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The Russian decision to mobilize in July 1914 may have been the single most catastrophic choice of the modern era Some articulate thoughtful figures around the Tsar understood Russia's fragility and yet they were shouted down by those who were convinced that despite Germany's patent military superior. Tsarist Russia And The Great WarNote added on November 20 2019 I thought about this book and review in light of recent events The author sees Ukraine and fights for its control as a source of instability that played a pivotal role in the outbreak of WW I The centennial of the Great War has been encouraging many scholars and readers to think anew about the conflict Dominic Lieven s new book The End of Tsarist Russia WW I and the Road to Revolution examines the factors that brought Russian into the War and that helped precipitate the Russian Revolution A senior research fellow at Trinity College Cambridge and a fellow of the British Academy Lieven has written extensively on Russian history including an award winning 2009 book Russia Against NapoleonAlthough the larger portion of WW I books concentrate on the Western Front Lieven argues that contrary to the near universal assumption in the English speaking world the war was first and foremost an eastern European conflict The great irony of World War I was that a conflict which began than anything else as a struggle between the Germanic powers and Russia to dominate east central Europe ended in the defeat of both sides Lieven s states that the book has a three fold aim 1 to offer a history of Russian s descent into WW I 2 to offer an interpretation of WW I from the Russian perspective and 3 to offer an introduction to the origins and conseuences of the Russian Revolution from an international perspectiveThe book is not a military history of WW I It spends little time on the fighting but rather discusses the events leading up to the Great War It discusses both events in Russia and events throughout Europe The book is impressive and thoughtful in its erudition judgments and scholarship Lieven had access to several Russian archival sources that had not earlier been made available to Western scholars He uses these archival sources extensively to paint a fuller picture of Tsarist Russia and its government than had been possible in earlier studiesAs Liewen points out the book examines Russia and the Great War from a variety of distances It begins with what Lieven calls the God s eye view Thus the first two chapters of the study offer broad discussions of the competing empires in Europe at the War s outset and of the history of the Russian Empire At the other extreme is a worm s eye view which examines the actions of a small number of individuals over a critical short period sometimes measured in days or hours An intermediate level of analysis shows how broad structural considerations were brought together by individual actors to produce important resultsIn general Lieven s book is at its best at the broader and intermediate distances He has truly insightful things to say about Europe the nature of Empire the history of Russia and the attempts at diplomacy in the years before WW I He also discusses well the reasons that WW I and the Treaty of Versailles failed to produce a lasting peace It is in the narrower worm s eye discussions that the book sometimes bogs down In particular Lieven writes at endless length about many Russian officials in the Tsar s confidence and out ministers diplomats military leaders and shapers of public opinion This information is valuable in that it gives a fuller picture of Tsarist Russia and the complexities of its government structure and people than is generally known But it slows down the book with information that often is not fully integrated into the broader history The book offers extended discussions of the Balkans and of the wars which immediately led to the outbreak of WW I in 1914 Here again Lieven s command of his material is sure and the subject is of key importance The thread of the narrative of some highly confusing events sometimes is lost in the telling Following the outbreak of WW I the book is relatively brief in discussing the fall of the Tsar the communist take over and the separate peace between Russia and Germany which gave Germany its best chance to win the WarIn many ways this is an outstanding history The author has a passion for his subject and a great deal of importance to say The writing style sometimes is idiosyncratic but effective There is a sense of personal involvement in the book The problem is that some of the lines of the study are not well connected The book occupies a middle ground between a work for the many lay readers interested in WW I and a work for scholars and historians with a great deal of detailed background Some of the material is better suited to the latter group of readers although its target audience is the former group For readers with a strong interest in WW I this book has a great deal to teach and is than worth the effort Robin Friedman A Daddy for Christmas recent events The author sees Ukraine and fights for its control as a source of instability that played a pivotal Banned in Britain role in the outbreak of WW I The centennial of the Great War has been encouraging many scholars and Hour of the Beast readers to think anew about the conflict Dominic Lieven s new book The End of Tsarist Russia WW I and the Road to Revolution examines the factors that brought Russian into the War and that helped precipitate the Russian Revolution A senior Dictionary Of Dreams research fellow at Trinity College Cambridge and a fellow of the British Academy Lieven has written extensively on Russian history including an award winning 2009 book Russia Against NapoleonAlthough the larger portion of WW I books concentrate on the Western Front Lieven argues that contrary to the near universal assumption in the English speaking world the war was first and foremost an eastern European conflict The great irony of World War I was that a conflict which began than anything else as a struggle between the Germanic powers and Russia to dominate east central Europe ended in the defeat of both sides Lieven s states that the book has a three fold aim 1 to offer a history of Russian s descent into WW I 2 to offer an interpretation of WW I from the Russian perspective and 3 to offer an introduction to the origins and conseuences of the Russian Revolution from an international perspectiveThe book is not a military history of WW I It spends little time on the fighting but The Love of a Latino rather discusses the events leading up to the Great War It discusses both events in Russia and events throughout Europe The book is impressive and thoughtful in its erudition judgments and scholarship Lieven had access to several Russian archival sources that had not earlier been made available to Western scholars He uses these archival sources extensively to paint a fuller picture of Tsarist Russia and its government than had been possible in earlier studiesAs Liewen points out the book examines Russia and the Great War from a variety of distances It begins with what Lieven calls the God s eye view Thus the first two chapters of the study offer broad discussions of the competing empires in Europe at the War s outset and of the history of the Russian Empire At the other extreme is a worm s eye view which examines the actions of a small number of individuals over a critical short period sometimes measured in days or hours An intermediate level of analysis shows how broad structural considerations were brought together by individual actors to produce important Other Days, Other Eyes resultsIn general Lieven s book is at its best at the broader and intermediate distances He has truly insightful things to say about Europe the nature of Empire the history of Russia and the attempts at diplomacy in the years before WW I He also discusses well the Deception Island reasons that WW I and the Treaty of Versailles failed to produce a lasting peace It is in the narrower worm s eye discussions that the book sometimes bogs down In particular Lieven writes at endless length about many Russian officials in the Tsar s confidence and out ministers diplomats military leaders and shapers of public opinion This information is valuable in that it gives a fuller picture of Tsarist Russia and the complexities of its government structure and people than is generally known But it slows down the book with information that often is not fully integrated into the broader history The book offers extended discussions of the Balkans and of the wars which immediately led to the outbreak of WW I in 1914 Here again Lieven s command of his material is sure and the subject is of key importance The thread of the narrative of some highly confusing events sometimes is lost in the telling Following the outbreak of WW I the book is The Family relatively brief in discussing the fall of the Tsar the communist take over and the separate peace between Russia and Germany which gave Germany its best chance to win the WarIn many ways this is an outstanding history The author has a passion for his subject and a great deal of importance to say The writing style sometimes is idiosyncratic but effective There is a sense of personal involvement in the book The problem is that some of the lines of the study are not well connected The book occupies a middle ground between a work for the many lay The First Partition of Poland readers interested in WW I and a work for scholars and historians with a great deal of detailed background Some of the material is better suited to the latter group of The Hero of Varay readers although its target audience is the former group For Palestrina and Other Plays readers with a strong interest in WW I this book has a great deal to teach and is than worth the effort Robin Friedman

