The Grand Strategy of the Russian Empire, 1650-1831

Hardcover | November 26, 2003

byJohn P. LeDonne

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At its height, the Russian empire covered eleven time zones and stretched from Scandinavia to the Pacific Ocean. Arguing against the traditional historical view that Russia, surrounded and threatened by enemies, was always on the defensive, John P. LeDonne contends that Russia developed along-term strategy not in response to immediate threats but in line with its own expansionist urges to control the Eurasian Heartland. LeDonne narrates how the government from Moscow and Petersburg expanded the empire by deploying its army as well as by extending its patronage to frontier societiesin return for their serving the interests of the empire. He considers three theaters on which the Russians expanded: the Western (Baltic, Germany, Poland); the Southern (Ottoman and Persian Empires); and the Eastern (China, Siberia, Central Asia). In his analysis of military power, he weighs therole of geography and locale, as well as economic issues, in the evolution of a larger imperial strategy. Rather than viewing Russia as peripheral to European Great Power politics, LeDonne makes a powerful case for Russia as an expansionist, militaristic, and authoritarian regime that challenged thegreat states and empires of its time.

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At its height, the Russian empire covered eleven time zones and stretched from Scandinavia to the Pacific Ocean. Arguing against the traditional historical view that Russia, surrounded and threatened by enemies, was always on the defensive, John P. LeDonne contends that Russia developed along-term strategy not in response to immediate ...

John P. LeDonne is a Senior Research Associate at the Davis Center for Russian Studies, Harvard University. He is the author of The Russian Empire and the World, 1700-1917 (OUP, 1997), Absolutism and Ruling Class: The Formation of the Russian Political Order, 1700-1825 (OUP, 1991), and Ruling Russia: Politics and Administration in the...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 6.3 × 9.29 × 1.1 inPublished:November 26, 2003Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195161009

ISBN - 13:9780195161007

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"Capping many years of original research, writing, and reflection, this original and challenging interpretation goes a long way in explaining not only the past role but also the present problems of Russia's imperial legacy. Readers will find much useful information and many stimulating ideasthat throw a novel light on the history of Eurasia over the last four centuries."-Marc Raeff, Columbia University