`It is unlikely that a clearer, more stimulating account of the Russians' extraordinary period of imperial history will be written.' Philip Marsden, Spectator
Geoffrey Hosking's landmark book provides us with a new prism through which to view Russian history by posing the apparently simple question: what is Russia's national identity?
Hosking answers this with brilliant originality: his thesis is that the needs of Russia's empire prevented the creation of a Russian nation. The Tsars, and before them the Grand Dukes of Moscow, were empire builders rather than nation builders and, as consequence, profoundly alienated ordinary Russians.
`Hosking's book is a tour de force of historical argument, vividly written [and] courageously argumentative.' Michael Ignatieff, Observer
`Brilliant...an elegantly written, humane and rigorous work of empirical history.' Michael Burleigh, Independent on Sunday
`"Russia: People and Empire" is the most interesting and authoritative account of Russian imperial history in English. It is a masterful synthesis, intelligent and lucid, passionately argumentative, but always fair, which should be read by everyone who wants to understand the origins of Russia's predicament today.' Orlando Figes, The Times
Geoffrey Hosking has been Professor of Russian History at the School of Slavonic Studies, University of London, since 1984. He is the author of the award-winning History of the Soviet Union for Fontana Press. In 1988, Professor Hosking was invited to give the annual BBC Reith lectures and spoke on the subject of Change in Contemporary Soviet Society, in doing so accurately predicting the imminent collapse of the Soviet Union.