Customer Review

13 April 2014
Having come at this book via "Philomena" and the character Martin Sixsmith mentioning that he is trying to write a book about Russia and subsequently finding that he had in fact written several such books, I was intrigued. The so-called 1,000 year chronicle is somewhat of a misnomer, however. There is a relatively short account of the first 900 years and a very detailed history of the most recent 100. If one accepts that is a reasonable distortion of emphasis, then this is a very readable, though harrowing, account. Having lived through the cold war era and being able to remember our pessimism about the likelihood of having a future in a nuclear exchange between Russia and the West in the 1950s, the book served a a reminder to me of stuff I had largely forgotten or put out of mind. And Sixsmith does it well. The book also gives the reader some useful background on the current Russia-Ukraine debacle. Sixsmith's thesis is that Russians seek authoritarian leadership and systems other than autocracy don't last long. It seems that Putin follows the mould.
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