Язык: Английский

Год: 2015

Дополнительные характеристики

Цена на OZON:

402400 руб.


The First World War and the Russian Revolution together shaped the twentieth century in profound ways. For the first time, Dominic Lieven presents a compelling case for the English-speaking audience of just how intertwined the two events were. You cannot understand one without the other. War broke out in July 1914 as a result of an Austrian attempt to destroy the independent Serbian state and turn it into a Habsburg protectorate. More broadly, the war erupted as a struggle between the Germanic powers (i.e., Germany and Austria) and Russia to control east-central Europe, with the Russians attempting to mobilize a Slavic bloc in the face of what they perceived as overwhelming Germanic power and aggression. But the specific east European issues at stake were a variation on global themes. In Lieven's view, the underlying conflict was above all else a war for and about empires. This does not, however, mean that the war was the inevitable outcome of great impersonal forces in history. If the Archduke Franz Ferdinand had not been killed in June 1914 a European war is unlikely to have occurred in that year. A war postponed could well have been avoided. Alternatively, it could have been a very different war, in which for example Britain was not initially involved and Germany was victorious. Underlying structures and the dominant mentalities of the era were hugely important in bringing about the Great War. But so too were individuals, accidents and the flow of events. The first half of this book looks at underlying factors. The second half is a narrative where people and events dominate. Looking at the war from a Russian angle yields rich and original rewards: Russia is the only major player where one can find geniunely new sources to shed new light on WWI, and only Lieven has tapped these original documents. He excavated the Foreign Ministry, Military and General-Historical archives in Moscow and the main Imperial-era archive, the naval archive and the archive of the Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg. He also dug deep in the British National archive and the French Army's archive, and read all the very many volumes of published Austrian and German documents. So there is a vast foundation of primary sources for the book. Apart from offering a unique (and uniquely documented) view of the Russian angle on the causes and implications of the First World War, Lieven puts forward his own interpretation of the links between the war and the causes of the Revolution of 1917. Russia's struggle to be a European and then world power had an enormous influence on modern Russian history; according to Lieven, no other factor has had a greater impact on the fate of the Russian people, and never was this truer than in the years between 1904 and 1920 which his book covers. Once Russia entered a great European war, a radical revolution was always probable, the domestic political crisis in 1914 was that acute. Although the book is primarily about Russia, it ranges far more broadly than this, making many comparisons and trying to provide a general context and explanation for events. The book begins in Ireland and ends in China. Along the way, Lieven's comfort with the material, and his beautiful prose, engage the reader in three perspectives, simultaneously: the big picture forces at work (e.g., dominant ideologies, the global balance of power), the intermediate structures in place (e.g., government organization in Russia, the inherited morals and beliefs of a generation in power), and, lastly, the domestic actors whose decisions ended in catastrophe. We see, at last, the extent to which the First World War was the source and origin of most of the catastrophes that subsequently afflicted twentieth-century Russia. This is a tragic story, one told with fantastic new insights and daring ideas, by a scholar at the height of his originality.


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