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A Companion to Russian History

Geoffrey Hosking reviews another volume in Wiley-Blackwell’s Companion series, finding in it a mixture of brilliance and inconsistency.

Response to Review no. 34

  I am grateful for Gatrell’s painstaking summary of my book, which I think readers will find useful. All the same, I sense a mismatch between my intentions and his perceptions. He generously praises me as a ‘consummate storyteller’ and implies that narrative is the book’s main strength, while on theory it is relatively weak.Continue reading “Response to Review no. 34”

Drafting the Russian Nation Military Conscription, Total War and Mass Politics, 1905-1925

s the deft pun in the title reminds us, one of the ways in which nations were both imagined and institutionalised in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was through the conscripting of young men into the army. The ways in which they were called up, selected, trained and led, and the arrangements made for theirContinue reading “Drafting the Russian Nation Military Conscription, Total War and Mass Politics, 1905-1925”

Why We Need a History of Trust

Confucius once remarked that rulers need three resources: weapons, food and trust. The ruler who cannot have all three should give up weapons first, then food, but should hold on to trust at all costs: ‘without trust we cannot stand’.(1) Machiavelli disagreed. A prince should if possible, he asserted, be both loved and feared, butContinue reading “Why We Need a History of Trust”