The Conquest of a Continent: Siberia and the Russians
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The Conquest of a Continent

Siberia and the Russians

By Bruce Lincoln

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Format: Paperback, 500 pages
Other Information: 45
Published In: United States, 01 June 2004
"In The Conquest of a Continent, the historian W. Bruce Lincoln details Siberia's role in Russian history, one remarkably similar to that of the frontier in the development of the United States...It is a big, panoramic book, in keeping with the immensity of its subject."-Chicago Tribune"Lincoln is a compelling writer whose chapters are colorful snapshots of Siberia's past and present...The Conquest of a Continent is a vivid narrative that will inform and entertain the broader reading public."-American Historical Review"This story includes Genghis Khan, who sent the Mongols warring into Russia; Ivan the Terrible, who conquered Siberia for Russia; Peter the Great, who supported scientific expeditions and mining enterprises; and Mikhail Gorbachev, whose glasnost policy prompted a new sense of 'Siberian' nationalism. It is also the story of millions of souls who themselves were conquered by Siberia...Vast riches and great misery, often intertwined, mark this region."-The Wall Street JournalStretching from the Urals to the Arctic Ocean to China, Siberia is so vast that the continental United States and Western Europe could be fitted into its borders, with land to spare. Yet, in only six decades, Russian trappers, cossacks, and adventurers crossed this huge territory, beginning in the 1580s a process of conquest that continues to this day. As rich in resources as it was large in size, Siberia brought the Russians a sixth of the world's gold and silver, a fifth of its platinum, a third of its iron, and a quarter of its timber. The conquest of Siberia allowed Russia to build the modern world's largest empire, and Siberia's vast natural wealth continues to play a vital part in determining Russia's place in international affairs.Bleak yet romantic, Siberia's history comes to life in W. Bruce Lincoln's epic telling. The Conquest of a Continent, first published in 1993, stands as the most comprehensive and vivid account of the Russians in Siberia, from their first victories over the Mongol Khans to the environmental degradation of the twentieth century. Dynasties of incomparable wealth, such as the Stroganovs, figure into the story, as do explorers, natives, gold seekers, and the thousands of men and women sentenced to penal servitude or forced labor in Russia's great wilderness prisonhouse.
EAN: 9780801489228
ISBN: 0801489229
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Dimensions: 23.27 x 16.15 x 3.28 centimeters (0.39 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years

Reviews

Lincoln ( Red Victory , LJ 2/15/90) chronicles Siberia's role in Russian history, from the formation of the state to the disintegration of the Soviet Union. The author uses primary and secondary documents to create this basic text, which is written for the undergraduate and general reader. Lincoln treats Siberia's resources as a measure of Russia's greatness. He traces Siberia's conquest and colonization; the search for its wealth; its role as an outlet for excess, criminal, and dissident labor; its industrial development and the development of the railroad; its part in the wars and upheaval of the 20th century; and, finally, the recognition of widespread pollution and environmental problems. Historians may still long for a scholarly, comprehensive study of Siberia, but this well-written and -researched book fills a void and belongs in general collections.-- Rena Fowler, Humboldt State Univ., Arcata, Cal.

Russia's conquest of Siberia, begun in 1582 with Cossack chieftan Ermak Timofevich's crushing of the Tatars, transformed the obscure kingdom of Muscovy into the world's larget contiguous empire. To Siberia's native nomads, hunters and reindeer herders, the conquest brought cruel exploitation, torture and corruption under military governors. Three and a half centuries later, the industrial complex that Stalin built east of the Urals manufactured the tanks, planes and guns that defeated Hitler, and Stalin's Siberian slave labor camps swallowed up millions of innocents. Its fragile ecology devastated by industrializers Khrushchev and Brezhnev, Siberia is today one of the world's worst environmental disaster zones. In Lincoln's ( In War's Dark Shadow ) compulsively readable epic narrative, Siberia's dark history comes alive as a vast human drama of greed, adventure, exploration, ambition, persecution and protest. Tamerlaine, Danish explorer Vitus Bering (in the service of Czar Peter the Great), Dostoevsky, Lenin, rogues, reformers and Siberia's natives people this prodigiously researched tapestry. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Jan.)

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