13 best books on the history of Russia

13 best books on the history of Russia

13 best books on the history of Russia

June 12, 2021


Works about key events in the history of our country and the people who left their mark on it.
Photo by Oksana Klimova

Oksana Klimova

13 best books on the history of Russia


1. “Slavs. Ancient Russian people. Historical and archaeological research”, Valentin Sedov

The famous Russian archaeologist Valentin Sedov made a huge contribution to the study of the ethnogenesis of the Slavs. In this edition, you will get acquainted with the two most famous works of the Slavic scholar. They cover the time period from the first century BC to the early Middle Ages. From the book you will learn when the independent path of the Slavs began and how separate ethnic groups and languages ​​were formed.

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2. “Illustrated Russian History”, Vasily Klyuchevsky

The great Russian historian, academician and professor at Moscow University considered history to be a warden, severely punishing for ignorance of the lessons. The course of lectures presented in the book was first published in 1904. The modern edition is accompanied by colorful illustrations based on old engravings and drawings.

The author not only clearly and interestingly describes the main milestones in the history of Russia, but also offers a convincing analysis, and also expresses his own opinion about the events.

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3. “Genghis Khan”, Vasily Yan

For a novel about the conquest of Central Asia, Vasily Yan, a Russian and Soviet writer, received the Stalin Prize in 1942. The Mongolian ruler Genghis Khan defeated the rich and powerful Khorezm kingdom, getting close to the Polovtsian steppes, and later to the borders of Rus’. Thus began the confrontation between the two strongest opponents, which dragged on for hundreds of years.

The novel by Vasily Yan has become a classic of Soviet historical prose and has not lost popularity in our time.

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4. “The Tale of Igor’s Campaign”, unknown author

This is the greatest monument of literature of Ancient Rus’. The plot is based on the unsuccessful campaign of the Russian princes led by Igor Svyatoslavovich against the Polovtsians in 1185. The most famous part of the work is the lamentation of Yaroslavna, the young wife of Prince Igor. The episode reflects the pain of all Russian mothers and wives for the soldiers who left on the battlefield.

“The Tale of Igor’s Campaign” is a work that gives an idea not only of historical events, but also of the character of our distant ancestors.

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5. “History of the Russian State”, Nikolai Karamzin

The historian and writer Nikolai Mikhailovich Karamzin devoted more than 20 years of his life to this work. The essay describes the history of the country from ancient times to the Time of Troubles and the reign of Ivan the Terrible (1613). The book is adapted for the modern reader and is provided with rich illustrations that give a vivid idea of ​​the events and people described by the author.

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6. “Historical Miniatures”, Valentin Pikul

Valentin Savvich Pikul is a well-known Russian and Soviet writer, the author of many works on historical topics. The Historical Miniatures series is a kind of portrait gallery. In very short novels and stories, according to the writer’s widow, biographies of personalities who played a significant role in the history of Russia are compressed.

The miniature could have been born overnight, but its appearance was preceded by years of painstaking work and careful collection of information. In total, the series includes more than 50 works.

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7. “Young Russia”, Yuri German

Screenwriter and playwright Yuri German has been writing a novel about the beginning of changes in the era of Peter the Great for more than 10 years. The author shows historical events through the fate of the main characters Ivan Ryabov and Seliverst Ievlev. Herman spent four years in Arkhangelsk, where Ivan Ryabov, a Pomor and feeder, comes from. The author studied archives, worked in libraries.

The novel attracts with a clear depiction of the characters of the characters and a detailed description of the life and way of life of the inhabitants of the Russian North.

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8. History of the Russian State, Boris Akunin

This is a series of books of nine volumes dedicated to different periods in the history of Russia: from the Mongol invasion to the collapse of the empire. The author’s goal is to retell the story objectively, while maintaining the reliability of the facts, but at the same time freeing himself from any ideological influence. Professional historians refer the series to the genre of folk history (pseudo-scientific works), but the writer’s fans will definitely appreciate the signature style of presentation, which seems to revive the characters and events of the past.

Especially for those who love historical riddles and puzzles, the author has released a series of “History of the Russian state in stories and novels.” This is a real treat for the mind and soul.

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9. “Dynasty without makeup”, Edvard Radzinsky

“Dynasty Without Makeup” is a series dedicated to prominent representatives of the Romanov dynasty, including the last Emperor Nicholas II. Russian writer, playwright and screenwriter has been writing books about the history of Russia since the 90s. Radzinsky approaches his work with great care: he visits archives, studies documents and collects all kinds of details that will increase the viewing angle.

History is interesting to Radzinsky from an educational point of view. The author often gives his own assessment of certain events, and also tries to show the human side of famous historical figures.

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10. “History of Russia from Rurik to Putin. People. Events. Dates, Evgeny Anisimov







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