download ✓ eBook or Kindle ePUB ½ Dominic Lieven

Towards the Flame Empire War and the End of Tsarist Russia

Ity Russian greatness reuired decisive action Russia's rulers thought they were acting to secure their future but in fact after millions of deaths and two revolutions they were consigning their entire class to death or exile and their country to a uniuely terrible generations long experiment under a. Alltough some damn foolish thing in the Balkan would indeed bring about a European war the role of the two Great Powers situated on the east side of the continent in its origins have received less attention in the English language historiography than those of Great Britain its French ally and its infamous main opponent the German Empire Dominic Lieven handles the Russian origins of the Great War with gusto Between the defeat of the tsarist forces in the Russo Japanese war of 1905 and the assassination in Sarajevo Russia was closely involved in every pan European war scare to an almost annual rythm if one adds the two Morrocan crises 190611 and the tension with Great Britain over spheres of influence in Persia settled provisionally in 1907 The annexation of Bosnia by the Habsburg empire following a de facto occupation since 1878 comes close to being a turning point in Russian Great Power politics not a weight usually attributed The Balkan Wars of 1912 1913 are understood in terms of the uestionable Serbian and Bulgarian allegiance to Russia Throughout themes of tension run through the minds of Russian diplomats ministers and generals Pan Slavism towards the rapidly shaping Balkan nations was popular with the press and the middle classes but difficult to translate into foreign policy without the responsibility of war Closely related was a form of Russian nationalism that seeked to orientate the towards Europe and its liberal modernism to restore the country to the strength it possessed prior to the confrontation in the Far East The defeat had been a clear signal that tsarist autocracy and semi serfdom were no longer a reliable basis for an economically secure Russia In terms of the industrial demands of modern warfare this was undoubtedly true Diametrically opposed was a desire to focus on the development of Russia s empire in Asia exploiting the economic resources of the Siberian landmass without crossing the sphere of influence that Japan was carving out in Northern China Regaining strength by minding one s own business often also seemed like a good ideaThis divergence was never solved The only element in foreign policy that nobody wanted to neglect was the alliance with France and its investment in the development of Russia s infrastructure Russia was not fully prepared to declare war on Austria Hungary over the Balkan states but proved eually unable to reign in their mutually incompatible nationalist expansionism Ironically Germany was often the voice of mediation and instrumental in reigning in the Vienna hawks whenever they pushed for war against Serbia lest it stirred Habsburg Slavs into revolt and separation Most importantly no motive was strong enough for Russia to actively seek war By july 1914 however the Tsar and his advisers were tired of backing down in the face of Austrian challenges towards Belgrade and honoured their commitment to France Lieven is clear and elegant breathing life in the individual decision makers who merit a whole chapter which takes up a fifth of the book Lined up they can all be ranked by the degree of their Pan Slavism and their familiarity with European diplomacy As a general rule experience gained through postings in European capitals tempered jingoism with realism He profits from previously unmined Russian arches some closed again at present to challenge convential views on the Russian role in the last decade of peace which were often than not glanced at through the published memoirs of White exiles In the first sentence of the preface he drops a bombshell right away presenting the fate of Ukraine as pivotal to the outbreak of WWI alltough he doesn t return to this line of thought until the very end where he combines it with the proposition that Germany could ve won the war by settlement if it had been able to hang onto the annexations of Brest Litovsk to counterbalance the might of the United States This in itself is worth another book It s also a pity that the war and revolution can t be discussed with the same clarity and depth as the outbreak period Empire War and the end of Tsarist Russia only covers the first third of its subtitle I wish for a sturdily boxed trilogy that runs op to 1920

