including purges, poisonings, famines, assassinations and massacres. In that time, it has also endured civil war, world war and the Cold War. But the extremes of Russian history are not From monarchy to the world’s first socialist state, from Communism to Capitalism, from mass poverty to Europe’s new super rich, Russia has seen immense revolutions in just the past century, including purges, poisonings, famines, assassinations and massacres. In that time, it has also endured civil war, world war and the Cold War. But the extremes of Russian history are not restricted to the past 100 years. When Napoleon invaded in 1812, the Russians retreated, slashing and burning their own country and Moscow itself, rather than conceding defeat to Napoleon. They were victorious, but at immense cost. Russia’s history is also spiked with mystery. Did Stalin shoot his wife? Who ordered the killing of Rasputin? Or the shooting of Anna Politkovskaya and the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko or the Skripals in Salisbury, England? What involvement and influence did Russian intelligence have on the 2016 US Election? In addition, it is a history of appalling disasters, such as at the Chernobyl nuclear power station and the sinking of the Kursk submarine. Ranging from medieval Kievan Rus to Vladimir Putin, Dark History of Russia explores the murder, brutality, genocide, insanity and skulduggery in the efforts to seize, and then maintain, power in the Slav heartland. Illustrated with 180 colour and black-&-white photographs and artworks, Dark History of Russia is a fascinating, lively and wide-ranging story from the Mongol invasions to the present day.

30 review for Dark History of Russia: Crime, Corruption and Murder in the Motherland

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Peterson

    I have done some research on Russian history and save for one printing error, this is a solid educational read. While I do understand that a lot of Russian history involves blood and tragedy, at times some of the brutality is staggering. I will never say that our earliest ancestors were innocent of bloodshed as there are crimson moments in our history books. However one early Russian tidbit had me shocked which was the Sunghirs(look it up). These were the first Russians and it is said some of th I have done some research on Russian history and save for one printing error, this is a solid educational read. While I do understand that a lot of Russian history involves blood and tragedy, at times some of the brutality is staggering. I will never say that our earliest ancestors were innocent of bloodshed as there are crimson moments in our history books. However one early Russian tidbit had me shocked which was the Sunghirs(look it up). These were the first Russians and it is said some of their actions resulted in the Curse of Russia. For a history buff like myself, it was an entertaining read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gʀᴇʏʜᴀᴍᴇ

    This book was too difficult to read to enjoy. While I appreciate colorful and descriptive writing it took away from the facts presented. It took me a long time to get through it and I found myself re-reading passages constantly because comprehension was almost impossible. The book was full of stuff to learn, but I don’t think I retained much more than a headache.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mary Hlavacka

    This book was incredibly fascinating and I really enjoyed that it spanned several centuries historical events in chronological order. The pictures that accompanied the information given in each chapter definitely added to the book as they provided a visual aid to what the reader is ingesting. However, my qualm with this book was that it tried to cover such a long period of time, essentially from Russia’s beginning, that the topics presented could only be lightly and quickly touched on before mov This book was incredibly fascinating and I really enjoyed that it spanned several centuries historical events in chronological order. The pictures that accompanied the information given in each chapter definitely added to the book as they provided a visual aid to what the reader is ingesting. However, my qualm with this book was that it tried to cover such a long period of time, essentially from Russia’s beginning, that the topics presented could only be lightly and quickly touched on before moving to the next era of events. While this is a great book for broad information to be used as a jumping off point for further research, I wish it was more detailed. Additionally, I found the writing to be difficult to understand at times due to run on sentences and too many clauses and phrases inserted into sentences to the point where it became distracting to the content at times.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chase Parsley

    Russian history does indeed have a dark side to it. This book is full of torture, death, war, and secret police stories. Author Michael Kerrigan includes the entire sweep of tells Russian history (told chronologically), and does it well. I would have liked a bit more on the Soviet era, but all in all it was lots of fun. Nothing overly scholarly - readers of all levels can enjoy it if the content can be stomached. Finally, I must say that I liked Kerrigan's book on the Roman Empire a bit more; th Russian history does indeed have a dark side to it. This book is full of torture, death, war, and secret police stories. Author Michael Kerrigan includes the entire sweep of tells Russian history (told chronologically), and does it well. I would have liked a bit more on the Soviet era, but all in all it was lots of fun. Nothing overly scholarly - readers of all levels can enjoy it if the content can be stomached. Finally, I must say that I liked Kerrigan's book on the Roman Empire a bit more; the presentation of the books is similar.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    3.5 stars General overview of the dark side of Russian history from the very beginning to the modern day. While some things made me very uncomfortable in this book, the title literally has “A Dark History” in it so I can’t hold anything against the book for that. Anyway, I love me some good history reading, especially if it deals with Russia, and this book filled that need for me. I actually learned some new things and I look forward to exploring those topics further. While not perfect, the book g 3.5 stars General overview of the dark side of Russian history from the very beginning to the modern day. While some things made me very uncomfortable in this book, the title literally has “A Dark History” in it so I can’t hold anything against the book for that. Anyway, I love me some good history reading, especially if it deals with Russia, and this book filled that need for me. I actually learned some new things and I look forward to exploring those topics further. While not perfect, the book gave me exactly what it promised. Also, all of the different pictures were really cool to see.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Debi Robertson

    I have always been a big reader of Russian history and this is one of the best reads ever. Lots of fact, fiction, interpretation and insight done in an easy read with lots of photos and abstracts. Excellent insight into a tough people.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Doug

    Didn't hold back, wow there's a lot of death in that history!!! Didn't hold back, wow there's a lot of death in that history!!!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Spencer

    A good overview. I would recommend as a good starter book if you are into Russian history.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    Fascinating

  10. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

    Very generalized look at the specific topic of the lengths at which the Russian system will go to gain power...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cadi

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sasun

  13. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  14. 4 out of 5

    Richard

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bob Bobby

  16. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

  17. 5 out of 5

    Devyn

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carol Dawson

  19. 5 out of 5

    Katie Holem

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

  21. 4 out of 5

    Basedgawd

  22. 5 out of 5

    Allie

  23. 5 out of 5

    Anna Phillips

  24. 4 out of 5

    Christine Rinaldi

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Fortwengler

  26. 4 out of 5

    Some Guy

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tim

  28. 5 out of 5

    Eric

  29. 5 out of 5

    Travis Swint

  30. 4 out of 5

    Thom Hammersley

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