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David R. StoneThe Russian Army in the Great War: The Eastern Front, 1914-1917

University Press of Kansas, 2015

by Jay Lockenour on June 12, 2015

David R. Stone

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Readers wanting to learn more about the Great War on the Eastern Front can do no better than David R. Stone's new work, The Russian Army in the Great War: The Eastern Front, 1914-1917 (University Press of Kansas, 2015). The last work to treat this comprehensively was Norman Stone's (no relation), The Eastern Front, 1914-1917, published in 1975. While literature in English has been sparse, the Russian-language literature on the Eastern Front has grown tremendously in recent decades, and so an update was desperately needed. David Stone does more than updated the earlier Stone's work, though. He deftly shifts our perspective not only on the Eastern Front but on the war as a whole by emphasizing commonalities (among empires, operations, home fronts) while appropriately highlighting the many unique challenges faced by the tsarist state. We learn not only about the iconic clashes in East Prussia or the Brusilov Offensive, but see the critical importance of campaigns in Poland, the Caucasus, and Romania to the Russian defeat.

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John-Paul Himka and Joanna Beata MichlicBringing the Dark Past to Light: The Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Europe

April 29, 2015

I'll be leaving soon to take students on a European travel course. During the three weeks we'll be gone, in addition to cathedrals, museums and castles, they'll visit Auschwitz, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and a variety of other Holocaust related sights.  And I'll ask them to think about what we can […]

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Bilyana LillyRussian Foreign Policy toward Missile Defense: Actors, Motivations, and Influence

February 3, 2015

The current conflict in Ukraine has reopened old wounds and brought the complexity of Russia’s relationship with the United States and Europe to the forefront. One of the most important factors in relations between the Kremlin and the West has been the issue of Ballistic Missile Defense, particularly as a result of American plans to […]

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Thane GustafsonWheel of Fortune: The Battle for Oil and Power in Russia

January 20, 2015

Russia's economy hinges on its ability to produce and sell natural resources. Especially oil. It comes as no surprise that the collapse of Soviet Union ushered in a mad scramble for control over oil resources. The oligarchs who sat atop the treasure trove of oil production following post-Soviet privatization, clashed with the Russian government over […]

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Jenny KaminerWomen with a Thirst for Destruction: The Bad Mother in Russian Culture

January 20, 2015

[Cross-posted from New Books in Gender Studies] Jenny Kaminer's new book, Women with a Thirst for Destruction: The Bad Mother in Russian Culture (Northwestern University Press, 2014) analyzes Russian myths of motherhood over time and in particular, the evolving myths of the figure of the "bad mother." Her study examines how political, religious, economic, social, and cultural factors affect […]

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Alexander CooleyGreat Game, Local Rules: The New Great Power Contest in Central Asia

November 11, 2014

Central Asia is one of the least studied and understood regions of the Eurasian landmass, conjuring up images of 19th century Great Power politics, endless steppe, and impenetrable regimes. Alexander Cooley, a professor of Political Science at Barnard College in New York, has studied the five post-Soviet states of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan […]

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Angela StentThe Limits of Partnership: U.S.-Russian Relations in the Twentieth-First Century

November 3, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in World Affairs] In 2005, the Comedy Central Network aired an episode of "South Park" in which one of the characters asked if any “Third World” countries other than Russia had the ability to fly a whale to the moon. During a press conference that took place two years later, Russian President Vladimir […]

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Vladimir SharovBefore and During, trans. Oliver Ready

September 30, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Historical Fiction] Historical fiction, by definition, supplements the verifiable documentary record with elements of the imagination. Otherwise, it is not fiction but history. These elements often include invented characters, made-up dialogue, the filling in of vague or unknowable events and personalities. Through the more or less careful manipulation of historical truth, the […]

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Willard SunderlandThe Baron’s Cloak: A History of the Russian Empire in War and Revolution

September 4, 2014

The Russian Empire once extended from the Baltic Sea to the Sea of Japan and contained a myriad of different ethnicities and nationalities. Dr. Willard Sunderland's The Baron's Cloak: A History of the Russian Empire in War and Revolution (Cornell University Press, 2014) is an engaging new take on the empire that explores the tumultuous history of […]

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Katherine Pickering AntonovaAn Ordinary Marriage: The World of a Gentry Family in Provincial Russia

August 17, 2014

Katherine Pickering Antonova’s An Ordinary Marriage: The World of a Gentry Family in Provincial Russia (Oxford University Press, 2012) investigates the Chikhachevs, members of the middling nobility in the pre-emancipation era. The book’s principal characters are Andrei, a graphomaniacal paterfamilias who (conveniently for historians) enlists his entire family in diary keeping and presides over the education of […]

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