summary Towards the Flame Empire War and the End of Tsarist Russia

Very different regimeDominic Lieven is a Senior Research Fellow of Trinity CollegeCambridge University and a Fellow of the British Academy His book Russia Against Napoleon Penguin won the Wolfson Prize for History and the Prize of the Fondation Napoleon for the best foreign work on the Napoleonic era. Underresearched It felt as if the researcher first posed the hypotheses and then went busy learning things that could possibly prove them if interpreted just the way he wanted it to I really like how people blame Russia for having Monarchy in the beginning of the 20th century Monarchy is not evil per se It the people who surround the Monarch they are either capable or not if self interest or neurosis drives them then all bets are offI also really love how no researcher ever stops to consider the global picture of what the hell Russia had been doing when Europe was stepping into its craft production phase 1223 1480 Russia was sort of was busy in ongoing wars with the Tatar and Mongol hordes So the first economies were delayed Only logical that if you are in either slavery or at war or you undergo raids then you might have something else on your mind other than progressing to the industrialization So blaming the Tsar family for Russia developing in the 18th 19th century along its own track which brought it forward to the what 5th place among the European industrial states as at the 1900 s I think it counts as doing well enough if all things are taken under careful reviewTBF later An interesting if underresearched reading material


10 thoughts on “Towards the Flame Empire War and the End of Tsarist Russia

  1. says:

    In this fascinating read author Dominic Lieven looks at the history of WWI from the perspective of Russia Indeed he suggests that WWI was essentially an Eastern European conflict; one in which the initial confrontation between Austria and Russia led to defeat for both sides Although the author is careful to explain events in some depth so that you do not need to have any real background knowledge I would not really recommend this book as a

  2. says:

    I conceived and wrote this book partly while contemplating the world from my home halfway up a mountain in Japan from the AfterwardAfter reading The Russian Empire and Its Rivals and Russia Against Napoleon I came to anticipate in any Lieven work judiciously generalized aphorisms on power and decline In The End of Tsarist Russia I wasn’t d

  3. says:

    Tsarist Russia And The Great WarNote added on November 20 2019 I thought about this book and review in light of recent events The author sees Ukraine and fights for its control as a source of instability that played a pivotal role in the outbreak of WW I The centennial of the Great War has been encouraging many scholars and readers to think anew about the conflict Dominic Lieven's new book The End of Tsarist Russia WW I and the Road to R

  4. says:

    Alltough some damn foolish thing in the Balkan would indeed bring about a European war the role of the two Great Powers situated on the east side of the continent in its origins have received less attention in the English language historiography than those of Great Britain its French ally and its infamous main opponent the German Empire Dom

  5. says:

    Unbelievably dry and dull Goodness

  6. says:

    Can't say it wasn't well researched but this worm's eye account of intragovernmental and diplomatic minutia was endlessly dull I kept

  7. says:

    Enlightening perspective from the point of view of Russian history A non western perspective on the bloody 20th c

  8. says:

    Just a bit too much detail for me so I got bored with it

  9. says:

    Underresearched It felt as if the researcher first posed the hypotheses and then went busy learning things that could poss

  10. says:

    Well researched analysis of the reasons and events leading the First World War from the perspective of Russia The author went through a lot of the documents in Russian archives which were not previously available He presents his results in a clear and concise manner He considers the influence of public opinion on the actions of the governments which was uite interestingHowever his conclusions are hardly controversial according to this book

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