Empire : the Russian Empire and its rivals /
Dominic Lieven.
New Haven ; London : Yale University Press, 2001.
xxiii, 486 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
More Details
New Haven ; London : Yale University Press, 2001.
general note
Includes bibliographical references (p. 445-476) and index.
catalogue key
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Dominic Lieven, a former Kennedy scholar at Harvard University, is professor of Russian government at the London School of Economics
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2001-12-01:
What is an empire? How do empires differ? What benefits do empires bring to the rulers and elite of the imperial core? How does imperial rule affect colonial peoples? Are empires useful at certain stages of historical development, harmful at others? Do empires offer a better framework for cultural and ethnic diversity than nation states? Why do empires fall? Does it make a difference whether they collapse in war or in peace? What do they leave behind? Lieven, a British historian best known for his work on tsarist Russia, looks at these questions and many more in this fascinating and sweeping study that straddles the disciplines of history and political science. Lieven compares the goals of empire, peoples, ideologies, geography, demography, and the great power status of the Russian (tsarist/Soviet) empire with its major rivals--the British, Habsburg, and Ottoman Empires. He teases out the internal complexity of these empires: Christian versus Moslem, white versus nonwhite, "developed" versus "backward," ruling nations versus nondominant nations, periphery versus core. The book ends with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the last great European empire, and its aftermath. Highly recommended. E. M. Despalatovic formerly, Connecticut College
Appeared in Library Journal on 2001-03-15:
British author Lieven, a Russian scholar who has written a biography of Nicholas II and other works on pre-Soviet Russia, here offers an ambitious, even groundbreaking book. After a review of Rome and Byzantium, a glance at China, and a rejection of the notion of a U.S. empire, Lieven zeroes in on four historical exemplars: the British, Ottoman, Habsburg, and Russian (both tsarist and Soviet) empires. The two Russian ones engage the lion's share of his attention. He is defensive about the difficulties in defining his subject, but his fears that he will be criticized as "a poor Russianist" for his audacity are unwarranted. He has in fact done a very impressive job, using shrewd judgments to draw upon an extensive bibliography. His final section, "After Empire," is particularly timely, offering much food for thought. For public and academic libraries. Robert H. Johnston, McMaster Univ., Hamilton, ON (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2001-02-12:
Lieven's compelling assessment of the forces behind the decline of political imperialism tend to sink from view in his dense, far-reaching historical investigation. The first chapter's discussion of the shifting definitions of empire, though at times taxing to the reader's attention, is astute and evenhanded. With the czarist and Soviet empires as his primary focus, Lieven (Russia's Rulers Under the Old Regime) bolsters his study with treatments of various empires, beginning with ancient China and Rome. His expertise on czarist Russia informs the book's outstanding section on this period. Lieven, professor at the London School of Economics, argues that the Russian empire was stronger than the declining Ottoman and Hapsburg empires and, in the 19th century, exerted power comparable to that of the British Empire. He explicates the role of World War I in the downfall of the czarist regime cleanly and convincingly: wartime preoccupation and weakening of Russian elites and of capitalist Europe precluded significant counterrevolution. And while a variety of external and domestic forces contributed to the demise of the Soviet empire, Lieven attributes much to the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev. In the end, he says, the U.S.S.R. was likely the last empire in the strict sense of the word: "The lesson of Soviet history is that empire does not pay in today's world, even in terms of its own narrow priorities of power." The book's broad, scholarly worldview will appeal to a readership of academics and lay historians. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, February 2001
Library Journal, March 2001
New York Times Book Review, July 2001
Washington Post, July 2001
Choice, December 2001
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Unpaid Annotation
In this ambitious book, Lieven explores the place and meaning of empire form ancient Rome to the present. Focusing on Russia, Lieven compares the Tsarist and Soviet empires with others throughout history.
Table of Contents
List of mapsp. vi
Prefacep. vii
Acknowledgementsp. xxi
Empire: A Word and its Meaningsp. 3
Power and Empire in the Global Contextp. 27
The British Empirep. 89
The Ottoman Empirep. 128
The Habsburg Empirep. 158
The Russian Empire: Regions, Peoples, Geopoliticsp. 201
The Tsarist State and the Russian Peoplep. 231
Tsarist Empire: Power, Strategy, Declinep. 262
The Soviet Unionp. 288
After Empire
After Empirep. 343
Conclusionp. 413
Notesp. 423
Bibliographyp. 445
Indexp. 477
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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