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This lucid account of Russian and Soviet history presents major trends and events from ancient Kievan Rus' to Vladimir Putin's renewed presidency of the twenty-first century. Russia and the Soviet Union does not shy away from controversial topics, including the impact of the Mongol conquest, the paradoxes of Peter the Great, the "inevitability" of the 1917 Revolution, the Stalinist terror, and the Gorbachev reform effort. Tackling those topics and others, Thompson's seventh edition is updated to discuss the flawed parliamentary elections to the Russian Duma in December 2011 as well as the election of Vladimir Putin to a second non-consecutive term as president of Russia in March 2012. Recent sociopolitical changes are reflected in a thoroughly rewritten Chapter 15 on the "New" Russia and a new Chapter 16 discussing Vladimir Putin and Dmitri Medvedev. Distinguished by its brevity and amply supplemented with useful images and suggested readings, this essential text provides balanced coverage of all periods of Russian history and incorporates economic, social, and cultural developments as well as politics and foreign policy.
This book makes a powerful case that film can be as valuable a tool as primary documents for improving our understanding of the causes and consequences of war. Why We Fought: America's Wars in Film and History is a comprehensive look at war films, from depictions of the American Revolution to portrayals of September 11 and its aftermath. The volume contrasts recognized history and historical fiction with the versions appearing on the big screen. The text considers a selection of the pivotal war films of all time, including All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), Apocalypse Now (1979), Platoon (1986), and Saving Private Ryan (1998). Why We Fought reveals how film depictions of the country's wars have shaped our values, politics, and culture, and it offers a unique understanding of American history.
These eleven original essays by well-known eighteenth-century scholars, five of them editors of James Boswell's journal or letters, commemorate the bicentenary of Boswell's death on May 19, 1795. The volume illuminates both the life and the work of one of the most important literary figures of the age and contributes significantly to the scholarship on this rich period. In the introduction, Irma S. Lustig sets the tone for the volume. She reveals that the essays examining Boswell as "Citizen of the World" are deliberately paired with those that analyze his artistic skills, to emphasize that "Boswell's sophistication as a writer is inseparable from his cosmopolitanism." The essays in Part I focus on the relationship of the Enlightenment, at home and abroad, to Boswell's personal development. Marlies K. Danziger restores to significant life the continental philosophers and theologians Boswell consulted in his search for religious certainty. Peter Perreten examines Boswell's enraptured study of Italian antiquity and his responses to the European landscape. Richard B. Sher and Perreten document the personal and aesthetic influence of Henry Home, Lord Kames, Scottish jurist and leading Enlightenment figure, on Boswell. Michael Fry discusses Boswell's relationship with Henry Dundas, political manager for Scotland, and Thomas Crawford examines Boswell's long-standing interest in the volatile political issues of the period, including the French Revolution, through his correspondence with William Johnson Temple. In evaluation Boswell's performance as Laird of Auchinleck, John Strawhorn documents his efforts to improve the estate by use of new agricultural methods. The essays in Part II study aspects of Boswell's artistry in Life of Johnson, the magnum opus that set a standard for biography. Carey McIntosh examines Boswell's use of rhetoric, and William P. Yarrow offers a close scrutiny of metaphor. Isobel Grundy invokes Virginia Woolf in demonstrating Boswell's acceptance of uncertainty as a biographer. John B. Radner reveals Boswell's self-assertive strategies in his visit with Johnson at Ashbourne in September 1777, and, finally, Lustig examines as a "subplot" of the biography Johnson's patient efforts to win the friendship of Margaret Montgomerie Boswell. An appendix by Hitoshi Suwabe serves scholars by providing the most exact account to date of Boswell's meetings with Johnson.