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Best Russian History Books You Should Read

While there are many courses and tutorials online, learning from a book is still one of the best ways to greatly improve your skills. Below I have selected top Russian History books.

Russian History: A Captivating Guide to the History of Russia, Including Events Such as the Mongol Invasion, the Napoleonic Invasion, Reforms of Peter the Great, the Fall of the Soviet Union, and More (2018)

 Best Russian History Books You Should ReadRussia, or the Russian Federation as it is officially known, is the world’s largest country and covers almost a sixth of the global landmass. The country is often associated with harsh climates and autocratic government. The shadow of communism and the Cold War continues to influence global attitudes towards Russia.
Author(s): Captivating History

The Romanovs: 1613-1918 (2017)

 Best Russian History Books You Should ReadThe Romanovs were the most successful dynasty of modern times, ruling a sixth of the world’s surface for three centuries. How did one family turn a war-ruined principality into the world’s greatest empire? And how did they lose it all? This is the intimate story of twenty tsars and tsarinas, some touched by genius, some by madness, but all inspired by holy autocracy and imperial ambition.
Author(s): Simon Sebag Montefiore

History of Russia: A Captivating Guide to Russian History, Ivan the Terrible, The Russian Revolution and Cambridge Five (2019)

 Best Russian History Books You Should ReadRussia, or the Russian Federation as it is officially known, is the world’s largest country and covers almost a sixth of the global landmass. The country is often associated with harsh climates and autocratic government. The shadow of communism and the Cold War continues to influence global attitudes towards Russia.
Author(s): Captivating History

A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924 (1998)

 Best Russian History Books You Should ReadIt is history on an epic yet human scale. Vast in scope, exhaustive in original research, written with passion, narrative skill, and human sympathy, A People’s Tragedy is a profound account of the Russian Revolution for a new generation. Many consider the Russian Revolution to be the most significant event of the twentieth century.
Author(s): Orlando Figes

Gulag: A History (2004)

 Best Russian History Books You Should ReadIn this magisterial and acclaimed history, Anne Applebaum offers the first fully documented portrait of the Gulag, from its origins in the Russian Revolution, through its expansion under Stalin, to its collapse in the era of glasnost.
Author(s): Anne Applebaum

A History of Russia (2018)

 Best Russian History Books You Should ReadNow extensively revised in this ninth edition, A History of Russia covers the entire span of the country’s history, from ancient times to the post-communist present. Keeping with the hallmark of the text, Riasanovsky and Steinberg examine all aspects of Russia’s history–political, international, military, economic, social, and cultural–with a commitment to objectivity, fairness, and balance, and to reflecting recent research and new trends in scholarly interpretation.
Author(s): Nicholas V. Riasanovsky, Mark D. Steinberg

Russian History: A Very Short Introduction (2012)

 Best Russian History Books You Should ReadRussia’s sheer size has made it difficult to mobilize resources and to govern effectively, especially given its harsh climate, vast and vulnerable borders, and the diversity of its people.
Author(s): Geoffrey Hosking

Natasha’s Dance: A Cultural History of Russia (2003)

 Best Russian History Books You Should ReadBeginning in the eighteenth century with the building of St. Petersburg and culminating with the Soviet regime, Figes examines how writers, artists, and musicians grappled with the idea of Russia itself–its character, spiritual essence, and destiny.
Author(s): Orlando Figes

Russia: A 1000-Year Chronicle of the Wild East (2013)

 Best Russian History Books You Should ReadAs the BBC Moscow correspondent for almost twenty years, Sixsmith tells Russia’s full and fascinating story, from its foundation in the last years of the tenth century to the first years of the twenty-first, skillfully tracing the conundrums of modern Russia to their roots in its troubled past. Covering politics, music, literature and art, he explores the myths Russians have created from their history.
Author(s): Martin Sixsmith

Advanced Russian Through History (2007)

 Best Russian History Books You Should ReadAdvanced Russian Through History is a Russian reader for intermediate and advanced students of Russian and heritage learners of Russian.  The book consists of 36 chapters focusing on the history of Russia, from Kievan Rus’ to the post-Soviet era.  Each chapter features a written text and web-based learning tasks designed to promote students’ abilities to understand and produce argument in the style o…
Author(s): Benjamin Rifkin , Olga Kagan, et al.

The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War (2019)

 Best Russian History Books You Should Read“The best true spy story I have ever read.”—JOHN LE CARRÉ If anyone could be considered a Russian counterpart to the infamous British double-agent Kim Philby, it was Oleg Gordievsky. The son of two KGB agents and the product of the best Soviet institutions, the savvy, sophisticated Gordievsky grew to see his nation’s communism as both criminal and philistine.
Author(s): Ben Macintyre

Russia and the Russians: A History, Second Edition (2011)

 Best Russian History Books You Should ReadHosking follows the country’s history from the Slavs’ first emergence in the historical record in the sixth century C.E. to the Russians’ persistent appearances in today’s headlines. The second edition covers the presidencies of Vladimir Putin and Dmitrii Medvedev and the struggle to make Russia a viable functioning state for all its citizens.
Author(s): Geoffrey Hosking

Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident (Historical Nonfiction Bestseller, True Story Book of Survival) (2014)

 Best Russian History Books You Should ReadThe mystery of Dead Mountain: In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain.
Author(s): Donnie Eichar

A Concise History of the Russian Revolution (1996)

 Best Russian History Books You Should ReadRichard Pipes’s authoritative history of the “violent and disruptive acts” that created the first modern totalitarian regime portrays the crisis at the heart of the tsarist empire.
Author(s): Richard Pipes

Best Russian History Books You Should Read

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Library Genesis and download some russian history books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

The Ottoman-Russian Wars of the 19th Century: The History of the Conflicts Between Russia and the Ottoman Empire Leading Up to World War I

Author(s): Charles River Editors
ID: 2915525, Publisher: Charles River Editors, Year: 2021, Size: 2 Mb, Format: azw3

A History of Russian Literature: Comprising 'a History of Russian Literature' and 'Contemporary Russian Literature'

Author(s): D S Mirsky; Francis J Whitfield
ID: 2988081, Publisher: Routledge, Year: 2021, Size: 31 Mb, Format: pdf

The Life of Permafrost: A History of Frozen Earth in Russian and Soviet Science

Author(s): Pey-Yi Chu
ID: 3048097, Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Year: 2021, Size: 14 Mb, Format: pdf

Please note that this booklist is not definite. Some books are really best-sellers according to Washington Post, others are written by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant books you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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